"You need three things to create a successful startup: to start with good people, to make something customers actually want, and to spend as little money as possible. Most startups that fail do it because they fail at one of these. A startup that does all three will probably succeed." -Paul Graham|
Venture capitalists know that an idea is only a beginning for a startup, further, there is much more involved to the process than simply executing an idea. Companies can increase their chances of success by carefully crafting their strategy. Consider the number of startups that change their business plan en route. The value of an idea is mainly as a starting point in the development process.
Kosmix originated as a vertical search engine in the health sector. The idea of the Kosmix search engine was to allow users to explore topics rather than offering a single answer to a question. Kosmix developed sites named RightHealth and expanded to other industries with web properties like RightAutos and RightTrips. The idea behind the technology was to find a better way to help users understand open-ended queries. The company that planned to take a vertical-by-vertical strategy realized that the vertical approach carried severe limitations and decided to rewrite the product from scratch and relaunched Kosmix.com as a horizontal site offering a 360 degree view of the visitor's interests.
On May 4, 2011 Walmart, the world's largest retailer acquired Kosmix. Today Anand Rajaraman and Walmart are pioneering development of breakthrough semantic analysis technology and applying it to real-time social media streams. In March 2011, RightHealth, Tweetbeat, and Kosmix.com together served over 17.5 million unique visitors worldwide. Walmart's @WalmartLabs is "inventing the next generation of ecommerce, integrating experiences that leverage the store, the web, and mobile, with social identity being the glue". -Datawocky
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at 9,000 retail units under 60 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2011 sales of $419 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity.
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