There is great irony in this post, as the topic and the issue both relate to search!
Vator has a show called Vator Box, which I’ve co-hosted for years, where we discuss startups in a talk-show type format. Bambi is the moderator, I’m sort of the every-day talking head, and we bring on guests to provide color and new perspectives. We haven’t produced new episodes for a few years, but we’ll bring it back one of these days. It’s a lot of fun.
Seven years ago we did an episode on a company called Scoopler. Jeff Smith of Smule was the co-host for this episode, you can watch it here:
I didn’t see the comment back then, but at some point Google did, and it now often appears on the first page of results if anyone searches my name – which people do from time-to-time. And sometimes people ask me if I did in fact “show I don’t get it?”
I figured I’d post my nearly-decade late reply.
Rantfoil’s main point in the comment is that:
He (Ezra) thinks he's boiled down realtime search to merely an abstraction of existing search. Scoopler (and the entire space) is not a mere rehash of Google and/or Technorati. A) there's core tech here that is fundamentally more difficult than non-realtime search indexing, and B) Twitter Search is only the first example of how realtime search can be valuable.
That actually wasn’t my primary point. I wasn’t comparing the technology of Scoopler to Google or Technorati ( or Kosmix, or the other’s I mention).
I was mostly focused on the challenge of any large-scale search/discovery-based business model. You have to create MASSIVE volume on the consumption side, and then you have to pair it with a business model which can support such a huge platform. In the case of Google it was intent-based advertising, and in the case of Kosmix I guess it trended towards ecommerce (one would assume given their eventual acquisition by Walmart).
The challenge is in the requisite scale of demand, and then the follow-on challenges of monetizing such demand. Thinking more along the lines of companies like Digg who were able to create a great deal of usage, but struggled to monetize (less about tech, and more about business model).
I appreciated then, and now, that real-time search is its own animal. And a very hard problem to solve.
As for Scoopler itself, it looks like the team ended up joining forces with Google to work on Google+ :
Which sounds like a pretty good outcome for the team! The product was discontinued, but clearly the team demonstrated they were working on a hard problem, and caught the eye of the world’s most powerful search company.
A search company which also happens to put this conversation in the top 10 things someone needs to know about, well, me.
Belated congrats to the Scoopler guys – and Rantfoil, you have my reply, the wait is over!