Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Hunch's Fake and Dixon Speak (And They've Got a Hunch, You Might Not Get Exactly What It Is Yet)

When Aardvark was sold to Google (GOOG) for $50 million last week, a lot of folks wondered about the fate of Hunch, another hot start-up in the space.

Except, as correctly noted by two of its four co-founders, Caterina Fake and Chris Dixon, in a chat BoomTown had yesterday, Hunch is quite different–more of an algorithmically hopped up recommendation service that makes use of a mass of data from user-generated questions and answers than a simpler social search site.

That doesn’t make Hunch into either a Yahoo Answers or a Wikipedia with more charm or allow for annoyingly querying your friends on Facebook or the masses on Twitter.

Personally, Hunch reminds me of a crowd-sourced decision-making mosh pit without the sharp elbows, making all kinds of cool, if odd, connections.

This mass of varied data is what Dixon and Fake think is key to making better decisions.

Got it?

The New York-based Hunch launched about last June to a lot of hype–somewhat due to Fake’s success with her last start-up, Flickr, the popular photo-sharing site Yahoo (YHOO) bought in 2005.

And so far, Hunch has been growing decently, with 1.2 million unique monthly visitors now and tens of millions of questions asked and answered.

(Its other founders are Tom Pinckney and Matt Gattis.)

With $6 million in funding, where Hunch goes from here will be interesting to watch, as it adds perhaps more profiling features, both fun and helpful.

The business goal said Fake: Basic lead generation, for which Hunch will presumably be paid by all kinds of vendors.

Listen in on all this and more in my video interview with Fake, who works on product design at Hunch, and CEO Dixon, who has had his own serial entrepreneurial success selling security start-up SiteAdvisor to McAfee (MFE) in 2006:


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald