“Angry Birds” Helps Startup Soar

Who knew shipping could be so cuddly?

You're probably already addicted to the game - now, get ready to cuddle with the stuffed animal.

The whopping success of the app-based "Angry Birds," which recently soared past the 100 million download mark, is putting the ticked off little guys on a rocket-fueled path to stardom.  There's already a movie deal, Facebook is about to let you social network with your birds, and an animated TV show is said to be in the works.  On top of that, you're now able to snuggle up with your favorite bird or pig, starting at about 14 dollars a pop.

Which is good news, not just for kids, but for the grownups who run Palo Alto's Shipwire.  The startup makes software to make sure your order gets from one place to another.  Since landing the Angry Birds account from Rovio, Shipwire is flying. 

The software, which Shipwire CEO Damon Schechter smilingly calls "the secret behind Angry Birds," finds the smoothest path between China, where the toys are made, Finland, where Rovio is based, and your front door.  Pretty impressive for an animal that begins life on your smartphone.

As far as e-commerce companies go, you could learn a lot from Rovio.  Play the game, and you're one click away from an impulse purchase of the bird that just crashed through the lair of the pig.  It's working, and Rovio is among those reaping the rewards.  As Schechter says, "it's fun carrying around an Angry Bird.  It's more fun talking about Angry Birds than about shipping, but the Birds don't fly without the shipping."

Scott hasn't bought a stuffed bird yet, but he's tempted.  He's on Twitter:  @scottbudman

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