Consumers and Businesses Collaborate?

If you were to ask Jon Carder at MojoPages, “How do you get up-to-date information about local (or remote) businesses?”…he’d say, “Ahhh, is that a trick question? Why do you think I started www.MojoPages.com?”

MojoPages

Jon’s story all began when he was searching for a good moving company to help him relocate in San Diego. He had a terrible experience with the company who was evidentally backed by the BBB, boasted the best rates in town, etc., etc. If only there was a way to know how businesses are truly treating their customers. A way to know which businesses are the best? That’s when he began dreaming of an online community where people could share their knowledge and experiences to help one another find the best local businesses and stay away from the worst.

gripripI was reminded of Jon’s story when I read a recent post about Wikipedia for small businesses by Mark Goldenson. In 2007, yellow page directories were a $31 billion market, but they are being rapidly killed by the web, mobile access, 411 lines, and services vastly more convenient than thumbing through dead trees.

What about a Wikipedia for small businesses? Take an enterprise collaboration tool suite like MindTouch’s DekiWiki and create a public wiki that lets anyone create a website about a business and add a wealth of information:

  • Contact details
  • Hours of operation
  • Lists of products or services
  • Recommended items
  • Food nutritional values
  • Photos
  • Prices
  • Coupons and specials
  • Management and staff
  • Credit cards accepted
  • Wheelchair accessibility
  • Wireless availability
  • Franchise locations
  • Availability of power outlets
  • Customer traffic
  • Phone tree options
  • Years of operation
  • Public restrooms

Business owners could claim their site and add their own details (much like Zillow.com for homes), but unlike MerchantCircle, Smalltown, and other attempts at bringing small businesses online, this webspace would not require any action from the small business. Their website can be created and useful even without their knowledge.

Good idea Mark!

Jim Kaskade

Jim Kaskade is a serial entrepreneur & enterprise software executive of over 36 years. He is the CEO of Conversica, a leader in Augmented Workforce solutions that help clients attract, acquire, and grow end-customers. He most recently successfully exited a PE-backed SaaS company, Janrain, in the digital identity security space. Prior to identity, he led a digital application business of over 7,000 people ($1B). Prior to that he led a big data & analytics business of over 1,000 ($250M). He was the CEO of a Big Data Cloud company ($50M); was an EIR at PARC (the Bell Labs of Silicon Valley) which resulted in a spinout of an AML AI company; led two separate private cloud software startups; founded of one of the most advanced digital video SaaS companies delivering online and wireless solutions to over 10,000 enterprises; and was involved with three semiconductor startups (two of which he founded, one of which he sold). He started his career engineering massively parallel processing datacenter applications. Jim has an Electrical and Computer Science Engineering degree from University of California, Santa Barbara, with an emphasis in semiconductor design and computer science; and an MBA from the University of San Diego with an emphasis in entrepreneurship and finance.

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