The Official Blog of Cogmap, the Org Chart Wiki


Archive for June, 2007


Joost invites?

Monday, June 4th, 2007

I have Joost invites if anyone wants to see how to build a web start-up worth billions before it is even publicly available.  Build or give a good update to an organization chart and point to it in a comment here and I will email it to your Cogmap account email address!

Joost will let us invite our friends – Our friends are part of the Cogmap community!

Is Mahalo a Web 1.0 company?

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

Mahalo is amazingly both validation of the Cogmap approach and an example of a Web 1.0 model that I fear is doomed to fail.  Mahalo is based on the concept that there is a difference between content and automated content in ability to identify what is valuable to a consumer.

Theoretically, the benefit of automated services is their ability to serve a broader range of demand.  In Mahalo’s case, Google answers every query but Mahalo only answers 10,000.  Zoominfo has millions of companies, Cogmap has thousands.

In my post on Cogmap data quality versus sites like Zoominfo, I made the case that the Mahalo/Cogmap approach probably works pretty well.

Having said that, I have to say that I am not loving the Mahalo approach.  It seems to me like you have a few problems:

  1. Mahalo seems to have all of the Web 1.0 problems I have documented in my previous post on Web 1.0 versus Web 2.0 business models.  Jason pays all of these editors to produce all of this content and it sounds so expensive.  For every editor that he does not pay, his service adds that much less value, for every editor he pays, he incurs costs.  Costs increase as value is created.  Mahalo benefits from being able to rely on automated services to determine where the most value can be derived by human editors, so maybe there is some point on the curve (where the most popular search query generates a lot of value but the least valuable query costs more than the value they create) where they can generate the most value with just a few editors have a sustainable model, I don’t know.
  2. Why not Wikipedia?  Mahalo loves to point to Wikipedia and, if you think about it, it costs Wikipedia less to generate its data then it cost Mahalo.  Wikipedia relies on user-generated content whereas Mahalo is driven by an editor.  It seems like Wikipedia is Mahalo 2.0.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Detroit Pistons – Eastern Conference Finals

Friday, June 1st, 2007

I spent the entire day raving about the Cleveland Cavaliers game, so my wife thought I should blog about it here.  Normally she tells me to stay focused on business-related topics, so if she thought it was blog-worthy then I must have a really unique message for everyone.  Go find a friend that TIVO’d Game 5 and watch it.  One for the history books.

I have been telling all of my friends the same story since this series started and I wanted to share it.  Watching these games reminds me of my middle school rec league (My rec league was probably representative of a typical little kid basketball league experience).  There were a bunch of teams (my team was one) that had a bunch of OK players.  We fielded five or six guys that did not suck.  We won some games – a few more than we lost – but were never amazingly good.  There were three kinds of teams we played:

  1. Many of the teams we played were similar to our team.  They had some players better and some worse, but never that different.  We all matched up well and had a good game.
  2. There were a few teams we beat that had nobody.  Our players were better across the board.  Every matchup was in our favor.  These were easy wins and there were always a couple.
  3. Finally, there was always some team that had a lot of bad players – every matchup was in our favor – EXCEPT FOR THIS ONE GUY.  He had hit puberty faster or the genetic lottery or something and was bigger, stronger, faster, and better in every way then every single one of our players.  By a lot.

Rec league approaches in this situation are funny.  We played a lot of Box-and-1 defenses, Triangle-and-2 defenses, things like that.  Usually it didn’t matter much what we did.

Anyway, I had flashbacks to middle school watching Game 1 and I think the entire world felt that way watching Game 5.  I think the Cleveland players felt that way during Game 5. At every matchup position, they lose: Wallace, Prince, Hamilton and Billups are all better than any player on the Cleveland team – EXCEPT FOR THIS ONE GUY.  And this one guy is so much better than any Detroit player that suddenly Detroit as a team looks overmatched.