It’s often shown that you can’t keep an entrepreneur in one place for very long. It’s with that in mind that we shouldn’t be surprised to see the names Steven Fruchter and Jake Gold popping into headlines. The two have worked together at Stickam for some time, and now come together in an attempt to shake up the online buying research process with a site called Get.com
Get.com is simple in its execution, but that’s part of the genius behind it. Whereas most online reviews sites will give you in-depth details about a product, there’s no ability to modify your searches semantically. That’s where Get.com is highly different.
The team is leaving a nod to Quora, both in site design and in function. By allowing users to ask not only for specific products, but rather for product recommendations built around specified desires, it is setting a new standard.
Say that you’re researching laptops. While you can go around the Internet and search by price or model, there’s not been a reliable way to get recommendations for specific tasks that are important to you. Fruchter uses another example, wherein someone is researching electric toothbrushes, and here’s what the page ends up looking like:
As you can see, the person has asked the basic question, but then provided some supporting information to enable the crowd to provide better recommendations. As each recommendation is added, they can then be given subsequent votes by others who have an opinion. If you find an answer that you like, a button will pull up what appears to be Google-driven pricing information.
Below this section, not pictured, are comments (they look similar to Facebook’s comments, but Fruchter tells me that they’re actually a home-brewed platform) that allow other people to explain their suggestions or offer differing opinions. If you want to leave a rating, you’ll need to create an account via Facebook, Twitter or traditional email-based login.
Each visitor has their own profile, and there is a ranking system that adds a bit of a gamification play to Get.com’s service. Answer questions and leave recommendations, you’ll get points. There’s no other stated rewards, but the bragging rights idea has shown to be effective in the past.
Fruchter tells me that the site is presently running on $1 million in seed financing, but doesn’t specify the investors to the project. He further states that “initially we are launching a Q&A platform to begin helping users receive crowd-sourced product recommendations immediately.” This obviously leaves the door open for the service to take a more aesthetically pleasing front-end, with less effort required in order to gather recommendations. If I were to venture a guess, I’d say that Get.com is gathering data and users before finalizing which route to take.
Get.com solves a lot of the frustration that can come from trying to find online reviews and use them as buying advice. By opening the door to semantic recommendations, it is setting itself apart from the crowd, while fully embracing the power of crowdsourcing. It will be interesting to see where this startup goes over the next few months, but for now you can start using Get.com to find recommendations, or leave some of your own.