Top Trending: Employers Are Paying Freelancers Big Bucks for These 25 in-Demand Skills

Let Your Network Be Your Guide

Will throwing human intelligence into the mix help this search company come up first?
  • ---Shares
This story appears in the August 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
Reader Resource

Apply now to be an Entrepreneur 360™ company. Let us tell the world your success story. Get Started »

Daring to go up against powerhouses like Google and Yahoo is no small feat, but serial entrepreneurs Scott A. Jones, 46, and Brad Bostic, 32, believe they have what it takes to outdo the search masters. In 2005, Jones was preparing a speech when he discovered he could gather material for it faster by calling knowledgeable friends than by using the top search engines. Acting fast on that enterprising revelation, he and Bostic decided to found ChaCha, a people-powered search engine that takes search up a notch by combining computer results with human intelligence.

The Carmel, Indiana, company features a community of more than 30,000 human "guides" ready to chat live with users who need assistance. And a team of influential investors--led by Bezos Expeditions, the investment firm started by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, and including Compaq co-founder Rod Canion--contributed $6.5 million in 2006 alone. With year-end sales expected to reach into the eight digits, Jones is already fully engaged in the next stage: cell phone search. "That's the really giant idea," he says. "And that's a greenfield market."

Edition: May 2017

Get the Magazine

Limited-Time Offer: 1 Year Print + Digital Edition and 2 Gifts only $9.99
Subscribe Now
OK

This website uses cookies to allow us to see how our website and related online services are being used. By continuing to use this website, you consent to our cookie collection. More information about how we collect cookies is found here.