Comcast Finishes FreeWheel Acquisition

Comcast has wrapped up its deal to buy FreeWheel, the Web video ad-serving company.

The two companies signed their paperwork yesterday, and informed employees last night. The cable giant will end up paying $360 million for the seven-year-old startup, sources said. If you throw in employee retention bonuses and other comp, the number could hit $375 million.

FreeWheel helps Web companies deliver video ads, and has specialized in locking up deals with big media companies like Viacom, Fox and Comcast’s NBCUniversal. (NBCUniversal is a minority investor in Re/code.) FreeWheel had raised more than $30 million, and last year it booked $22 million in revenue, according to a person familiar with the company.

Sources say the plan is for FreeWheel to run as a standalone company within Comcast, similar to the way video software company thePlatform has operated since Comcast bought that startup in 2006. All of FreeWheel’s employees, including CEO Doug Knopper and his two co-founders, are expected to stay with the company.

Categorized as Uncategorized Tagged

6 Years

2 years of web development.

2 years of integration development.

2 years of client services.

That was 20% of my life so far. Not bad.

Categorized as Uncategorized Tagged

5 Years

My contract started on 12/17/2007. Though I had been working as an intern for a few months before that, the official date is still an easy way to remember. It’s like the marriage certificate date.

In this fast-changing industry, it may not seem usual to work 5 years straight in a company. But I do see lots of old friends around here, who have been with FreeWheel for 3 or 4 years or longer than me. It’s comforting and heartwarming to see them.

When I joined FreeWheel, I didn’t imagine I would switch from a web developer to an integration engineer, then to a technical service specialist/manager. It was also a surprise to me that I lived in NYC now, so different from California, my 1st impression on US. And I love this great great city.

Thanks FreeWheel for all these experiences and opportunities. See you on the road!

Categorized as Uncategorized Tagged ,

Environment Matters

I have been working restlessly these days to migrate our docs to a new system.

Even myself didn’t understand why I was so eager to do this. Isn’t it just yet another place to write docs? As long as you have a place to write docs, why bother so much to setup a new one? Even if the new place is cleaner, nicer, the docs themselves are what really matter, aren’t they?

I manually moved some docs from the old system to the new one. Copy them out, paste to VIM, reformat them as pure text and markup, then paste into the new system. During this process, I suddenly realized why the “place” matters.

Because you simply can’t make a person write decent docs in a lousy system.

The old system is a pain in the ass because its editor is just terrible. And a doc with code snippets appears shitty in this system. And this system has very limited customization options, so that we can’t even remove those stupid twitter/facebook share buttons…

If you ask me to write an article for a newspaper full of nasty ads, will I put all my efforts into it? Probably not. Same thing here.

Categorized as Uncategorized Tagged