Guest writer Akshay Arabolu gives you the lowdown on his startup Internet service Mokabla, which aims to provide users with meaningful comparisons for any topic on the web.
We suffer from information overload. I quote Eric Schmidt, Google’s ex-CEO, “Every two days, we now create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003”. That’s a lot of data! (around five exabytes to be exact).
So with all this information floating around, it becomes imperative that we find better ways to search. Mokabla was created with the aim of helping users effectively navigate one corner of this information jungle – that of comparison searches.
We have all looked for product/service comparisons. In a lot of instances, we are looking for first-hand comparisons from a user’s perspective. Comparisons provided by people who have experience or expertise in that subject; the kind of information that will help us understand the difference between two products quickly and easily, and allow for effective decision making.
For example if you are trying to compare email marketing platforms like MailChimp and ConstantContact, or optimization tools like Optimizely and Google Website Optimizer, you want to hear opinions from people who have used the services before. Think Amazonreviews – the first thing we do when we click on a product in Amazon is read the user reviews.
Mokabla has been designed so that when people look for comparisons, they don’t have to sift through various sites, blogs, forums etc to extract the relevant information. You will be able to find meaningful side by side/apples to apples comparisons from people who have knowledge and experience in exactly those subjects. Multiple people can create comparisons on the same topics so users get different perspectives, users can also rate, comment on and ask for comparisons.
Since there is no real precedent for a product such as Mokabla, I wanted to briefly discuss the space that Mokabla is in. Mokabla lives in the nascent but rapidly growing “Online Knowledge Market” space. This sector comprises of Q&A sties, such as Quora (considered as the “next big thing”), and the hugely popular programming Q&A site, StackOverflow.
For finding answers to specific questions, these sites can be a far better alternative to Google. Why (Disclaimer: some of these are from Quora & StackExchange). Simple, a lot of times:
- The question can’t be answered by a simple search because it requires specialist subject-matter expertise.
- It requires extensive research and synthesis of multiple sources – i.e. reading and culling information from various sites.
- The question requires the answer to combine a considerable amount of human judgment with facts, as opposed to an answer brought to you by SEO – possibly a link from a company that’s trying to sell you something.
- The question has multi-definition words where the nuance would be best understood by a person.
- And lastly, Google helps us find information but information does not mean answers. These types of sites help us find answers.
Currently trending comparison sites such as Kevin O’Connor’s Find The Best, the Google acquired Beat That Quote, and the recently named #1 VC backed company by the WSJ, Castlight Health, are all objective, data-driven sites which pull information from across the web. While this is definitely required information, there are a lot of comparisons which need a human hand, Mokabla was designed to fill this void.
Akshay’s Bio: Previously, Akshay used to work as an Investment Banker in the software sector. In that avatar, while helping entrepreneurs with the sales of their companies, he got hooked onto the idea entrepreneurship. When his tenure as a banker ended, he started to work on his own venture. While researching different software and applications for his startup, he found that it was not easy to find side by side comparisons for all these various entities; he subsequently launched Mokabla to solve that problem.
To find out how Mokabla got started and what’s happening behind the scenes, read Akshay’s blog – How to Launch a Startup
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