Product & Startup Builder

It's all relevant

Added on by Chris Saad.
When you're developing a product (especially a piece of software) its always important to be clear about how you are different from the other guys. There is a lot of cynicism out there and people can be quick to dismiss an idea because they don't wait to hear the details.

But as they say, the devil... is in the details.

Imagine when Google was just starting up. One could have been forgiven for saying "The world does not need another search engine." - There were plenty of them. But while Google's service looked like every other service out there (a search box on a page) their implementation and resulting value proposition changed the world. What if an incoming link was a vote of confidence for a page? What a thought!

For us, we were concerned that people would confuse us with a Widget, or worse, a Gadget/Widget platform. Another concern was that people would confuse us with a Feed Reader.

But in the end, one can only plan so much - public reaction will always take on a life of its own. When that happens, you just have to clarify your message.

Judging from the TechCrunch reaction most people seemed to understand the power of Touchstone and its Personal Relevancy technology. I don't think Widgets or Gadgets were mentioned once!

But there are always those people who missed the key details that make it all unique and interesting. So I thought I would take the time (again) to answer the two biggest concerns (as far as I could tell).

1. "Why would I use Touchstone if I have already love my Feed Reader"
2. "How could I possibly be expected to configure all the keywords I want to filter"


1. For users who like their Feed Reader of choice, Touchstone does not replace it. It is a companion. You can read your news in your feed reader, and you can glance at Touchstone while your not in your feed reader. For many, however, using Touchstone as a way of staying informed while they work on their real job (a job that is probably NOT in IT) is more than adequate for their needs. Besides - RSS is not just about news reading.

2. Touchstone is not a keyword filter. It is an Attention Management Engine using Personal Relevance and Alerting as the key technology and presentation style. It can (with your permission) scan your computer (periodically) and create an automatic profile for what you care about. This information, along with other factors, allows Touchstone to RANK items; not Filter them. Because items are ranked, you/we can do much more interesting things with them than just filtering them out. Things like measured disruption.