Advice for a KM startup #expertise-location


cmacomber@...
 

Hello Matt,
First, thanks for all the great feedback. We do have paying F500 and mid-market customers, and we're working with them to get their testimonials up.  Actually, you'll see some posts in a week or two.

We actually avoid extensive integration costs because we pickup the content and behavioral signals straight through the browser via a plugin.  This provides a more comprehensive view of the work-related activity without all the enterprise integration hassle.  Also, our lexicon contains over 6 million terms which we can enhance with your company's vocabulary if desired.  

I'd love to understand some of the other competitors out there and if you see any leaders in the space.  Right now, there appear to be many of the incumbents like Microsoft and Jive that claim they do expertise discovery but they're limited to their silos.  Otherwise, there are a few more potential startups like us.

Anyway, thanks again for the feedback!

Cheers,
Chris


cmacomber@...
 

Hello James,
We've decided to not and try to replace existing platforms like SharePoint, Jive, CornerStone, etc.  Instead, we just leverage the tools already in place.  We can seamlessly pickup signals from any web-based tool, and we can embed our discovered expertise into any existing employee profile (e.g. SharePoint MySite) via our embeddable profile or API.  Essentially, we don't want users to have to learn yet another tool, we just want to super-charge the ones you use today.

Cheers,
Chris


cmacomber@...
 

Douglas,
We took a lot of inspiration from Tacit as they were one of the pioneers in the space.  We've been able to take the advances in machine learning to make our discovery engine more accurate than our predecessors.  Thanks for the feedback.

Cheers,
Chris


Matt Moore <innotecture@...>
 

Chris,

I've had a quick look at the web site (so I may have missed stuff but that's what most people will do sadly) and here are the things that go through my head (warning: unfiltered):
- Your product looks interesting.
- The website states 160 enterprises are using WhoKnows. How many of those are paying customers? How many paying customer seats have you sold? There's a video from a guy at Citrix on the site but if Citrix are a user can you mention them up front?
- Do you have any examples of companies actually using the product to deliver identifiable (preferably quantifiable with $) business results? If so, please make those front and centre. Because at the moment, I do not see that.
- If your product is pulling info from a lot of disparate systems then that implies integration costs and some fiddly data reconciliation. How much of this is required in a typical implementation?
- It seems to have a set vocabulary for expertise. How much of this is customisable to my organisation's own expertise descriptors?
- How much is this going to cost me, approximately? What's the pricing structure?
- As you correctly identify, there are a lot of platforms out there with profile functionality. Can you crisply show me how your product compares with your competitors?

"Wouldn't it be nice if employees cared as much about their internal profiles as much as their LinkedIn profiles?" - in my experience people keep their LinkedIn profiles up to date because either they are looking for a job or they are concerned about their public image with customers, suppliers, etc. Having a nice UI is better than having a rubbish UI but it's not enough to get people to do this.

Like I say, the product looks interesting but right now the business case being presented to me is not compelling enough for me to take this further - it looks somewhat theoretical at the moment. But that's just my response. Others will be different.

Regards,

Matt


James Robertson
 

Hi Chris,

As others have said, this is a useful ideas that's been around for a
while.

How do you see it fitting in the enterprise landscape of a typical
(large?) organisation?

Does it integrate with SharePoint, IBM Connections, etc?

Cheers,
James

First, I want you to know that I'm a CEO of a startup called WhoKnows
that sells to KM leadership like yourselves. Given that disclaimer, I'd
love to get your thoughts and advice on what we're doing. Let me tell
you a little bit about my company.


WhoKnows helps organizations understand "who knows what" inside your
company to better facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration. Most
employee profiles are empty or out-of-date, so it's difficult to find
someone to help you when you need it. Think of us a private LinkedIn
powered by a machine learning platform.


WhoKnows automatically discovers dozens to hundreds of skills and
professional interests about employees based on their work online, so
they can review and decide what to publish to their corporate profile.
Then, we use these super-charged profiles to recommend in context the
best colleague to help you whenever you search in any web app or search
engine including Google, SharePoint, etc. Essentially, we're trying to
broker more organic introductions and collaboration between fellow
employees based on their expertise.


Wouldn't it be nice if employees cared as much about their internal
profiles as much as their LinkedIn profiles? We believe we can get
employees excited about their employee profiles because we'll make them
look good, do the grunt work for them, and protect their privacy at the
same time. At the same time, we'll provide the executives unprecedented
insight into their company's expertise.


I'd love to learn more about whether this would be compelling to KM
leaders.

* Are KM leaders looking to foster more cross-departmental
collaboration and micro-mentoring?
* Does not understanding the true breadth and depth of your companies
employees' expertise keep you up at night?
* Is this a must have or a nice to have?
* Or is this better suited for IT or HR leaders?


I'd love any thoughts you have on our offering as I'd love to learn more
from this group.


Cheers,

Chris Macomber


CEO, WhoKnows

chris@...

http://www.whoknows.com



--
-------------------------
James Robertson, Managing Director
Step Two Designs

Email: jamesr@...
Web: www.steptwo.com.au
Phone: +61 2 9319 7901


Douglas Weidner
 

Dear Chris,

Expert locators have always been essential, since 'Tacit Software' focused on it in the late 1990s.

There are many such products, but I always favored ones that were self-populating.

Douglas Weidner,
Chairman, KM Institute

On Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 6:40 PM, cmacomber@... [sikmleaders] <sikmleaders@...> wrote:
 

Hello all,

First, I want you to know that I'm a CEO of a startup called WhoKnows that sells to KM leadership like yourselves.  Given that disclaimer, I'd love to get your thoughts and advice on what we're doing.  Let me tell you a little bit about my company.


WhoKnows helps organizations understand "who knows what" inside your company to better facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration.  Most employee profiles are empty or out-of-date, so it's difficult to find someone to help you when you need it.  Think of us a private LinkedIn powered by a machine learning platform.


WhoKnows automatically discovers dozens to hundreds of skills and professional interests about employees based on their work online, so they can review and decide what to publish to their corporate profile.  Then, we use these super-charged profiles to recommend in context the best colleague to help you whenever you search in any web app or search engine including Google, SharePoint, etc.  Essentially, we're trying to broker more organic introductions and collaboration between fellow employees based on their expertise.  


Wouldn't it be nice if employees cared as much about their internal profiles as much as their LinkedIn profiles?  We believe we can get employees excited about their employee profiles because we'll make them look good, do the grunt work for them, and protect their privacy at the same time.  At the same time, we'll provide the executives unprecedented insight into their company's expertise.  


I'd love to learn more about whether this would be compelling to KM leaders.  

  • Are KM leaders looking to foster more cross-departmental collaboration and micro-mentoring?  
  • Does not understanding the true breadth and depth of your companies employees' expertise keep you up at night?  
  • Is this a must have or a nice to have?
  • Or is this better suited for IT or HR leaders?


I'd love any thoughts you have on our offering as I'd love to learn more from this group.


Cheers,

Chris Macomber


CEO, WhoKnows

chris@...

http://www.whoknows.com



cmacomber@...
 

Hello all,

First, I want you to know that I'm a CEO of a startup called WhoKnows that sells to KM leadership like yourselves.  Given that disclaimer, I'd love to get your thoughts and advice on what we're doing.  Let me tell you a little bit about my company.


WhoKnows helps organizations understand "who knows what" inside your company to better facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration.  Most employee profiles are empty or out-of-date, so it's difficult to find someone to help you when you need it.  Think of us a private LinkedIn powered by a machine learning platform.


WhoKnows automatically discovers dozens to hundreds of skills and professional interests about employees based on their work online, so they can review and decide what to publish to their corporate profile.  Then, we use these super-charged profiles to recommend in context the best colleague to help you whenever you search in any web app or search engine including Google, SharePoint, etc.  Essentially, we're trying to broker more organic introductions and collaboration between fellow employees based on their expertise.  


Wouldn't it be nice if employees cared as much about their internal profiles as much as their LinkedIn profiles?  We believe we can get employees excited about their employee profiles because we'll make them look good, do the grunt work for them, and protect their privacy at the same time.  At the same time, we'll provide the executives unprecedented insight into their company's expertise.  


I'd love to learn more about whether this would be compelling to KM leaders.  

  • Are KM leaders looking to foster more cross-departmental collaboration and micro-mentoring?  
  • Does not understanding the true breadth and depth of your companies employees' expertise keep you up at night?  
  • Is this a must have or a nice to have?
  • Or is this better suited for IT or HR leaders?


I'd love any thoughts you have on our offering as I'd love to learn more from this group.


Cheers,

Chris Macomber


CEO, WhoKnows

chris@...

http://www.whoknows.com