Wow, when I wrote last night that Kevin Rose doesn’t really use Digg anymore, I had no idea how perfect the timing was. It turns out Rose really has tuned out. Because, say multiple sources, he’s already resigned from the company and is closing a $1+ million financing round for a new startup he’s founded.
Rose first launched Digg in December 2004. The service was an instant hit, and for a long while just all the big players thought about acquiring the company. Things never got so close as they did in mid-2008, when Google took Digg all the way to the altar before walking away at the last minute. Digg would have been sold for some $200 million. Every employee knew about the deal because Google had interviewed them all individually. Credit to then-CEO Jay Adelson for getting everyone back on track after the deal fell apart.
But those were the glory days for Digg. The site faded as newer services like Twitter and Facebook became ubiquitous. Rose and Adelson had a falling out, Rose stopped coming by the office much for months, and one of them had to go. It was Adelson. Rose took over as CEO until they hired Matt Williams last Fall.
Rose stayed on in vague executive role after Williams took over, but it’s been clear that Digg isn’t really top of mind for him anymore. He’s not using it much, as I showed last night. And he is very active with Revision3 and other projects.
So what’s the new startup? We’re still trying to figure that out, as well as who he’s hired and who’s invested. We’ll update as we hear more. Rose, for his part, isn’t responding to my emails, which isn’t surprising.
Update: Rose has tweeted that he’ll “continue advising Digg / on the board of directors, & taping Diggnation (as i have been since [Willaims] joined).”
Kevin Rose is a Partner at Google Ventures, where he primarily focuses on early-stage and seed investments. Prior to joining Google Ventures, Kevin co-founded Milk, a mobile application development company in San Francisco. Previously Kevin was the founder of Digg, and co-founder of Revision3, and Pownce (acquired by Six Apart). In addition, Rose is the founder of Foundation, a private newsletter and podcast, and formerly was co-host of the tech news podcast Diggnation.
Digg is a user driven social content website. Everything on Digg is user-submitted. After you submit content, other people read your submission and “Digg” what they like best. If your story receives enough Diggs, it’s promoted to the front page for other visitors to see. Kevin Rose came up with the idea for Digg in the fall of 2004. He found programmer Owen Byrne through eLance and paid him $10/hour to develop the idea. In addition, Rose paid $99...