Wikis About to Reach Much Broader Audience: Google Acquires JotSpot

It still amazes me that mentioning the word ‘wiki’ in conversation can still elicit blank stares. This is about to change and allow Joe Kraus and Graham Spencer to exponentially increase the mission they undertook when they set up JotSpot three years ago. Yip, their company has been assimilated into the Googlepire. According to Joe, they set up JotSpot as a way to bring the power of wikis to a much broader audience.

I’m not surprised at this acquisition from the point of view of Google arriving at, what Michael  Arrington calls a wiki-based project management service. Just yesterday I was delving into the depths of such a system — it is an awesome way to increase team collaboration and productivity.

However, I’m surprised that Google chose JotSpot. Frankly, one of my teams was, until recently, using their paid service and it sucked, big time. Hopefully, getting Jotspot integrated with the other Google offerings and being pushed out over Google’s data centers will make it less sucky.

So a great step forward for wikis, in general.

What does this mean for other wiki and wiki-based project management service providers? I’d love to hear thoughts from folk like Mike Cannon-Brookes over at Atlassian. I note that Ross Mayfield (SocialText) has offered his sincere congratulations to the JotSpot team.  

I was riffing about this the other evening with Marc Woodward, a General Partner at Neo Ventures. Marc gets the Attention Economy. We were talking about another instance in which the industry gorilla (yes it was Google again) enter your space – what does this mean for you as a startup…validation or vaporisation.

It will have a positive impact by making people more aware of wikis and wiki-based project management. Ross agrees:

This is another great validation of the category we helped start.

There is, after all, enough space for companies like Atlassian, 37signals and others to continue to grow. However, one would expect that it will change the risk profile of these companies. From a glass half full perspective, other media companies may also want to make acquisitions in the space.

I’ll give the last word to  Michael Frakowiak , who says in a Techcrunch comment:

Blogger did not eliminate WordPress or others…


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