SM: What is your target customer? (Please provide a good segmentation perspective)
JS: Our target clients include publishers and information providers who seek to maximize the value of their content. Many of these publishers support a network of properties, and employ Inform’s technology to offer more value to their users across sites. We also operate within a number of verticals including sports, finance, science, and law. Inform is increasingly targeting smaller publishers, including blogs, as we develop a model that will allow us to serve clients with fewer page views and smaller budgets. Current examples of live clients include The Washington Post, The New York Sun, Turner Broadcasting, and over 40 others.
SM: What is the competition, and how do you differentiate?
JS: A number of participants exist that operate in adjacent market spaces to Inform, but no competitors to our value proposition have surfaced. I’d be happy to talk about market participants that we have seen, and actually coexist with very well.
Enterprise search companies like FAST, although they require significant and costly installations, do not provide the relevance technology, nor the thoughtful presentation of content that Inform provides, however their very strong enterprise search box technology is found on a number of sites where Inform technology is currently installed.
Convera, whose vertical search box technology aims to satisfy the needs of highly targeted searchers, could also be co-implemented with great success.
Widget-based offerings like those of Pluck, Daylife, and Sphere serve highly specialized functions, and are often seen lumped at the bottom of web content pages. We differentiate by offering industrial-strength solutions that are quick and painless to implement, and truthfully, our products have consistently been selected over other market participants’ products in head-to-head competitive situations.
SM: Just to clarify, Readers, below is a screenshot from Washington Post of a page automatically generated by Inform. It applies NLP to figure out the Context of the article, and finds other related pieces of Content from both the Post’s own content repository, as well as from elsewhere on the web and the blogosphere. It then creates an original page, which (a) generates its own set of visitors and page views, and (b) has its own ad space that can be monetized.
Out of the 1 Million pages that Washington Post has, 150,000 are generated this way by Inform’s NLP engine. Cool, huh?