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Summary:

Very often, I have come across promising start-ups, that have a world on a string, and can capture the minds and hearts of early adopters, only to stumble and whither away? I see their bigger rivals, with mediocre and somewhat insipid technology come from behind and […]

Very often, I have come across promising start-ups, that have a world on a string, and can capture the minds and hearts of early adopters, only to stumble and whither away? I see their bigger rivals, with mediocre and somewhat insipid technology come from behind and take market share. Is that the case with Blinkx, a desktop search company that only a few brief months ago, knocked my socks off. Remember I compared them to Google in the early days. However, things are getting a bit dodgy out there in Blinkx-land. Microsoft’s desktop plans, Apple’s upcoming desktop launch, and Google’s move into the space, has me worried about Blinkx and its future. They have come out with a new version, Blinkx 2.0, and it has been received with generally good reviews. It has cool new features like saving peer-to-peer searches and smart folders. My readers have given the product two thumbs up. But in this applause, lies some worrying news. For instance, co-founder Kathy Rittweger is no longer with the company.

(Her name is gone from the company’s about page!) (Here is a cached version of the old about page, thanks to Google.) All I actually had to do was click that page to find out Kathy was gone. I don’t know the reasons, though timing is definitely curious. For instance, Mark Opzoomer, a former Yahoo executive has taken over as the CEO and one of the co-founders is gone. She had become the face of the company, appearing in numerous articles and promoting the Blinkx-way. Well someone didn’t care much about that? I think in a tiny company like Blinkx, this kind of power play is always worrying. This is how start-ups unravel. I hope I am wrong, but it doesn’t look too promising. Blinkx spokesperson could not be reached!

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  1. Who backs Blinkx? VC? Angels?

  2. This is the kind of reporting that’s going to propel this medium, and your site.

    Brilliant!

  3. Om, do you know the bean counter guy..this seems almost personal. You say the product is good (I havn’t tried it yet) and it sounds like some small company has beaten some big ones to this…so why are you so down on this opzoomer guy…he ran Europe for Yahoo..have you met him?

  4. The fact that company now has experienced professional management is actually a good thing in my view. A strong CEO can take over as the voice of the company as it grows (see Meg Whitman).

  5. Om, do you know the bean counter guy..this seems almost personal. You say the product is good (I havn’t tried it yet) and it sounds like some small company has beaten some big ones to this…so why are you so down on this opzoomer guy…he ran Europe for Yahoo..have you met him?

  6. Experienced management – well if he was that great, he would not be leaving Yahoo. Steve to your point, you are right that was a bit too personal, even though I thought of it as more of a financial type, and not as a term of derision. Anyway I took it out. U are right… too tacky!

  7. I’m curious what Om thinks about Groxis software? I read some things about them last year in Business 2.0 but not much has been said about them recently.

  8. Thanks for replying Om, I thought about it overnight and I still don’t get your point, yep I ain’t no Doanld Trump of the business world , but according to yourself a tiny company produces an amazing product in july, then a great update 3 months later including stuff the big boys only dream of like smart folders, get a ton of coverage each time, then attract the head of a whole continent for one of the biggest companies in the world to be there CEO and you say thats mis execution. Gee I hope if I ever start a business I misexecute like that!!!
    Something here has obviously annoyed you..is it the silly logo, this Opzoomer guy or some PR hack?

  9. I have been thinking a lot about this as well (about op-yahoo guy) i think its a good thing, now blinkx can get the voice and backing to become even better than they already are…i love my blinkx and the smart folders. I have new info pop into them everyday, so easy.

  10. John Battelle’s Searchblog Tuesday, November 16, 2004

    Blinkx 2.0 Launches

    I’ve come to realize that one of the main reasons I have a Mac is so I don’t spend all day playing with new search tools (most of which are PC only), and instead I can focus on my supposed real job, which is writing the book (yes, I really am writing,…

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