Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Tecca, Best Buy's New Shopping App, Isn't a Best Buy Shopping App

Here’s another shopping app: Tecca promises to “help you find, buy and get the best from personal technology.” It’s available for Apple’s (APPL) iPhone and Google’s (GOOG) Android, as well as Web browsers. I’ve only given it a cursory look so far, but it seems like it could use some work.

Why bother noting it? Because of its interesting lineage: Tecca is a product of the digital media fund that Best Buy and Fuse Capital assembled last year.

And while you’d think the big-box retailer would be interested in overhauling its own e-commerce platform, which is both unwieldy and very popular, Tecca is supposed to exist at arm’s length from Best Buy: If you want to buy stuff via the app, it won’t necessarily send you to the retail chain.

So that’s interesting. I haven’t given Tecca a real going-over yet, but in my brief spin through, it seemed like the app was reluctant to send customers to Best Buy’s biggest competitors, notably Amazon (AMZN). But perhaps there’s a good reason for that.

In any case, Tecca is worth watching because it’s the first visible sign of activity for the fund that Best Buy and Fuse assembled in the spring of 2009.

Ross Levinsohn, the digital media veteran who runs Fuse, says he and his team have been advising Best Buy on other topics–perhaps the overhaul of its Napster acquisition, which hasn’t gone well at all. And Levinsohn says the group will be rolling out more products in the future.


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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