Sphere Related Content - the best value proposition in widget-ology

It's taken me a little while to go public with the news, but I joined Sphere in November.  I met this company in the most organic way possible....working from a Starbucks in Boston, I sat down next to Jeff Yolen, Sphere's Chief Revenue Officer.  I met Tony Conrad shortly thereafter, and while it took a solid 8 months to convince him to bring me on board, the rest is - as they say - history.  Sphere is a most unique company for several reasons.  First, we are completely virtual.  Currently, 12 people in 10 cities across the country.  No centralized office space, and while that brings with it certain challenges, it also minimized intra-office politics and some of the inefficiencies that end up slowing young companies down.  Every member of the team is accountable for their sphere of responsibility (sorry, couldn't resist) and inevitably, contributes in other areas too.  Second, and most importantly, Sphere offers one of the strongest value propositions among similar companies competing for mindshare in the publishing universe.  Our related content modules, which can be embedded in-line on article pages (Time, Reuters, WSJ) or through our ajax widget (TechCrunch, GigaOm, Bergen Carroll and 50,000 of others) offer equal value to all constituents involved.  For the publisher, we offer recirculation of its content (much of which has become dormant and unlikely to continue monetizing) plus incremental revenue plus opportunity to generate new readers through our network.  For the reader, we offer a valuable service aggregating related content and making it easier to grasp all the conversations happening around a given topic, thereby helping the reader learn more efficiently.  And for Sphere, we like to think we're democratizing the web, making it a bit flatter and more accessible by connecting conversations, while collecting a few ad dollars along the way.  This is the win-win-win relationship that is Sphere and a big reason why I was attracted to the company right away.  Okay, enough writing....time to get back to BizDev.

By Josh Guttman

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