Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Exclusive: Rich Skrenta's new startup Blekko

Rich Skrenta, recently departed CEO of Topix, has been in the news in the last couple of days due to the 25th anniversary of the release of the Elk Cloner virus he wrote. An interesting little snippet at the end of the AP story is about his new project, which is described as "Blekko Inc., a month-old startup still working in stealth mode".

After contacting Rich via IM and grilling him using all my powers of investigative journalism and torture techniques, he finally admitted to me what Blekko was all about, and I can exclusively reveal it to the two or three of you who still subscribe to this feed.

Blekko is, in fact, a return to Skrenta's roots. The codebase is in its infancy... well, more like it's a couple of zygotes really. However, the intention is clear, the target has been set, and the infection vectors have been mapped.

Blekko is going to innovate strongly in the hot field of viral adoption. This will be helped greatly by the fact that the main Blekko product will, in fact, be a virus. But not just any sort of virus. It will be the first virus specifically designed to infect iPhones.

The name of the company gives the final clue as to what Blekko will do once it has infected iPhones, as a cursory googling will attest. Obviously Skrenta has had this planned for a decade or more, with the first seeds for the concept planted back in the days when telnet was still a new technology.

For those few of you who haven't guessed by now: yes, the Blekko virus will endlessly loop the Star Wars ASCII movie on iPhones it infects. All of the venture capital Skrenta has raised will go towards finishing this massive project, which after more than 10 years is still a long way from completion.

I wish Rich all the very best of luck in his endeavours, and look forward to seeing the looks of horror on the faces of those self-absorbed, over-cashed iPhone buyers as their beloved toys get bricked by Obi-Wan.

Exclusive screenshot of Blekko in action!

Update: explicit confirmation of this story has been provided by Rich Skrenta himself, as a quick look at will demonstrate.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i know where blekko headquarters are at. if anyone wants to know?

4:46 am, September 22, 2007  

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