Time is of the essence when running a small business -- particularly when each staff member [whether he or she is the founder or its sales agent] is often required to wear many hats, juggle multiple disciplines and multi-task on an ongoing-basis. Add travel and out-of-the-office business engagements to the mix -- and one becomes more and more dependent on their smartphone versus PCs or laptops -- to pick up the heavy lifting when conducting one's daily duties.
Ikuya YamadaAddressing those needs, co-founder Ikuya Yamada and his Tokyo firm Linkify has created a platform for hand-held devices that makes mobile searches less tedious. Linkify is designed for iOS and Androids allowing users who work with apps that are text-laden -- such as news readers like Flipboard or Facebook's new Paper app -- to conduct easy searches.
Simplifying mobile searches, Linkify uses machine-learning algorithms that actually makes our smart phones smarter. Instead of the time-consuming effort it takes to post data queries to a search engine, Linkify identifies and predicts the kind of data a user would like to access, which in turn, speeds up the time in takes to research a specific topic.
For small businesses, many companies require information to be processed by their employees. "Using Linkify," notes Yamada, "our software cuts down on the amount of time employees have to research work-related questions online."
And for those small business entrepreneurs who are also developers in the operation of making apps, Linkify can open up new revenue opportunities. With Linkify, these companies can now monetize their apps by placing relevant, contextual and non-intrusive ads within the content. Gone are the obtrusive banner ads of yester-year.
Linkify also allows these developers the option of monetizing these ads through Google Ad Sense by letting them include contextual ads within the search results.
“Detecting keywords is still challenging. There are keywords such as Japan that are less helpful for users than specific keywords like Kyoto,” says Yamada. “So we come up with ways to distinguish them from similar parts of speech or words that have similar meanings.”
As the Semantic Web matures, users will no longer have to search for information they need, because that data will find them, based on what they do while consuming content.
Being at the forefront of semantic technology, Linkify is also addressing when just by looking at a word when wearing, say Google Glass or another type of consumer wearable - users will be able to retrieve rich data pertaining to that word, if they so choose.
To date, all services are free to users, but the company is still analyzing monetization strategies for the future, where they may take a cut of ad revenue generated by apps using their platform. Presently the startup has received approximately 100 million yen (or USD $970,000) in funding from Nissay Capital and Seed Technology Capital Partners.
Let us know if you see Linkify's applicability for your small business and if you see the possibilities it has of providing your company with a competitive edge?