Shake and bake baby – MyHeritage buys Kindo

by oneafrikan on September 29, 2008

A few years ago, I think it was October 2005 to be exact, I was leaving Open Box Software, and had decided to go it on my own, for the second time. If someone had asked me then if today was where I was going to be now (start to acquisition in just over a year), I think I would have been hopeful but would probably have laughed.

After all, I had no money, knew few people, and although I was certainly competent technically I was never going to be a Larry Page. Breaking new ground and creating awesomeness is not easy for me, I tried being an artist but didn’t get very far. I’m a zoologist you see, I analyse and optimise, always within the constraints of an ecosystem which has rules and flows. I don’t regret not being a proper zoologist yet, there will be time for that one day.

So here I am 3 years later and what a rush it’s been
Kindo loves MyHeritage
Kindo loves MyHeritage

Full story on the Kindo blog.
Seen on Techrunch UK, VentureBeat, Techcrunch US, paidContent and PHP Kitchen to mention a few of the 130 odd posts thus far.
Here is the official press release.

Along the way, I’ve managed to learn many new things, grow with some fine people, evolve as a person, adapt to changing situations, and almost break myself in the process. Looking back it was brute force until recently. Now I get by on smarts. Hopefully it’ll stay that way.

The chair it all started on
This is the chair it all started on, back in my bedroom.

I’ve been wondering what this post should be about for a while now, as so much blood, sweat and many tears are tied to this, but I’m pretty sure that getting too personal is not really interesting to most people. Those that know me know what I’ve been through and why it’s something I could get emotional about. Instead I think I’m going to thank the people that have been involved along the way, and leave it at that.

Malcolm – thanks for believing in me right at the beginning, truly, truly appreciated.

Joseph – thanks for all the time we’ve spent discussing things dude, you’re a legend.

Rachel – thanks for all the work you did with me, it’s made a massive difference. I’ll be grateful to you for as long as I live…

Fraser and Cliff – thanks for the first lessons you imparted, your support, and the opportunities you’ve given me.

Debora, Georgie, Andrew, Katherine, Leo – thanks for being so good at what you do, being human, and letting me grow in my own lunchbox.

Alistair, Nick, Tom, Tim and Ido – thanks for taking a chance, I hope you guys are realising the benefits of the stuff we did for you.

Ryan, Gill, John, Dustin, Erin, Peter, Ed, Andy, Hash, Dave, Chris – you guys have given so much support and understanding when I couldn’t find that anywhere else.  More than anything, you understand.  We’re all older and wiser now, lets do some cool stuff, shall we ;-)

Stephen – I don’t know what you were thinking when you carried on past the first weeks of working with me back in the Summer of 2006, but I think we’ve come a long way since then. Thanks for being so reliable. Thanks for your sense of humour. Most of all, thanks to the Hoff. Looking forward to company 3… ;-)

Andrew – like Stephen, you’ve stuck around through thick and thin, which for me is both a compliment and a wonder. Thanks for your calm head, and experienced hand. Looking forward to company 4… ;-)

Demian – I’ve learnt much from you, and have enjoyed the benefit of your experience, it’s almost unbelievable we made it through that cold office and into 38k profiles a day ;-)

Stan, Dmitri, Julien, Thomas, Ali, James, Damon – You’re all great hackers, it’s been a pleasure working with you, even when the office felt like a pressure cooker at times.

Ryan, Adam, Andy – You guys gave us the designs that made us stand out and look the business. You’re all great to work with, and it’s been awesome. Hope we can work together more in the future.

Nils – I was doubtful at first, ‘cos I couldn’t see through your calmness, but now I’m a believer. It is a pleasure, and I’m looking forward to the next chapters. Onwards and upwards.

Mario, Martin, Julia, Alberto, Fabien, Sophiane – Guys, we couldn’t and wouldn’t have done it without you. So many startups forget that the human (read: marketing / pr) side of things is actually what makes progress in the real world. All the code in the world doesn’t matter if people can’t find you. So, thanks for the long hours, dedication and hard work, I hope you guys become giants when you’re grown up ;-)

The day of the announcement
An awesome bunch of people, would go with you anywhere.

Saul, Robin, Stefan, Taavet, Eileen, Peter – Thanks for believing in us, the help and guidance you’ve given, and ultimately what’s rubbed off onto us. I/we couldn’t have asked for a better group of people for backing.

Sarah – thanks for being there when things got tough, I’m gutted you’re not around now ;-(

Marisha – your honesty, perspective and values are appreciated more than you know or will admit to… Thanks!

Tina – thanks for your hard work in the sale process, enough said ;-)

– thanks for the advice, even though we didn’t work with you guys…

Morgs – thanks for being so patient, and for putting up with so much of me being unavailable as a brother, and for not throwing my laptop out the window when it would have been expected to do so. You’re the best, almost like a Gillette razor ;-)

Mom and Dad – where do I start? How do I begin? Everything I call a virtue has been instilled by you, so what else can I say?

– I’ve only known you a relatively short while, but it’s been great. Thanks for your insight, wisdom, and for hitting me on the head a few times – looking forward to the next few years!

Gilad, Sueli, Uri and Nir – great job on MyHeritage so far, lets build something significant to families around the world!

And last but certainly not least, the good guys that have kept my feet planted firmly on the ground, in no particular order:
Anne, Scurry, Wazza, Georgie, Wagon, Sean, Snorkes, Biff, Cone, Dunners, Tim, Penguin, Pete Z, Worville, Strola, Hobbo, Steel, Deano, Brettie, Mark, Phil, Lazza, Irish, Miles, Richy, Frances, Russ, Hollster, Matt, Trish, George, Brett, Lisa, Jen, Shev, Debsk, Benno, Edge, Jon, Tina, Stoner, Charlie “Heart like fire, Mind like Ice” Reville, Charlie “Richard” Charlesworth, Cookie, Jim “The Legend” Sayer, Badman, B Hanlon, Charlie “Yeah!” Howard, Charlie “C-F” Theux… and more to come as I think of them ;-)


Great post G. Nice to see you giving thanks to so many people that have helped you along the way.

I’m really looking forward to the next chapter. Cheers mate :-)

by DrewPreston on September 29, 2008 at 10:45 pm. Reply #

Well done Girth. Never known someone working from home to work so hard and be so motivated. You deserve it dude.

by Dunners on September 30, 2008 at 12:53 pm. Reply #

Not quite Mark Shuttleworth, but close.

I like to see people who show appreciation as you have in your thanks. You good man you!

Cheers mate


by Russ Milne on September 30, 2008 at 1:13 pm. Reply #

congratulations Gareth.
This post of yours really sums you up – open, generous, team player -someone with real integrity – not to mention real ability!

We at TAG pride ourselves on backing people – we don’t always get this right but the day Saul met you he knew, here was a mensch!

by Robin Klein on September 30, 2008 at 3:06 pm. Reply #

Congratulations! to you and all the team

It was a very good experience working with you guys.
Thank you and good luck for the rest.


by Ali on September 30, 2008 at 3:39 pm. Reply #

Gareth, it was an absolute pleasure working with you… it really didn’t feel like work at times but more like us attempting to build something fun with a group of friends.

by Ryan Shelton on September 30, 2008 at 4:18 pm. Reply #

Hey Gareth… you certainly are quite the man aren’t you? Well done on achieving what you have so far…. there is much more to come I am sure….roll on the next chapter!! You deserve every bit of the best still to come….here we are talking mountians, beaches and drinks in the sun…

by Debsk on September 30, 2008 at 4:33 pm. Reply #

What can I say my big son!! Your Mom & Dad are very proud of you and your partners and crew.
Well done to all of you, It was nice to meet most of the team even if it was brief; to have developed a product and attracted a sale in such a short time is not done regularly; hopefully the kindo tag will stay for some time yet.??
Mom & Dad

by Clive Knight on September 30, 2008 at 4:44 pm. Reply #

To my darling son Ga – Dad and I are very proud of you. Not only for what you have achieved but for who you have become. There are many people who gain the world but in the process lose their soul. We have recently, through your caring and grace, had reason to learn what your soul is about! Thank you.

May you in time become that zoologist, my son, for the world needs young people like yourself – young people of vision, courage and determination. And may this work truly become your soul work – an inevitable outgrowing of the work done with Kindo and MyHeritage!

by Carole Knight on September 30, 2008 at 5:12 pm. Reply #

if you were a woman (or at least little bit less hairy), I would kiss you

by nils on September 30, 2008 at 5:32 pm. Reply #

I’m so happy for you Gar! You deserve every bit of this success.

You’re a true inspiration to all those who know you!

by Sarah Walls on September 30, 2008 at 5:46 pm. Reply #


Congratulations. I know what a slog it’s been for you and just how hard you’ve worked through it all. Congratulations and I hope you get to ease off the throttle a little and for a little.

Very best mate,

by Peter Nixey on September 30, 2008 at 7:09 pm. Reply #

Well done!!
Yes, your laptop needed to be put away on a few occasions but it’s all panned out well. So all the best going forward, but remember, lifes too short not to live it!! (I’ll claim that one unless it’s already out there…)

by Morgs on October 1, 2008 at 8:58 am. Reply #

Nice one Gareth,
Always knew you had it in you!

by Clifford Boobyer on October 1, 2008 at 11:20 am. Reply #

Congrats G — ure living the dream!! A great local (RS of A) .com success story… and by all accounts, you deserve your success. matt

by matthew buckland on October 23, 2008 at 11:19 am. Reply #

Wow, so much support from so many people ;-)
Thanks everyone!!

by Gareth Knight on October 23, 2008 at 11:34 am. Reply #

Leave your comment


Required. Not published.

If you have one.

Protected with IP Blacklist CloudIP Blacklist Cloud