Bindu Reddy and Arvind Sundararajan, both ex-Googlers, today announced the launch of their startup, Likaholix, which lets you curate things you like on the web. You sign up, create a profile and bookmark your likes — books, movies, things, places, hotels and anything you fancy. Sounds simple enough, right? But since these are both Googlers, they are using search under the hood to make relevant recommendations based on the people, topics and items you like.
What I find interesting is that another startup that centers on personalized web has been started by former Googlers. FriendFeed is another that comes to mind. With digital content exploding on the web, sooner or later Google’s approach to content is going to have problems. This concept of “liking,” or effortless recommendation, is one way of dealing with data deluge. It is part of the ambient intimacy trend I have written about in the past.
Likaholix, as it stands, is a good solid start. It’s easy and intuitive to use, though I think it will be growth challenged. It also needs to figure out a way to merge its service with blogs and Facebook; it isn’t viral enough. If it can overcome some of the early challenges and build a large enough user base, it has the potential to be a big business, through highly personalized ads alongside recommendations.