Kosmix and Its Positioning

June 26, 2009

I have been tracking Kosmix for two reasons. Its approach is in tune with certain demographic’s interest in having everything in one display, which is hard on the addled goose’s aging eyes. Second, the founder may be a fellow traveler with a Googler for a very interesting approach to information. Manifold opportunities perhaps? The two fellows live and work not too far from one another. And keep in mind that one person is a super wizard at the Google. Kosmix, therefore, is on my radar.

The company is on the radar of the San Jose Mercury News too. “Kosmix Tries New Twist on Search to Avoid Google’s Dominance” by Scott Duke Harris explained Kosmix’ market positioning. Mr. Harris wrote:

But Kosmix founders Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman, say they know better than to take on Google or anyone else delivering those familiar lists of blue links. As the Web constantly adds information and images — and as smart-phones and social networks like Twitter and Facebook add new dimensions to search — Kosmix, based in Mountain View, is getting attention for its efforts to differentiate itself as a better way to navigate the growing online clutter. To look up, say, wonton soup on the search giants leads the user to a list of blue links, some with photos. Kosmix delivers a multimedia showcase. The page is topped by a Wikipedia summary, and a quick scroll leads to a sizable window for how-to videos, blog commentary and conversations, nutritional data and more. A column on the right includes items like Chinese cookbooks on eBay and 24-pack instant wonton shiitake soup from Amazon. There are also a few “sponsored links” — the advertising that is key to the Kosmix business model.

Kosmix has implemented in its service a number of the features and functions touched upon in various Google patent applications and technical papers. My hunch is that there is more than friendly competition between the Google and Kosmix. How will this dynamic duo party down in the months ahead? Good question.

Stephen Arnold, June 27, 2009


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