Interview with James Pitkow, Moreover Technologies

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Sometime last year I conducted an interview with James Pitkow, CEO of Moreover Technologies. Here is the transcript of that interview:

SY: Hi Jim, thanks a bunch for sparing some time with us. Can you please tell a bit about yourself? What is your background? When did you join Moreover Technologies?

JP: My bio can be found at: http://pitkow.com/biography_precis.html. I joined Moreover in April 2002.

SY: Moreover has been chosen by several well-known companies and services as ?their cup of tea?. What do you feel is the reason behind it and would you continue to follow that reason?

JP: At Moreover, one of our core values is the relentless pursuit of results. This permeates all aspects of our business, with particular emphasis on customer service. We?re committed to doing whatever we need to do to help our customers receive the maximum value from our solutions. Whatever they need, we deliver, period.

In talking with customers, I?ve always been surprised that this is not the norm in our sector. Equally important is the fact that we offer fixed-cost annual pricing with unlimited usage. We?ve had customers come to us saying that they have never been able to see a price sheet from our competitors, or that they were surprised at the size of second year renewal rate hikes. Naturally, this makes it really difficult for customer to get comfortable with our competitors? sales process.

Moreover?s customers have complete confidence that they are being treated fairly and are receiving a great deal on content when they sign up and for years to come. Price transparency is a good thing.

SY: Being a former content provider myself, it?s amazing how Moreover keeps track of each and every article gathered from its sources ? no doubt some of the leading brands have chosen it. How does it do it? Not to get too specific, what is the most you could reveal on this?

JP: The nuts and bolts of harvesting content is a messy business, and one that Moreover has invested over 150 person years into getting it right.

Our system utilizes proprietary technology to rapidly harvest the content accurately from nearly 9,000 hand selected and edited current awareness sources. Each article is tagged with over 25 pieces of metadata, creating a wealth of information for filtering and drill down capabilities for our customers. The data is then stored and delivered via a massively scalable infrastructure.

To give you an idea of enormity of our systems, we deliver somewhere between 3 and 5 billion headline links each month.

SY: What do you feel is the future for real-time news technologies? Can it or will it get any better?

JP: The future for real-time news only gets brighter and brighter each year, especially for aggregated news. 2004 marks the first year that an aggregated news source, Yahoo News in this case, has repeatedly been the top online news source, beating out the super strong CNN brand.

News content has been componentized, allowing consumers to get just the stories they want, when they want them. Technology that helps drive aggregation and further value creation around the content will only continue to flourish over the next several years, creating ultra-rich structured content streams.

RSS will play a big part too in driving the evolution of real-time news technologies.

SY: Do you have any future plans for Moreover?

JP: Sure. Stay tuned as you?ll be seeing even more of our strategy unfold in the coming months.

SY: Last question, bit of an odd one really, what is your favorite online news source?

JP: MSN?s Newsbot, where else can I get the best aggregated content personalized to my exact tastes?


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