PubSub – Profile
HQ: New York, NY
Management: Salim Ismail is CEO and co-founder. He’s a former software engineer who switched over to consulting. He speaks “2.75 languages,” according to the PubSub site. Bob Wyman is CTO and co-founder. He worked at DEC in the 80’s, Microsoft in the 90’s, and has a painfully long bio.
Investors: We’re in the dark on this one. Can any a:c readers shed some light?
Business Model: PubSub has created a matching engine that monitors the web, scanning sites in real time and notifying users when there is relevant news. It’s like a proactive search, with PubSub subscribers entering keywords that they want to monitor. The service currently monitors over over 9 million weblogs, more than 50,000 Internet newsgroups and all SEC filings. Company claims it will move to an advertising or subscription model.
Competitors: Overlap with Technorati and many of the major RSS readers. Also with other preference matching services like Findory.
Dirt: We like the way the results to a “subscription” in PubSub can be viewed in an RSS reader. The interface is smooth and the site is pretty easy to use. It’s a cool implementation of the virtual clipping service idea. If not for the fact that Bloglines was purchased by AskJeeves recently, we’d be more concerned about PubSub’s business model. But the Bloglines purchase suggests to us that potential acquirers are placing a premium on useful/proven products – even if those products aren’t making any money. We believe PubSub will benefit from this trend, whether it tries to raise money or sells itself. PubSub has mentioned adding a subscription fee – bad idea.