Jeremy Allaire Biography

Founder, president, and CEO of Brightcove, Inc .

Born May 13, 1971, in Philadelphia, PA; son of Jim (a psychologist) and Barb (a press editor) Allaire; married Marjorie; children: two sons. Education: Macalester College, St. Paul, MN, B.A. (political science), 1993.

Addresses: Office —Brightcove, Inc., One Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142. Website —


Consultant for Global Internet Horizons, 1993-94; co-founder and chief technology officer, Allaire Corp., 1995-2001; chief technology officer, Macromedia, Inc., 2001-03; technologist and entrepreneur-in-residence, General Catalyst, 2003; founder, president, and CEO of Brightcove, Inc., 2004—.

Awards: Young Entrepreneurs of the Year (shared with brother, J.J. Allaire), Massachusetts Interactive Media Council, 1999; named Business 2.0 magazine's "Smartest Entrepreneur of the Year, " 2006.


Back in the early 1990s, before most people even knew what a home page was, Jeremy Allaire set his sights on the Internet, believing it would grow at such a fast rate that a company providing Net software would earn fistfuls of money. He was right.

In 1995, he co-founded Allaire Corp., which created web development software. Six years later, he sold the company for $360 million.

In 2004, Allaire spotted another high-tech market opportunity and founded Brightcove, Inc., an Internet television and video distribution service. Bright-cove allows networks and producers the opportunity to distribute their media directly to the consumer through multitudes of websites. While the idea of Internet TV may seem peculiar to some, Allaire believes in its future. "We are trying to create a new kind of online media distribution business that has the scale of Google, an Amazon or an eBay, " he told New York Times reporter Saul Hansell.

Allaire was born on May 13, 1971, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Jim and Barb Allaire. His father is a retired psychologist and his mother, a retired press editor. Raised in Winona, Minnesota, Allaire was an enterprising youth. When he was 13, he persuaded his parents to give him $5, 000 so he could start a baseball-card venture. He bought cards and traded them, eventually doubling the initial investment.

In 1983, his family acquired an early model Apple, touching off his long-term fascination with computers. Allaire studied political science at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. His roommate worked for the college's computer services group and finagled an Internet connection for their dorm room, giving Allaire the opportunity to log onto the web in its early days.

By the time Allaire graduated in 1993, the web had become "the central passion" in his life, he told VAR Business magazine's Rob Wright, though he was not sure what to do about it. "I really wasn't in a great position to get a job, " he recalled. "But I did know a lot about the Internet and, at that time, the commercialization of the Internet was a very real thing."

From 1993 to 1994, Allaire took web consulting jobs. He helped the Utne Reader establish its website and also developed a web archive of political theorist Noam Chomsky's essays. Allaire had studied Chomsky's works during his college days.

These early endeavors got Allaire thinking about the potential of the Internet way before other entrepreneurs. Eventually, Allaire and his brother, J.J., formed their own company (J.J. Allaire was an expert in software development). Melding their talents, they founded Allaire Corp. in 1995, initially operating out of a one-bedroom apartment in St. Paul with $18, 000 in startup money from J.J. Allaire's savings. Their business plan was simple— create easy-to-use web development tools. In 1996, the company moved to Massachusetts on the heels of a $2.5 million funding injection from Boston-based Polaris Venture Partners. In 1999, Allaire Corp. went public.

The company developed ColdFusion, which had commercial web applications. The software was purchased by companies such as Lockheed, Boeing, and Intel, allowing them to use the web for various applications, including customer websites and internal communications. ColdFusion also makes online purchasing possible. It is the guts that powers millions of websites, online services, and business applications on the Internet.

Allaire Corp. also created HomeSite, a highly popular HTML editor used for web development. During the Internet boom, the company's products earned legions of fanatical devotees. At one point, Allaire Corp. boasted some 1.5 million web developers as customers. The brothers sold the company to Macromedia, Inc., in 2001 for $360 million and Jeremy Allaire became Macromedia's chief technology officer. He left in 2003 to join the Massachusetts-based venture capital firm General Catalyst.

In the early 2000s, Jeremy Allaire hit upon another bright idea and in 2004 founded Brightcove with hopes of earning money in the emerging Internet video programming market. Brightcove lets consumers order movies or programs online. They are then sent over high-speed Internet connections to the consumer's hard drive or set-top box, ready for viewing at any time. Purchased videos can be burned onto a CD, creating a disc that is viewable on a DVD player.

Besides helping consumers, Brightcove benefits producers by allowing them to upload their programs directly to Brightcove. Content owners can catalog, package, and market their products on the site for consumption by Internet surfers. Allaire says Bright-cove will allow a whole new generation of film-makers to distribute their creations. In the past, film and television producers relied on networks and cable companies to get their shows out to the public. Brightcove allows pretty much anyone to get their programming out, including amateurs shooting home videos, media moguls with extensive libraries, and niche video suppliers. Through Bright-cove, they can all put their programs on the Internet and rake in some money if someone watches. Brightcove also hopes to make money on advertising by selling quick commercials that run before the videos. Some content is ad-supported and free to view.

Allaire says the name Brightcove is part metaphor—he likens his company to a "cove" that helps producers locate an audience for their particular program in the enormous sea called the Internet. While Brightcove has a handful of competitors, it has received cash backings from prominent media players, including Time Warner Inc. and America Online. In addition, several media companies have agreed to let Brightcove distribute their video content to various websites. Brightcove clients include cable television's Oxygen Media Inc., Reuters, and the New York Times Co. CBS was looking to negotiate a deal. "We have so much content and so little of it is seen, " Larry Kramer of CBS Digital Media told the Wall Street Journal 's Peter Grant. "News, entertainment, and sports can all be sliced and diced for different markets."

Clearly, Allaire was successful in his first Internet venture back in the 1990s, though he says he is better positioned now to lead a company. "This time around I have a much more sophisticated understanding of what it takes to put together teams, " he told Boston Globe staffer Robert Weisman. "I have a very strong understanding of the financing opportunities that are available to companies and what attracts investors. And I still have a lot of fire in the belly as to what we're trying to accomplish, which is to transform multimedia distribution."



Boston Globe , February 28, 2005, p. B7; February 6, 2006, p. E1.

Broadcasting … Cable , January 16, 2006, p. 45.

Mass High Tech , November 1, 1999, p. 22.?

New York Times , October 6, 2005, p. C7.

Television Week , July 18, 2005, p. 12.

VAR Business , December 11, 2000, p. 44.


"Gate Crashers: Online Video Goes Mainstream, Sparking an Industry Land Grab, " Dow Jones Web Reprint Service (reprinted from the Wall Street Journal ), http://webreprints.djreprints. com/1413650118976.html (May 24, 2006).

"Jeremy Allaire, " Brightcove, http://www. (May 1, 2006).

Lisa Frick

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