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Apple buys Boise tech startup BookLamp

July 29, 2014


The founder once pursued Google; now he might help Apple challenge Amazon.
By Zach Kyle

zkyle@idahostatesman.comJuly 29, 2014

What is BookLamp? A company that analyzes books’ language and classifies it based on pace, style and content. The software can be used to suggest books based on readers’ preferences, much as Pandora suggests music to listeners.

What will BookLamp do for Apple? Help it compete against Amazon and others in the book and podcast world, said Rick Ritter, CEO of Idaho TechConnect, a publicly funded service to help entrepreneurs. Whether Apple uses BookLamp’s software or tells the BookLamp team to develop a new system to help sell products remains to be seen.

What were the sale terms? The company sold for between $10 million and $15 million, a source told TechCrunch, an industry website. Little else is known because of the strict confidentiality agreements signed by founder Aaron Stanton and BookLamp employees and investors, said Ritter, who worked with BookLamp at The WaterCooler, a tech incubator at 1405 W. Water St. in Boise.

Is BookLamp sticking around? It doesn’t look that way. The company still has space at The WaterCooler, but its employees have moved to an office in Cupertino, Calif., where Apple is headquartered.

Who is Aaron Stanton? He founded BookLamp’s parent company, Novel Projects Inc., in 2003 while he was an undergraduate at the University of Idaho. He attracted attention in 2007 when he walked into Google headquarters to pitch the idea that later became BookLamp. He didn’t get in, but he blogged on a website he created,, and got his meeting eventually.