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RockMelt Revamps the Web Browser for Social Media How the startup gained a new generation of users for its cloud-based web browser.

By Grant Davis

100 Brilliant Companies

In the nine months after its public beta in March 2011, RockMelt, a cloud-based web browser, picked up more than 1 million users and made two reassuring discoveries: Some two-thirds of users were younger than 25, and people were using the personalized browser on multiple computers, iPads and iPhones. "This tells us we've made the first browser for the mobile, social media generation," says CEO Eric Vishria.

It's sweet vindication for Vishria and CTO and chairman Tim Howes. In 2007, they were searching for the next big thing to pursue after leaving Hewlett-Packard. They knew they wanted to exploit the potential of social media, but how? Their epiphany: the overlooked web browser, then dominated by Internet Explorer and Firefox.

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