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TinyURL: A Minnesota Story

Did you know that a tiny service used 1.5 billion times per month was created in Minnesota?

TinyURL is a service I’ve used often (especially when using Twitter) and this creation by Blaine, MN developer, Kevin Gilbertson, is quite popular.

I was first alerted that this was a Minnesota creation by St. Paul Pioneer Press reporter Julio Ojeda-Zapata (column, blog) when he put out a ‘tweet’ on Twitter about the service’s Minnesota connection. Of course, I poked around to find out more and was just delighted on what I discovered.

Then sitting down to breakfast this morning with the StarTribune, I saw this article entitled, “TinyURL developer basking in website’s success” which covers the man behind TinyURL and a bit about the service. The article lays out how Gilbertson could make ~$1 million per month but chooses not to have annoying popup ads (thank you Kevin!). He makes enough per month that he apparently doesn’t need to work outside of making TinyURL better and is able to focus on his passion for unicycling (peek at the Strib article for more).

Julio’s writing, the Strib’s coverage and ours is fantastic for a new and successful Minnesota startup, but not everyone agrees that services like TinyURL are ones we should rely upon.

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