Interview with Compete Inc. Co-Founder
Late last week I had the pleasure of catching up with Compete, Inc’s CTO and co-Founder, David Cancel. During this time I had the opportunity to chat with David about the history of Compete Inc and got some insightful background on their product Compete.com. Here’s how it went:
Tell me about yourself and how CompeteInc.com got started?
I’m the CTO and co-Founder of Compete, Inc. We started the company 6yrs ago right after the bubble meltdown (Oct. 2000). Before founding Compete, I was the founding CTO of BuyerZone.com, part of the founding team of Lycos.com‘s internal labs group and Chief Software Architect and part of the founding team at Bolt.com. That’s sums up the last 11yrs for me. The idea for Compete came from Bill Gross (idealab) who was also an angel investor. For the last 6 yrs we’ve been focused on a few verticals (automotive, financial services, wireless and travel). Our product is usually bought by brand managers, CMOs or CEOs within these industries. We launched Compete.com this past November.
Can you talk a little bit about a few of your clients in some of your target verticals?
In autos we work with almost every car company that sells vehicles in the US. In wireless we work with all the US carriers and some of the MVNOs and manufacturers. In financial services we work with banks, credit card companies, insurance and home loan companies. And more recently we’ve been doing a lot of work w/ the top 3 search engines. That gives you some idea of the type of customers we’re working for. Some specific names that I can release publicly are Yahoo, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel, Subaru, Hyundai and MSN.
How are CompeteInc.com and Compete.com related?
CompeteInc.com is our corporate site and represents what we’ve been doing for the last 6 yrs. Compete.com is something that we released 4 months ago and is where our free tools (Snapshot), blog, etc live. Compete.com is meant to be our public/consumer facing site.
Who is the target market for Compete.com?
Our snapshot product is aimed at SEOs, online marketers and anyone who wants access to free premium metrics. Compete.com started out as an experiment for which we didn’t have any real expectations. What we’ve found so far is that we have a lot of Venture Capitalists, SEOs / online marketers and startups using it.
What value can users get out of Compete SnapShot and Compete Search?
Compete SnapShot is giving people premium metrics like unique visitor projects, sessions, time spent for free for the first time ever. In the next couple of months you’ll see us releasing more detailed and timely data (daily) and more metrics. This will be the type of data that you would have to pay for today, think (Hitwise, Nielsen, Comscore, etc). My goal is to make this type of data freely available and open to everyone.
Who are Compete.com‘s competitors and what advantages does Compete.com offer over its competitors?
Not sure really. On the free side I guess it would be Alexa and possibly Quantcast. I don’t really see them as competitors as what we are and will be giving away is more analogous to what you would pay Hitwise, Nielsen, Comscore, etc for. The work that our CompeteInc.com customers pay us for is not audience measurement type work so we don’t really compete with any of the above companies in our verticals.
Can we expect to see any new enhancements or new offerings from Compete.com?
We have a major release coming out on April 2nd. I would love to announce that release on your podcast show if you were up for it. Just so you know I will be debuting these new features on the ScobleShow on April 2nd but that will probably not air for several weeks as he’s pretty backlogged with video waiting to be edited. Let me know if you’re up for that.
I hope to set this podcast up with David so stay tuned!