One of the early proponents of social search and part of Google’s social team has left the company, and he has a big reading list ahead of him. Max Ventilla, co-founder of early social search company Aardvark and recent member of the Google+ team, had his last day at Google yesterday. And given the content of the books he’s reading, we can probably expect him to start something new in the education sector.
Ventilla is a two-time entrepreneur who sold his last company, Aardvark, to Google. He was early in the social search game, founding Aardvark in 2007 and raising $7.5 million in a round led by August Capital. Aardvark was a social search application with a strong location-based component. The app presented users with a chat-like interface that allowed them to ask questions to self-described topic experts and everybody in their social graph.
The departure comes three years after Google acquired Aardvark and about a year-and-a-half after the service was shut down. Since then, Ventilla has been working on Google+ as a senior product manager, helping the search giant build its own social network. He’s also been an active angel investor, writing checks for startups such as Wavii, Apportable, Trulia, Trickplay, Good Eggs, Broadstreet Analytics, Lux Dulux, and Golocal, among others.
While it’s not clear what Ventilla’s next move is, it’s clear that education is a big focus for the entrepreneur. With titles like “How Children Succeed” and “Redesigning Accountability Systems For Education” on his reading list, we can expect him to maybe build something to help improve our education system as part of his next project. Or at least maybe help advise a startup that is doing that.