ReadMill's Disrupt encounter makes them launch early

ReadMIll, a young Berlin-based startup subjected themselves to a withering interrogation by YCombinator founder Paul Graham at yesterday’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference ni an on-sage Office Hours session. They haven’t launched yet, and Graham repeatedly told them should launch now – “Why wait?” he said.

Indeed, why wait. So today ReadMill has taken that advice to heart and is opening up to the world. You can grab an invite here. It’s also announcing it’s had seed investment from Index Seed, Passion Capital to the tune of €280,000.

So what is ReadMill? Well, there has been a lot of talk about highlighting e-books lately, such as from Fred Wilson.

So, partly inspired by Caterina Fake’s copy of Ulysees (she met the ReadMill guys last year) Readmill was founded in November 2010 to make ebooks social by taking advantage of connected tablets, making the book into a social object that can be shared with friends and peers.

We know e-books are a big deal and there are very few digital services to support that market. ReadMill intends to be right in the middle and solve social.

So, their ebook reader for iPad connects to the book as usual.

You can then highlight any passage in the book, add an optional comment and share to Twitter and Facebook.

This highlight is then available on the web with a clean permanent link allowing it to be passed around and discussed. This is how that page looks on the web.

Users can of course check what other highlights that has been done in the book as well as checking what other books are being read by that user

This makes highlighting easy and sharable.

You can do private and public annotation or quotes and share them on Twitter/Fb/Tumblr and access all of them from their API which creates a world of possibilities for users and developers.

Here’s my interview with ReadMill founder Henrik Berggren