Mena & Ben Trott
"There's the noble goal of helping the world be a better place, but then there's the other thing about allowing people to be able to stay in touch with your family that's across the country. And that's something that's not really---that's looked at as a domestic feature, but it's an important thing."
Mena Trott in conversation with the Media Giraffe Project, 2005
By MGP researcher Sara Majka
Mena Trott started Six Apart with her husband, Ben Trott, in 2002. She was a blogger, and they had developed a blogging tool for her to use. When they made it available to others, she thought they might get donations, maybe recognition on the web, maybe even some free things off their Amazon wish list.
"It was all really accidental," she says in interview with MGP (you can watch a video of the interview by clicking on the link below the picture of Trott). "We never intended to be a business, but once we decided that we were going to be a business we decided we wanted to go all out and make this something that was a force to be reckoned with because we don't want to be a company that is a footnote because Google or Microsoft or Yahoo takes over the space."
While Blogger was bought by Google, Six Apart has remained independent. She says they were never a company that decided to put resources towards a "blogging solution." They were bloggers and a company came out of that. "All the people here believe in what we are doing, most of them came from the ranks of being bloggers, and it's an environment that I really, really love."
When asked about the future of blogging, she says that she sees blogs as about the day-to-day life of an individual. A chronicling of a life, she calls it.
"It really slows down life because when you're actually taking time to document what's happening and to take pictures and to be able to have a record of what you do during the week, and the day, and the year, it doesn't blur as much as it does when you're not blogging."
Six Apart Leads With Vox (Wired, November 2006).
Below excerpted from Darlings of the Blogosphere: Husband-and-Wife Team Build a Startup Into a Trailblazer (http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/internet/02/19/trotts.blog.ap/index.html):
Like so many other 20-somethings hoping to mine the Internet gold rush of the late 1990s, Mena Trott was thrown for a humbling loop by the dot-com bust, yet still craved stardom. Her unassuming husband, Ben, just wanted another computer programming gig in Silicon Valley's depressed job market.
The couple's odd chemistry cooked up Six Apart Ltd., a startup that has helped popularize the "blogging" craze, with millions of people worldwide maintaining online personal journals that dissect everything from politics to poultry.
The Trotts, both 27, have amplified the buzz about Web logs, or blogs, by making them easier to set up and write.
San Francisco-based Six Apart provides two widely used blogging tools -- a software publishing program, Movable Type, and a hosted service, TypePad, for people who don't want to do the technological grunt work themselves.
Boosted by the recent takeover of another blogging service called LiveJournal, Six Apart now has 7 million users, including a substantial number who pay fees that range from $4.95 per month for TypePad's bare-bones package to thousands of dollars for licensing Movable Type to install on their own servers.
The revenue stream, which the Trotts declined to disclose, has enabled the privately held Six Apart to expand from just six employees in early 2004 to more than 70 with the LiveJournal acquisition, making the Trotts darlings of the blogosphere.