Grokker Mystery

August 22, 2009

I was calling some of the search and content processing vendors to update information today. I dialed Grokker at 1 866 968 4765 and 1 415 398 0820. Both lines were disconnected. The Web site remains online. When this happens and I mention that the company seems to be drifting or cut loose, I often get a flood of angry emails. Okay, let’s assume Grokker is alive and well. Let’s assume that its enterprise repositioning worked. Let’s assume that the reason no one is answering the phone is because the company is really busy.

image

Image of a Grokker interface.

I think that when phones go unanswered, the reason is positive. Some prospects may, on the other hand, conclude that the company is no longer in business or some other grave issue has surfaced. You decide. [a] In business and so busy the company can’t answer the phone. [b] Out of business. [c] Hey, we are in business and we have a free spirited way of doing business.

Stephen Arnold, August 22, 2009

Comments

14 Responses to “Grokker Mystery”

  1. Randy Marcinko on August 22nd, 2009 12:00 pm

    Steve and loyal readers of Beyond Search,

    Let me clarify the purported mystery…. As many of you know, Groxis had gone through tumultuous times following the dot.com days. Having survived the dot.com generation as a company able to create glowing expenses, it needed to learn how to come to terms with revenue generation. My predecessor (Brian Chadbourne) and I attempted to right the ship and seek out the best path forward.

    I took over as Groxis’ CEO in September of 2007 and it became almost immediately apparent that Groxis’ sweet spot was and is with content creators and aggregators–publishers large and small, traditional aggregators, syndicators and others of the content world. This is a group of clients who have a need, for whom Groxis is compelling and a “need-to-have,” not “nice-to-have” purchase. They are also a group of prospects with sales cycles that are manageable for a small company. So we moved down that path. With a great team we were able to make quick changes to the product, making it more vital and current. We jettisoned many old product lines in favor a short list to whom we had the resources to sell. The results were great and we were on track to a cash flow positive Q4 of 2009.

    Unfortunately, in Q2 of 2008, we were also on track to close a Series D round of funding, necessary to allow Groxis to move quickly enough to succeed. The round was all but completed in Q3 along with the onset of the economic downturn. With the change in the economy our Series D investors decided that it was not feasible to continue with that financial plan. This was a reality, despite a rich pipeline and refurbished products.

    Thanks to a diligent and hardworking team at Groxis, we did our best through 2008 but by the end of Q1 of 2009 the only feasible next step was to close down the current operation. We closed down the day-to-day operation in March 2009. Since that time I have been negotiating with possible acquirers and investors. We have had a great response only time will tell whether a long term solution will emerge.

    Thanks for your interest in Groxis, Steve. I’ll keep you posted.

    Randall Marcinko, CEO
    Groxis, Inc.
    randy@marcinko.com

  2. Grokker Status : Beyond Search on August 24th, 2009 1:13 am

    […] news stuff ruffles the addled goose’s feathers. A post in response to my observation that Grokker was not answering its telephone brought this post to the Beyond Search Web log. The […]

  3. blog.ecorrado.us » Grokker gone :-( on September 1st, 2009 10:15 am

    […] more information, see Groxis CEO Randy Marcinfo’s comment about the financial situation of Groxis on Steve Arnold’s Beyond Search Web log. posted by ecorrado at 11:09:50 […]

  4. Laurie Metter on October 18th, 2009 12:40 pm

    Aughh!! I can’t tell you how much I already miss Groxis’ Grokker. It was the fastest, most thorough, most unbiased (unlike Google) of all the search engines I’ve found. Too ironic – Google thrives financially on advertisers, whose cash skews every search towards more advertisers. Groxis, who offers a pure search-and-deliver product, has to fold it up while looking for backers.

    I could find anything with Grokker, no matter how little info I gave it, with minimal redirect or frustration. Mr Marcinko / Groxis, best of luck. I hope Grokker returns.

  5. Elissa Jury on October 24th, 2009 6:45 pm

    I am a high school science research teacher. My students loved using your visual search tools and it got them started on many research paths for the last 2 years. You are sorely missed. Please let me know of any continuation of your search engine and good luck!

  6. bob jones on November 19th, 2009 6:59 pm

    Randy is the worse ceo and terrible business man on the planet I
    have done business with him- he deliberlately lied and mislead on contracts that he was obliged to pay and did not ever do what he said he would as the ceo.

    his explanation above is a cover your butt for a terrible job well done
    bye to you randy you are a legend in your own mind- your investors should go to jail for investing in you.

    the product is never the issue good leadership is who hire Randy???

  7. Andrew on November 23rd, 2009 4:44 pm

    Laurie, actually Google is one of few search engines that do not skew their results based on cash from advertisers. They base their search results on popularity of the website and connections to that website. That is why they have become so popular, because, at the time Google was created, they were the only search engine that did not skew results.
    The pay-per-click ads system that Google has is only for those sidebar ads and the ads you see at the top or bottom of some pages (such as this one). Those are based on you searches, but they are not part of your search results.
    Google was founded, and has become one of the most successful companies in the world, based on an unbiased search engine, so you can be certain that they will never bias their search results.

  8. Lee on February 2nd, 2010 7:57 pm

    Sorry to hear about your problems. Good luck in the future.

  9. JDK on March 10th, 2010 12:07 pm

    Sad to see it gone. Microsoft brags about Bing being a decision engine, but I find that it lags behind Google’s results, and Google is not a decision engine Grokker was.

  10. Gary on September 26th, 2010 9:24 pm

    I’ve got this Grokker 2.1 icon on my desktop and wish I had the code to use the application for personal use in WIndows XP. If anyone out there has a way for me to open Grokker 2.1 and use it, I would appreciate a hollar. I’m Gary and you can find me at books@happyme.com. This was posted on Sept. 26, 2010.

    By the way, I got permission to use the application from executive staff at Groxis just before they folded, but I did not get the code.

    Thanks.

  11. Ever on January 20th, 2011 7:57 pm

    Stanford University had a serious intention to use Grokker (and actually it did for a while) as it’s main searching device internally. I used it several times and I was very much looking forward to continue to do so, but for some reason it just faded away and that was that. I think I may still have an old disk where the original downloadable files came for its firs release, but finding it in my piles of stuff might be the challenge. It was nice because it allowed you to do good searches both locally on your desktop, as well as on the network and the wider Net. Was the product too advanced for its time? Did the marketing failed? Perhaps, but certainly a product like that would bring great competition to Google, and if Google ever gets interested in implementing such interface, they will be stepping in the next generation of searching engines.

  12. Stephen E. Arnold on January 23rd, 2011 9:24 am

    Ever,

    Like that name, Ever. Appreciate the comment.

    Stephen E Arnold, January 23, 2011

  13. David Penney on March 16th, 2011 7:05 pm

    Grokker should of never went away. This is incredible software with a number of applications. Personally, I loved the web search results view. Not only did it have content rollover (maybe the first) but also able to view the relationships your query has to other data was incredible. To me the linear results that traditional search returns is numbing, Grokker bridged the gap and brought something organic to search results. I don’t believe this will be gone forever, hopefully Mr. Marcinko has the vision necessary to see this through.

  14. Mark on July 1st, 2011 11:16 am

    We tried to work with Groxis/Grokker, but their price was too high for a small non-profit. The technology could really help us though. If anyone comes across with anything comparable, we would be very interested in it.I have been searching for two years for something even remotely close, but I have yet to find something. We are looking at trying to build something internally, but would prefer not to reinvent the wheel.