Katango (formerly Cafebots) was founded by Yoav Shoham, professor of computer science at Stanford and two of his doctoral students, Michael Munie and Thuc Vu. The tagline was “What if an algorithm was social?” Michael and Thuc are experts in machine learning and artificial intelligence. I was the VP of user experience and got to work with some of the best people ever. Left to right in the photo are Varun Katta, Jonathan Berger, Ven Jandyahala, Simon Levy, Ruth Gamon, Yoav Shoham, Michael Munie, Thuc Vu, Michael Mills, Yee Lee. Shailo Rau is missing from the picture.
I got to do a lot of hands-on prototyping of desktop and mobile applications that showed the potential power of algorithms brought to bear on burgeoning social networks. Katango was funded by Kleiner Perkins. Katango was acquired by Google in November 2011.