Hmmm. Interesting. Tim Wolters, CTO of Collective Intellect, essentially just borrowed and paraphrased the views, thoughts, and words of Roger Ehrenberg, which Mr. Ehrenberg gave at an interview with TheStreet.com TV several months back. Well, I can't blame Wolters for trying to sound intelligent, cool, novel, and all in his interview because after all, serious money can be made with the idea and technology that Monitor110 came up with.
Here is a point-by-point take on the two interviews:
Tim Wolters: “I founded a company in 2005...we were following certain individuals on message boards, blogs, who seem to know a lot of information. How can we automate that? How can we do that for investors? Package that as a service blah blah blah. And the business model is essentially similar to Bloomberg or Reuters or something like that.”
Roger Ehrenberg: “Monitor 110 gives institutional investors the ability to access the information, from the tens of millions of sources out on the Internet, in the same way that they would access information from their Bloomberg service terminal. Monitor 110 is at the intersection of search technology and domain expertise....what we are really doing is real-time vertical search specifically geared towards institutional investors.“
AnitoKid: If my memory serves me right, Monitor 110 was conceptualized in 2003 by Jeff Stewart, a serial entrepreneur and applied-technology visionary . And in 2004, Monitor 110 began developing and testing its real-time Internet monitoring service for institutional investors. Being first has all its advantages; after all a head start is a head start, especially with regards to such real-time Internet monitoring service.
Lindsay Campbell: How is Collective Intellect different from Monitor 110?
Tim Wolters: “We're actually trying to find a signal for you like ah from Info Arbitrage of Monitor 110. Info Arbitrage takes a bunch of data and they actually interpret the data and try tell you whether it is a long or short blah blah blah...make money or lose money – how you're long or short on these things. We don't tell people how they should list this or not...We tell people: this is really good information, you make your own judgments on how you like to use them. So i think that is the unique piece that this software provides. If you think about it, it is software that everybody can use.”
Roger Ehrenberg: “We are helping intelligent, knowledgeable investors find information and decide what to do with that information. The system is not going to say “Buy this! Sell this!”. What it's going to do is give you data and insights. And the thing is, a sophisticated investor might look at the information in one way, and another sophisticated investor might look at it in a completely different way.”
AnitoKid: Cough! Cough! Cough! See what I mean?
Lindsay Campbell: Why do you traders want this information?
Tim Wolters: “I want to know that I have a comprehensive view on what's going on with these positions...these companies...that I might be thinking about having a position in. A lot of that space, you know, is when are you gonna establish credibility. You go and read something from the New York Times. You hope, at least, that it is credible because they have fact checking teams and all of those things. On the blogs, it's sort of like a wild west.”
AnitoKid: Mr. Roger Ehrenberg profiles his blog as “A Wall Streeter's Ride into the Wild, Wild Web”. Mr. Tim Wolters, have you seen Roger Ehrenberg's Information Arbitrage lately? Of course you have! It sounds like you've been reading a lot of his posts. I can't blame you...he is good.
Tim Wolters: “What we do is to figure out what is the credibility, what is the veracity. We look at the individual over a period of time as they talk about certain topics. So we funnel people into what we call topic nets (neighborhoods of individuals that talk about certain topics). So we are able to assess over time what the credibility of sources are based on the past information, what they posted about on those topics. And then we create a sort of a probability distribution model about how likely is this new post by this person to be really good on this topic so you should pay attention to it.”
Roger Ehrenberg: “The issue of reputation is a big one out on the Internet as is the issue of the relevance of the information towards what you actually want to find. So what we do as information comes into the system, we give it two scores. One, based on the reputation of the source; and we have a proprietary algorithm to look into that. As well as the relevance of the content to your query, to the thing that you want to find. And investors can dial up, dial down on these thresholds to target writing on their specific query.”
*from TechCrunch: “Monitor 110 gathers information from millions of sources of various types, ranked by financial market knowledge through a proprietary algorithm that takes 50 factors into account. Users can chose between top sources preselected for their market sector and subscribe to sources of their own.”
AnitoKid: Tim Wolters wonderfully "borrowed" Roger Ehrenberg's words and thoughts to promote his product. Mr. Wolters also miserably failed to advance examples of Collective Intellect's efficiency and effectiveness or even the feature to find relevant and/or investable information. Roger Ehrenberg gave two excellent examples of Monitor110's ability to cash in, i.e., problems that Sony (SNE) was about to have with regards to shipping the PS3 because of the blue diode issue; and Accentia (ABPI), a company that specializes in cancer vaccines. For months it had little trading volume, with its share price in slow but steady decline. Once word came out that its vaccine demonstrated promising results, millions of shares traded hands and the stock price surged over 40%. BANG! Proof is always a polite way of saying: Shhhhhhh! Silencio! Mr. Tim Wolters: Please stop blabbering. And it is not polite to "borrow" other people's words and thoughts, particularly when they are your competitors and especially when you do not have the permission to do so.
*an interesting post from one of my favorite bloggers, the Silicon Valley Watcher...Enjoy!
*I wonder why the picture slots at Collective Intellect's site are empty. Emptiness can sometimes be correlated with incompleteness or inability to deliver on promises. Imagine that! Such incompleteness from a company that touts itself as one "offering a new model for relevant new media research, with specialized services for institutional investors and investment professionals as well as Fortune 1000 companies". Tsk.