Interview with Martin Bouchard, Copernic

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Sometime last year I conducted an interview with Martin Bouchard, Co-Founder of Copernic. Here is the transcript of that interview:

SY: Hi Martin, can you please tell us a little bit about yourself? What?s your background and what made you found Copernic?

MB: My background is both as an entrepreneur and a computer engineer.

I started my first business at the age of 14. I sold my first software to a large insurance company when I was 18. At age 20, I created a telephony SY:stem to sell cars and houses via a telephone service.

Then the Internet arrived and I realized it would create a revolution in the information technology world. So, given this new opportunity, I co-founded Copernic with my brother Eric eight years ago. Our first product was a meta-search software to help people find information on the Web. Then we diversified and created other complementary products. We now offer more than 5 different products.

SY: While others have search engines which work in an online dot-com interface, Copernic and its sub-programs are built to work ?client-side? (as you might refer to). Can you please detail into the advantages and dis-advantages of using/creating a software like this? I know one advantage is giving the user extra options, and one dis-advantage is ?real-time? program updates. Are there any more?

MB: Basically, we believe these are two different things. Each has its pros and cons. In some ways, it?s like comparing Outlook and Hotmail. Both are useful and good software but with different goals.

We decided to focus on the ?client-side? as this offers better opportunities for what we wanted to do. Our vision is that searching can be improved through approaches like local search, personalization, and advanced text analysis. And we believe, for many reasons, that they can be better implemented using ?client-side? software.

SY: What is your insight on giving the user ?options?? Do you think it is better to let the user choose or let the search engine ?assume??

MB: I think we should always create something that ?assumes? as this is what most users want. However, there are users who want more control and we should also provide them that flexibility.

SY: I noticed that you guys recently launched a free desktop search tool which is coming in handy to many ? no doubt. Will there be any more launches as such later on which you might like to ?break??

MB: There will definitely be new stuff to come. Without revealing all our secrets, expect to see things like blogs/RSS indexing, personalization of search results, intelligent information clustering, unified searching, and much more.

SY: Ok, last question. Which is your favourite search engine?

MB: I tend to use many different search engines, maybe because of my roots in meta-search. However, I really like Feedster.com for blog searches.


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