Could another local tech startup be about to land the big bucks from a large overseas corporate? BusinessWeek thinks it’s likely: it reckons Microsoft is in talks with Eurekster, the social search company with offices in Christchurch and California.
If true, it’s a vindication for Eurekster staff who have stuck at it even in the wake of the Web crash. They reinvented their search technology and targeted it at online communities. Smart move: the search ’swickis’ have caught on quickly with bloggers and online early-adopters, making Eurekster something of a model for local Web startups and Web 2.0 groupies. Clearly, though, they’re not the only ones paying attention.
I talked to Eurekster’s chairman and chief scientist, Grant Ryan, late last year, asking about the prospects of the latest wave of Web startups. "We lived through the boom–bust so I have scepticism running in my blood," he said in Idealog #1. "But the big difference this time is that a lot of these companies, even obscure companies, are profitable."
Ironically, Eurekster also gets a mention in Idealog #3—on newsstands next week—as an example of a Web company with a product that gets more useful as more people join. Just like, ahem, Trade Me. And, just like Trade Me, having a business model that works makes a huge difference around the negotiating table. Even if these talks don’t pan out, Eurekster has a great idea, a great execution, a bunch of patents on the way and a head start. That’s gold.
Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription, an Idealog t-shirt and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).