In addition to being the Hawaiian word for thank you, Mahalo may have also been the last published word of Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. But don’t tell that to Internet entrepreneur Jason Calacanis, who has given the name to his latest effort, a curated (he calls it “human-powered”) search service.
The humans who do the curating, according to Calacanis, will be based in the U.S. Mahalo will one-up Google because of these people, he claims. If, for instance, Martha Stewart wants to find out why she’s not higher in the results for “cake,” she can speak to a person about it, not an algorithm.
Better still, Calacanis says, the service will be interactive. “We’re completing the search results about 60%, then we’re relying on users for feedback.” After the service is built out, it will be a matter of simple maintenance, refining the results. The revenue model, he says, will be advertising, of the nonobtrusive variety.
“Are you doing this to flip it?” Walt asks.
“No, that was the last company,” Calacanis deadpans.