Sep 8, 2011

eBay Inc. Acquires The Gifts Project

Dear Gifters,

We have very exciting news to share with you today - The Gifts Project has been acquired by eBay and is ready to take this partnership to the next level.

This has been a remarkable year for The Gifts Project, and we believe this is a big win. Not just for the team and our amazing investors, but also for the state of Israel.

Going forward, eBay plans to transition the Gifts Project into eBay’s Israel Social Center and focus on building social shopping platforms and product features for eBay Marketplaces. We’ll be recruiting additional ninja developers with rock-star capabilities and keep operating from our Tel-Aviv hideout to maintain the same culture of innovation and challenge.

Not only will eBay’s immense network of buyers and sellers allow us to offer the benefits of social commerce to millions of people worldwide, but it will also help us achieve our mission of getting people the gifts they really deserve, allowing friends and family to chip-in for each other’s gifts. Our goal remains as it always was: to make you happy on your special occasion.

With eBay Group Gifts, eBay was the first partner to adopt our Group Gifting Platform and our expertise in social commerce (with the visionary Senior Director Amit Menipaz as the project’s lead). Joining eBay gives us the opportunity to expose our platforms to even more people and focus on cracking the social commerce secret sauce once and for all. The way we see it, most of e-commerce will soon become Social Commerce, and we will strive to reach our full potential of combined efforts to produce outstanding social experiences for larger audiences and create things that will blow your mind.

With all the excitement, we want to take a moment and thank you, beloved group-gifters. We offer our most sincere thanks to everyone that purchased Group Gifts through our platform, sent us feedback, or even just looked at us knowingly. You're the absolute best, you are the reason we do what we do and we thank you for all the time and insights you’ve contributed. It is because of you we all got bigger, better gifts.

Finally, we’d like to thank all of our investors and advisers, especially Dr. Yossi Vardi (a.k.a the lead machine) for believing in us, Gemini’s Yossi Sela & Gil Dibner for being supportive and helpful all along, Index’s Saul Klein for his ongoing priceless advice and Eyal Gura who has always been our very first mentor and hero.

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to say or check eBay’s announcement from earlier today.

Rock on,
Ron, Erez, Matan, Maya and The Gifts Project Team

Aug 11, 2011

The evolution of our lunch time

There is no surprise in saying that the company's culture is changing when the start-up grows. But it is amazing to see those changes in action even in the most simple basic activities during the day, like lunch time.

When we first started the company, back in the home-office, lunch time was something we wanted to remove from our way to keep working. We ate a pita bread with hummus or a tuna sandwich made on spot and it was fast and simple.

As time passed, we decided tuna was overrated and you can't eat hummus every day if you wish to code after that. So we decided to invest a little more into our lunch and went grocery shopping once a week to buy "healthier" ingredients like pasta, chicken, vegis and rice. We took turns and whoever had any practical cooking skills, cooked for the team. It really worked great. Not bad. But it took plenty of time and it didn't last for long. Takeouts and deliveries worked well for a while too especially when it became too much to cook for a bunch of people.

The next phase came after 1 year when we moved to our new office. At that time, we were already 6 team members and we decided to use the lunch time to freshen up and go out. Altogether. Back then, it was still possible to get a table for 6-8 people on Rothschild's Ave in Tel-Aviv during lunch peak hours.

The problem started when we grew a little bit more. Not only it became more and more difficult to get a table for all of us in one place, but also we had a dog with us - Marti. In any case, we reached the next phase: 10bis. For those of you who don't live in Israel and don't work for high-tech: 10bis is a card fueled with real money that is offered to the employee as a benefit. With 10bis, the company can subsidize the cost of meals during work time.

You would think this is the end, I mean how low can you go? Is this a corporate or what?! But not. The next thing was that some people decided to become healthier and didn't want to grab whatever, and some became vegetarian or carnivore. At this point we couldn't decide where and what to eat at lunch time. So we created Lunch Time, an application that solved our daily ‘where to eat dilemma’ in an efficient and democratic way.

Lunch Time gave each one of us the opportunity to democratically vote for the restaurant we want to eat lunch at, and made it shorter and easier to decide where to go. “Lunch Time” enjoyed success and popularity among the employees of The Gifts Project for a distinguished period in the company’s history. We developed this app using open source code and now we are ready to hand the code for further development. Feel free to say

Jul 7, 2011

Our first growing pain

This week has started with the sound of a wall breaking. Literally.
The main reason for breaking the wall between us and the wine cellar, which was an awesome neighbor, is the fact that we are hiring more code geeks. It means we need more space. Again. So now, we own the whole floor, with many new white tables and monitors.

My new Macbook Air and I are moving to the geek room, or should i say ballroom, where everything happens, and i am going to be seated next to our CT, what is very inspiring. My ex-room, or as we call it - the Spot, will turn into a round table for videoconferencing, so we could see our handsome and less handsome clients. Rachel is supervising the orchestra of all workers (electricians, painters, dogs they bring, AC people, designers, to be honest its the same person) who helped ruin the old place and are now perfecting the new one.

At the same time, we are overloaded with work, after getting back from IRCE 2011, and have to juggle between the existing customers, new customers and soon to be customers. In order to cope with this stress, we are hiring a non-salesy sales guy and an account executive who can make everyone happy. ahhahahahahhhh
The last, but not least, every morning nowadays starts with a calendar invitation. I checkout my iphone in the morning and the whole screen is covered with a huge invitation. Every single day. This means we have a lot of meetings and this is new too, although we try to keep it brief, concise, and focused.

So besides new customers, new team players, new office space and new meetings everything is the same.

Jun 16, 2011

Our first day at IRCE 2011

This is it. It has been the most incredible fantastic day for the Gifters in San Diego. The Internet Retailer Conference turns out to be a huge success, not only because we can't talk or walk anymore, but also because we've talked with so many interesting companies, retailers (check out!!!), stores, and marketplaces that couldn't let the day pass without having our Group Gifts Plugin.
Right after finishing the installation of our gigantic gift, people started pouring in the hall, and we could hardly have a word with each other between the demos.
The next challenge was to get rid of all the tiny gift boxes we brought with us.
Those boxes with a branded chocolate coin in it were all hand made by all team players who decided to sacrifice their time, and make perfect little gifts.

The last thing we did today was to sit around a table and split between us all the business cards and customer forms so each one of us could finish up his share of follow ups tonight. Tomorrow should be a long day, and i should probably hit the road and start answering some customer inquiries...

I don't know how was your day today, but mine was definitely one of the best, if not THE....
See you tomorrow. Come and visit us at #137. You can't miss it. It's huge and it's yellow.

Jun 5, 2011

New Video - Check out our new Group Gifts plugin

Looks like our Group Gifts plugin release is getting closer. We work harder and the customers get more and more excited (and tight). The upcoming grand release is planned to IRCE 2011 in San Diego, and you are welcome to stop by and have a demo at our major Gift booth #137. In the meanwhile, check out our new Epipheo video, and feel free to share it with your friends:

May 29, 2011

The Gifts Project just joined the Facebook's Preferred Developer Consultant Program

We are proud to announce that despite the highly selective application process, we just joined the Facebook's Preferred Developer Consultant Program!

Working with Facebook's platform team has been amazing in the last year. Those guys not only know what they do, but are always willing to help and go the extra mile for you. Pure awesomeness.

Happy to be in the Facebooksphere!
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