10 Tech Start-Ups Whose Sizzle Fizzled
Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has been no stranger to political and social activism.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, he oversaw then-candidate Barack Obama's social media strategy, notably through the Web site My.BarackObama.com. That campaign's success, notably in its rallying of young and first-time voters, earned Huges considerable accolades. An April 2009 cover story in Fast Company touted him as, "The Kid Who Made Obama President," and credited him as having "changed politics and marketing forever."
In November 2010, Hughes launched Jumo, a social network service and Web site that sought to connect activists with each other and the nonprofits dedicated to their cause -- "from human trafficking to childhood obesity," as a company blog post summed it up.Jumo wasn't one-of-a-kind. Other sites had already tackled a similar concept, notably Change.org, volunteermatch.org and idealist.org. The Web site Charity Navigator is a popular landing spot for those looking to evaluate nonprofits. When all was said and done, Jumo didn't quite offer anything revolutionary and it never did become a household name, even among activists. Multiple redesigns were symptomatic of its failure to cultivate a reputation as a go-to resource. It would be unfair to paint Jumo as a failure, however. It merely faded into the background when it merged with the magazine and Web site Good in August. "I'm thrilled to share with you the exciting news that Jumo is combining forces with Good to create a powerful online content and social engagement platform," an online announcement from Hughes said. "This is an enormous opportunity for our talented teams to build a single community of like-minded people and mission-driven organizations." "When we started Jumo over a year and half ago, we had a simple mission: to use technology to help everyday people have a meaningful impact on the world. We've long believed that the best way to facilitate positive change is to connect individuals to outstanding organizations working on the ground in our communities and around the world," the message added. "Today, we are one step closer to fulfilling this goal." Jumo, which had raised more than $3.5 million dollars in start-up funding, was acquired for slightly more than $62,000. Hughes hasn't retreated from the political world. This month, it was announced that he had bought a majority stake in The New Republic, a left-leaning magazine, and will take over as publisher and editor-in-chief.
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