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Executive brief: NexTag buys Wize

Want to know more about Wize, the startup NexTag snapped up?

Financial trends and news by Bambi Francisco Roizen
July 8, 2010 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/1087

Congratulations to Wize! The consumer product recommendation engine was acquired by NexTag, a comparison-shopping firm, for an undisclosed sum.

You can check out Wize's announcement on its company profile on Vator, to its nearly 1000 followers on Vator. 

       

Vator has been following Wize, a startup backed by Mayfield and Bessemer, from its early days. If you want to learn more about Wize, and its CEO Tom Patterson, check out our collection of interviews and videos that have highlighted this startup. Additionally, included in these stories is an articled penned by Tom for VatorNews that gives you insight into his vision - something he certainly brought to the powers that be at NexTag.

 

NexTag buys Wize to upsize review quantity - Comparison shopping site NexTag has acquired Wize, a product recommendation research engine. Terms of the deal remain undisclosed. Wize is a simple but powerful service that lets shop-savvy customers search for reviews of products--everything from consumer electronics to baby strollers--before making a final decision on purchases. The site has so far aggregated over six million product reviews on over a million products from thousands of sources, like Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and CNET. As part of the deal, Wize will retain its offices, employees, and management team in Burlingame, CA. Tom Patterson, President and CEO of Wize, will report directly to Scott Simmons, President of NexTag.

 

Making sense of random noises - Words cannot describe the degree to which I hate shopping. Over-stimulation is probably at the root of my shopping aversion. There are too many choices and too many questions that go unanswered, which invariably raises the possibility for future regret. Abundant choice seems to be a precondition for buyer’s remorse. But what if everything about shopping were answered for me? What if I always knew what the best product would be for me? What if I could instantly aggregate a global opinion on which product was best generally, and best for me specifically? Were that the case, I think it’s safe to say I’d buy more stuff. Disclosure: This article was authored by Ezra Roizen, who was the investment banker on the Wize deal. At the time of this post/interview, Ezra was not associated with Wize.

Vator Box analyzes Wize - We then set our sites on Wize, which competes with Retrevo, Bazaarvoice and as well as the good old fashion Consumer Reports.  “I love the Wize number,” said Paul. Ezra and I agreed that Wize was a “clever idea,” but the question was whether the service would actually drive consumption of long-tail items. Paul seemed to think it did. His criticism was that the company may be challenged maintaining a balance between its customers (that Wize creates leads for), and poor reviews of those same customers’ products. On the upside, Ezra said that the market for contextual and guided shopping services is pretty “hot.” To that end, Wize may be a good acquisition candidate.

Tom Patterson's lessons/advice to entrepreneurs The latest segment in our "Lessons Learned" series about the entrepreneur's challenge comes from Tom Patterson, the CEO of Wize.com, the product research and ranking site. Patterson offers blunt advice to other startup executives: don't hire people who aren't ready to sacrifice their personal lives. Also, according to Patterson, a former entrepreneur-in-residence at the venture capital firm Mayfield Fund, companies should focus on doing one great thing each week, rather than three mediocre ones. And in advice on how to watch your burn rate, Patterson says startup employees don't need caramel sauce on their lattes or Frappucinos.

The deep Web - by Tom Patterson - At Wize, we hold a few things dear when it comes to search and discovery. They are different. Providing search results requires some notion of intent from the end user, but often no real understanding of the information served up. Providing discovery requires a better understanding of the end user's intent, and the actual meaning of the content. Like a concierge, Google, and other search engines, provide an algorithmic directory of what they perceive to be credible – the Google brain looks at your request and says, this site appears to be genuine and a lot of other people refer to it, so it must be pretty good, and I think I’ll show it. Although often useful, that’s also a bit like going to Dr. Phil for medical advice, he’s probably OK, but it’s not going to be exactly what you need.  Often the information from a general search is a bit superficial and generic.  Discovery happens when a person’s inquiry finds an intelligent agent or expert to guide their efforts. This is where the Deep Web comes in, the concept that The Times reported on.


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