Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Goodbye, Kosmix. Hello, @WalmartLabs

Two weeks ago, I announced the exciting news that Kosmix had agreed to be acquired by Walmart, the world’s largest retailer. At that point, the deal was signed but subject to customary closing conditions. Today, I’m delighted to announce that the closing conditions have been fulfilled and that the deal is officially closed.

Today is the last day in the life of Kosmix as an independent company. It is a day to look back with pride at our accomplishments. I’m proud of our pioneering development of breakthrough semantic analysis technology, and of applying it to real-time social media streams to create the Social Genome. I’m proud that we built RightHealth into one of the top three health and medical information sites by global reach. I’m extremely proud that we touched so many people each and every day: in March, our properties RightHealth, Tweetbeat, and Kosmix.com together served over 17.5 million unique visitors worldwide, who spent over 5.5 billion seconds on our services. But most of all, I’m proud of being part of the Kosmix team, and having the privilege of working with a team of extremely talented and passionate individuals who, over the course of the past several years, went from coworkers to family.

Today also is the first day in the life of @WalmartLabs. As I wrote in my prior post, our mission is to invent the next generation of ecommerce: integrated experiences that leverage the store, the web, and mobile, with social identity being the glue. We are at an inflection point in the development of retailing. Social media and the mobile phone will have as profound an effect on the trajectory of retail in the early years of the 21st century as did the development of highways in the early part of the 20th century. @WalmartLabs, which combines Walmart’s scale with Kosmix’s social genome platform, is in a unique position to invent and build this future.

I’m also delighted that the entire Kosmix crew, without exception, will be part of this exciting new journey. If you are interested in joining a talented and passionate team working at the crossroads of social media, mobile, and commerce, give us a holler. @WalmartLabs is hiring!

P.S. To stay tuned, follow @WalmartLabs on Twitter.