Scroll Kit was a story builder of sorts. They marketed themselves for a while by saying you could build “Snowfall”, the New York Times’ famous article, in an hour with their platform. An article by the founder on Medium about getting into a legal discussion with the Times is probably the best way to learn about them at this point. The Techcrunch acquisition post also has more on that.
They’ve been acquired by Automattic and they are shutting down their product to work on products for WordPress.com. Specifically, Matt Mullenweg says they “will be focused on making customization more visual and intuitive.”
Aesop is another company worth noting, and a similar concept to Scroll Kit, but already geared toward WordPress. I’ve covered it before if you’re interested in my general take on this concept. Though I must admit, I’ve got more confidence in Aesop than before, purely based on watching Nick Haskins as he’s continued work on the product.
Though I’m still not convinced that “story engines” as an entity of their own are going to ever be anything more than a feature for future websites.
Anyway, the hire seems like a good one for Automattic to expand their team working on the customizer for WordPress.com (which is a bit different than .org’s), as well as perhaps some writing interface enhancements.
However, I am a little concerned by the language from Cody Brown, Scroll Kit’s founder. It seems pretty clear to me that he doesn’t know the difference between Automattic and WordPress.
— codyb (@codybrown) April 24, 2014
I thought perhaps he just didn’t realize the WordPress.com Twitter account was not @WordPress, but even in the Scroll Kit post he made the same mistake.
We’ve watched in admiration as WordPress has grown steadily over time. The team is only 250 people and yet powers 21% of the web.
I can sympathize with the average person making this mistake. I can even sympathize with most people in tech making this mistake. But Cody just sold his company to Automattic and went to work for them. Was the negotiation so fast that this distinction was never made? That’s a bit scary to me.
Perhaps I’m just being pedantic, but I expect better.