Vator Box


Can Digger attract search users from Google?

Chris Shipley helps us evaluate Digger, which launches a destination site in Q4

Innovation series by Bambi Francisco Roizen
April 13, 2009
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The more publishers can categorize their content, the easier it is to distribute to partners and make it accessible for viewers to find. Digger is a semantic search company that can automate the categorization of content so humans don't have to. Digger also plans to take its semantic search capabilities and create a destination site. The launch of that site is expected in the fourth quarter of this year. Is this the right direction for Digger to take?

In this episode of Vator Box, we take a look at Tim Musgrove (who resembles musician Chris Isaac) give his pitch. Musgrove is the founder of Digger, which raised nearly $6 million from a number of investors, including True Ventures, CBS Interactive and Softech VC. Chris Shipley, co-founder of startup research and consulting firm, Guidewire Group, was our guest host once again.

Shipley joined Ezra Roizen (Vator Box regular and digital media investment banker) and me.

Here are our observations:

- If Digger plans to launch a consumer-facing site, then Musgrove should stay away from pitching the technology. Nobody buys technology. They buy a solution to something, said Shipley. Digger needs to talk about what it's delivering for customers, and stay away from the definition of semantics. Talk about this service delivers a magnitude of improvement over other searches out there.

- Being a destination site built on semantic search solutions is an expensive proposition. Ask Jeeves did it and so did Powerset. Both companies were successful ventures. But none were able to usurp Google's lead.  So, it might be an expensive distraction to build a destination site.

- Digger should stick to the B2B market. It should focus on helping publishers auto-categorize their content.   

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