The death of Memamp, or ‘Reddit’s first employee’
The people that you meet on a program such as Y Combinator can be as important, if not more so, than the program itself. Especially when your idea fails, as happened with memamp founder Chris Slowe.
Chris had been working on creating a better desktop search since early 2004, knowing that no existing solutions were any good. Y Combinator was the perfect chance to build it with memamp, but sometimes even a great idea, hard work, funding and an opportunity like the Summer Founders Program still aren’t enough.
That summer Google released their own Desktop Search solution. Not only that, but Apple announced their intention to build and add Spotlight to their next OS X release. Memamp pressed on, but it was too much, especially with the difficulties of trying to write a multi-platform desktop app.
Something like Y Combinator throws up opportunities in mysterious ways. Following the Summer Founders Program and the early death of memamp, Chris’ co-founder and roommate Zak Stone moved up the street to Harvard grad school. This left Chris with two spare rooms, just as the reddit co-founders were in need of a new apartment.
“I was reddit’s first employee about 2 months later,” Chris tells me. Memamp may have been dead, but things were looking up.
I'm quite happy Steve and I moved in -- things couldn't have worked out better with Chris!