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Portfolio February 16, 2011

Our Investment in 1000 Memories

Memorials in the Digital Age

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Back in 1994, a high school friend of mine passed away in a tragic accident. It’s been over 16 years since that day but I still think about my friend and every now and then I pull out an old photo album that holds pictures of us goofing around and being kids. Next to one of the pictures I also keep a faded newspaper obituary as a reminder. It’s the only public record of his life–he passed away before digital photos and widespread Internet adoption.

How will you or I be remembered by our friends and family? For a select number of famous people, they might be commemorated in a Time article or a Wikipedia entry. But the majority of people will not have that recognition.

In this day and age we leave digital trails of our lives. We post photos on Facebook, upload videos on YouTube, write posts on our blogs and update our professional profiles on LinkedIn. But where will this data go when we’re no longer here? Where will our friends and family go to remember us and the times we shared?

The founders of 1000 Memories—Rudy Adler, Jonathan Good and Brett Huneycutt—have built a beautifully designed Web site that allows friends and family, no matter where they live across the globe, to come together online to contribute to the memory of a loved one. Much richer than a newspaper obituary, memorial pages on 1000Memories allow people to commemorate lives through a vivid collage of digital photos, stories, biographies, videos and songs–free and forever.

When I first met the three founders I was impressed not only by their vision but by their collective character. They are an unusual trio: two former Rhodes Scholars and a gifted designer from an advertising agency. Despite their youth they have all lived through some type of loss that drove them to understand the need for a service like 1000Memories. They figured if they needed something like this, millions of other people might, as well. Last year they decided to leave great jobs in the middle of a recession to relocate to San Francisco to turn their vision into a reality.

I am happy to announce today that Greylock is leading the company’s Series A round of funding. In connection with the investment, I will be joining the board of directors. I’m honored to partner with Brett, Jonathan and Rudy and am looking forward to helping them build a strong business around this terrific service, which promises to ensure that the colorful lives of everyone’s friends and family are never forgotten.