Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sincerest Form of Flattery

Bo showed us ChaCha back in this September post.

Small world, eh?

Tech guru’s ChaCha to have human touch

Tim Durham, one of the wealthy individuals Jones approached for investment in his new search engine, said ChaCha’s business model is similar to one he attempted himself half a decade ago with a company called iNetNow. Now defunct, it also employed teams of college students to surf the Net on behalf of others.

“The difference is, we had a call center and you had to man that call center day and night. That was the bulk of your cost,” said Durham, CEO of Indianapolis-based Obsidian Enterprises Inc. “Scott’s unique approach is to have college students be his call center all around the country.”

Durham said he considered investing up to $500,000 in Jones’ company, but ultimately passed because his money was tied up elsewhere. He said ChaCha would likely be most useful to cell phone users, who could connect with it when they wanted rapid answers to questions like where to find the nearest Italian restaurant or men’s clothing store.

“I think the concept is a great one. Now, whether or not it becomes economically profitable is another issue,” he said. “There’s a lot of things that are neat ideas that don’t make money. I couldn’t get it to make money, but his model is different.”

1 comment:

SpaceMonkeyMojo said...

Interesting! I found Cha-Cha earlier as part of another research project and had no idea it was related with iNetNow. Fascinating.