Monthly Archives: August 2010

The story behind the 2010 startup success: Siri (why it’s so important to Apple’s future)

You know Siri. Back in February I said that if you miss Siri you’ll miss the future of the Web.

Apple didn’t miss it. Just a few days after that blog ran Apple bought Siri for somewhere around $200 million.

It is the 2010 startup success of the year.

But here’s the first part of the story behind the success from the people actually involved: the venture capitalists and the exec at one of the most important research labs in Silicon Valley, SRI International (it’s where the mouse was invented). The second part of the video will be up Thursday on Building43.

This is the most interesting conversation I’ve had so far this year about a startup. Some things you’ll learn:

1. Why this company is so strategic to Apple’s future.
2. What happened when Apple called.
3. Why this company is a continuation of work that Douglas Engelbart started in the 1960s.
4. What the secret sauce is behind Siri.
5. Why the venture capitalists backed this company (they got $10.5 million right before Apple bought them).
6. Why the code-name of Siri was “HAL.”
7. How Siri is the embodiment of ideas Apple introduced to the world in a video in the 1980s about the Knowledge Navigator.
8. Why Steve Jobs is excited about the artificial intelligence technology inside Siri.

This is the most interesting conversation I’ve had all year, hope you enjoy.