When I first saw Iminlikewithyou, I got so excited that I ended up writing Love in the time of Facebook, betting that the New York-based startup could reinvent match-making. That never happened, but the core engine ended up being part of other games and the ramification/reward mechanics inspired many others. The company changed its name to OMGPOP to focus on the games.
Its mercurial co-founder Charles Forman left and a new CEO Dan Porter brought in. And they launched a new mobile spin on Pictionary, Draw Something. It took off like a rocket and suddenly it was everywhere, thanks to Twitter, which acted as an accelerant for the company’s growth and popularity.
When the rumors began, I heard that Zynga was going to offer $200 million plus for the company. Yesterday, it was officially sold for about $178.5 million in cash (plus about $30 million in retention bonuses.) Not bad for a company that switched strategies and target markets more often than normal people change homes. And to think that the company was close to throwing in the towel about seven weeks ago, it is pretty amazing to see them hit the equivalent of startup lottery.