A New Name for Stack Overflow (with surprise ending)

by Joel Spolsky

on March 9, 2011

It's been a while since we've done something arbitrary, complicated, and confusing, so today I'm happy to announce that the name of the company has been changed, effective immediately, to Stack Exchange Inc!

Stack Exchange Logo

There's a method behind this madness, of course: we want to emphasize the importance of the 45 sites in our network, which has long since stopped being about programmers:

Feb 2011 Monthly Uniques

That, plus, whenever we told The New York Times that we were "Stack Overflow," they would go to stackoverflow.com and have a heart attack. At least this way people wondering about the company understand that we're about more than just programmer questions. We have Battlestar Galactica too!

Now the surprise ending. When we first raised venture capital way back in the long-ago year of 2010, we actually had quite a few great investors interested in buying our stock. And since then, the buzz hasn't abated. We were pretty sure that given the current market conditions, we could easily raise a big pile of new Unicorn-bucks without losing control of the company.

12 million unicorn bucks

We made a few phone calls, took a few meetings, I flew to London and Boston, and hey presto, we sold another $12 million worth of the company to some great investors.

The new investors are Index Ventures, based in Geneva and London, and Spark Capital, based up in Boston. Our first investor, Union Square Ventures, will also put in more money so as to keep the same ownership percentage that they had before (this is called a "pro-rata").

Needless to say, the new investors will want to keep an eye on all that money, so Neil Rimer from Index will be joining the board of directors, and Bijan Sabet from Spark will be an observer on the board (he can come to meetings but he can't vote). And to keep from tipping the board to the investors, the "common shareholders" (that is, the founders and employees) will be entitled to elect another representative of their own to the board. We picked Anil Dash, who has been blogging for even longer than I have and has been one of our most valuable advisors.

Now, you may be wondering how we plan to spend all that money. First of all, of course, we need new stickers and T-shirts. And a ping pong table...

Use Of Funds -- t-shirts

We're also improving the employee snack room a little bit:

Use Of Funds -- snacks

If you would like to receive your own totally free commemorative 1,000,000 Unicorn Buck Bill and a Stack Exchange sticker, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

Stack Exchange Inc. 55 Broadway 26 FL New York, NY 10006

If you live outside the United States, include about a dollar worth of whatever kind of weird thing it is that you use over there for money (no goats or Yap coins, please).