The Smartest Acqu-Hires In The History Of Tech

Kevin Rose

Kevin Rose’s app incubator, Milk, was just acquired by Google.

He had just shut down Oink, the incubator’s first app, and TechCrunch reports that the whole deal was an acqu-hire worth somewhere between $15 million and $30 million.

That’s quite the price tag — but acqu-hires aren’t uncommon. We’ve put together a list of some other famous acqu-hires.

Some of worked out, some haven’t.

Abdur Chowdhury

Acquired by: Twitter

Position: Chief scientist

Company acquired: Summize

Twitter acquired Summize in 2008 for its engineers, who had an expertise in search at the time. Abdur Chowdhury has since moved to become a chief scientist at Twitter.

Sam Lessin

Acquired by: Facebook

Position: Product manager

Company acquired: Drop.io

Sam Lessin was a close friend of Mark Zuckerberg, who really, really wanted to work with him.

So he decided to just buy Lessin's company.

Now Lessin is working on Timeline, arguably one of Facebook's most important projects.

Aditya Agarwal

Acquired by: Dropbox

Position: CTO

Company acquired: Cove

Agarwal is a former Facebooker, and while it's not a stretch to think that Dropbox bought Cove for its collaboration software, they bought the company for Agarwal as well.

Bret Taylor

Acquired by: Facebook

Position: CTO

Company acquired: Friendfeed

When Facebook acquired Friendfeed, Mark Zuckerberg told The New York Times, 'We really wanted to get Bret.'

Now he's a chief technology officer at the company.

Justin Shaffer

Acquired by: Facebook

Position: Product manager

Company acquired: Hot potato

Justin Shaffer has also turned out to be a successful product manager at Facebook after his company, Hot Potato. He was quickly assigned to Facebook's 'groups' feature after the company bought Hot Potato.

Adam Huda

Acquired by: Twitter

Position: lead iPhone engineer

Company acquired: Posterous

Huda was responsible for core elements of the iPhone operating system and the Mac OS X operating system while he was at Apple.

Now he's a top iPhone engineer.

Max Ventilla

Acquired by: Google

Position: Senior product manager

Company acquired: Aardvark

Google acquired the social search startup Aardvark, only to shutter it. Now he's a senior product manager 'at the intersection of search and social.'

As in, Search Plus Your World, one of Google's largest initiatives right now.

Max Levchin

Acquired by: Google

Position: VP of Engineering

Company acquired: Slide

Google acquired Slide in 2010, and Max Levchin, former PayPal mafia champion, became a VP of engineering at the company.

Unfortunately that didn't last long, as Google shuttered slide a year later and Levchin left to start a new project.

Kevin Rose

Acquired by: Google

Position: To be determined

Company acquired: Milk

The future of Milk is still to be determined, but Kevin Rose shut down his first project, Oink, shortly before it was revealed that Google acquired the company today.

Josh Williams

Acquired by: Facebook

Position: To be determined

Company acquired: Gowalla

Gowalla shut down when Josh Williams and much of his team went to join Facebook, which still doesn't have a clear location and check-in strategy just yet. Right now, it's attached to your status updates.

Ben Davenport

Acquired by: Facebook

Position: Software engineer

Company acquired: Beluga

Beluga was a lot like Groupme in its early days -- a messaging app for keeping in touch with your friends. Then Facebook bought it, and Ben Davenport shuffled over to the Facebook messaging app.

Loren Brichter

Acquired by: Twitter

Position: 'mobile guy'

Company acquired: Tweetie

While Brichter has left the company, he was instrumental in developing the Twitter for iPad application.

BONUS ROUND: Dennis Crowley

Acquired by: Google

Position: Lead developer

Company acquired: Dodgeball

Crowley is a classic case of misalignment of resources at Google. He joined, and wasn't given enough resources, so he left and Google shut down Dodgeball.

It's pretty easy to see why somebody would want to be acqui-hired by Google...

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