A big name addition to WolframAlpha’s executive team. Barak Berkowitz, who headed blogging firm Six Apart until he left two-and-a-half years ago, is joining the search startup as managing director tasked with leading the “growth of WolframAlpha’s business.” Specifically, WolframAlpha says that Berkowitz will help the company build new partnerships and also establish a “significant presence” in Silicon Valley; WolframAlpha’s headquarters are in Champaign, Illinois.
In the announcement, WolframAlpha CEO Stephen Wolfram notes that WolframAlpha has seen “explosive growth” since is launch in May. And, indeed, WolframAlpha has landed a high-profile licensing deal to provide its data to Microsoft’s Bing and has also begun to offer enterprise and customized versions of its service.
But it’s too early to say that WolframAlpha has managed to break the well-documented curse of Google challengers past. Granted WolframAlpha doesn’t claim to be a full-fledged search engine and instead aims to answer “factual queries.” But like other much-hyped search startups, WolframAlpha’s traffic soared at launch, only to fall to a fraction of that since, according to Compete, Quantcast, and even the WolframAlpha entry — on WolframAlpha.
We’ve asked WoflramAlpha what metric Wolfram was referring to when he noted the “explosive growth” and will update when we hear back.