Clay Aiken and Ron Sexsmith? Yikes!

Clay Aiken
The New York Times features Pandora in an article about Internet radio and calls it the "simplest option." It also highlights Pandora's superior personalization.

Now that the free ad-supported service has been operational for 15 months, it can use the behavioral data of its six million listeners to add a new layer of suggestion. For instance, even if, on paper, the musicologists think it logical to pair a song by the “American Idol” superstar Clay Aiken with one by the Canadian folk balladeer Ron Sexsmith, several hundred listeners may give the juxtaposition a vote of no confidence. Tim Westergren, a Pandora co-founder, says the database now contains half a billion useful points of “contextual feedback.”

H5 Is Cool

H5 Technologies was one of only four companies included in a report by Gartner entitled Cool Vendors in Content Management, 2007.

Said Gartner Senior Research Director Debra Logan, "Any method or technology that can reliably and transparently help with a process, and thus reduce the amount of time lawyers spend on it, doesn’t have far to go to make it a worthwhile investment. H5 acknowledges that it is tackling a complex set of issues and bringing high-level expertise to bear on the problem."

Here's a link to the press release.

The Source

Palamida announced today that it has increased the size of its compliance library even further. This library now includes:
  • Over 780,000 open source project versions
  • 140,000 unique open source projects
  • 10 million Java names
  • Over 392 million open source files
  • Nearly 7 billion source code snippets
  • Over 390 million binary files
Do you know what's in your code? Maybe it's time to talk to Palamida.

Thinking Ahead

When I go to BestBuy, I am just as interested in the products that miss as the gadgets that everybody wants. Consider the Kodak EasyShare C743, which CNET rates as one of "the worst tech of Q4 2006." One word comes to mind when you hold this camera in your hand: cheap.

Consumer electronics companies end up making cameras like the C743 because they don't have an efficient way to test consumer interest in different product attributes. Traditional focus groups are difficult and expensive to organize, and sample sizes are small. Online panels help companies gather feedback much more quickly, but they often suffer from sample bias. (The problem of "professional respondents" - or people who take particular pleasure in participating in as many panels as possible - is well-known.)

Market Insight takes a different approach. This Palo Alto startup operates six free product advisors on that help consumers pick the best product for their needs. One example is TVs. If you've ever tried to buy a High Definition set, you know that number of choices is bewildering. Market Insight's TV advisor steps you through the various choices and allows you to rate the importance of different product attributes through the use of sliders. The consumer data that Market Insight gathers through these product advisors is rich, immediate, and unbiased, and it enables Market Insight customers like General Motors, Palm, and Intel design and market products that customers in the market actually want.

Traditional market research is reactionary. It relies on small sets of dated data; it is project-based; and it is primarily used to optimize products that are already out in the market. But as the consumer feedback loop continues to shorten, it will become more and more expensive for companies like Kodak to market short-sighted products like the C743. Forward-looking, strategic market research will become the norm, not the exception.