The Gray Hair Speaketh

Advice that is largely Unsolicited.. – Collaborative Knowledge Management and Research Tool

Sumeet Anand, founder and CEO, asked me to review his startup,

Category: B2C -> Web research tool; Enterprise -> Collaboration and Knowledge Management tool

What does it do? is an interesting mashup of a Wikipedia and social bookmarking sites. It is a tool for collaboration and knowledge management, and offered free on open web for individual users, and planned to be offered also on web based SaaS as well as in enterprise versions.

What more?
There is obviously a significant software effort that has gone into the making of For example, there is virtually a concept of a browser within the browser. You do not really need to use the back button at all, as you navigate through the various pages in Kreeo. The navigation, layout, presentation have all been done with thought, and are good.

My quick two cents:
You can’t help but think Wikipedia as you see Kreeo. Yes, there are differences. But to an average user looking for information, does he notice the various subtle differences. Also most importantly, content is the key. For a site of this nature, we are talking of tons and tons of content. Without that, it leaves me with a feeling of a great idea, but being unable to appreciate the nuances, without adequate data. Moreover, without data, it does not compel me to return soon!

Wisdom Nuggets in more detail:
1. I have a suspicion – and I could be wrong – that Kreeo was created by fundamentally, a technology person! There is a huge emphasis on the application, perhaps to an extent, at the cost of the larger business model.

2. Sumeet informed me the beta was launched in Jan 2009, after a year of alpha. That being the case, it would have been great to have used a part of that one year, also for creating some content for Kreeo. At this time, without the content, it creates interest, but then disappointment.

3. There will be questions about why Kreeo, and why not Wikipedia? Even on the SaaS or Enterprise versions, there are enough Wiki implementations available to serve the purpose. With all the technology bits, the core reason to look at Kreeo as against a Wiki, does not come out that clearly. If it takes an effort to understand that difference, it may not quite be good enough.

4. On a content driven aggregation, we have also seen in recent days, Guy Kawasaki’s venture, The strategy that Alltop has used has enabled it to grow significant content quickly and it keeps growing. As a pure web reference tool, it may today offer better value than Kreeo does. So yes, I am getting repetitive on the content front, rather the lack of it, on Kreeo. But that unforutnately, is a big issue on Kreeo, at this time.

5. So where does Kreeo go from here? If Enterprise and SaaS is the way to go, and to offer Kreeo as a platform for enterprises to manage their knowledge, then it is important to focus only on that. And present these solutions with all the differentiation and the benefits coming out strong and clear. If enterprise content and knowledge is what Kreeo will drive, let it not dilute the brand and the offering by also being in the larger B2C / Social Media space.

6. On the other hand, if the larger B2C is what beckons, it must be appreciated that creating an encyclopedia of sorts takes a toll. Even in a collaborative mode. Either there has to be a clear strategy to energize the masses to contribute and create, OR Kreeo could think of focusing on a few verticals, instead of the entire universe. And at least for those few verticals, ensure that real depth of information exists.

Overall, I must repeat that the technology is promising, but I am concerned about the business model, at this time.


March 17, 2009 Posted by | Knowledge Management, Startup, Technology, Web Research | , , , , , | 3 Comments