A few years ago, I envisioned an online reputation service like this one – thinking that at some point, for some people, anonymity would be less and less important. That being a known quantity, being someone with an excellent reputation, would have to extend to one’s online presence.
The idea was that someone like an eBay seller, or a sole proprietor retailer would want to maintain a stellar online reputation in order to gain more sales – it would start as an extension of your eBay ratings, be decoupled and platformized so that others could write to it. More of a reputation platform.
Of course, since then, we’ve had a raft of services which thrive on anonymity, and it almost seemed like for a while that we were swinging in the opposite direction. Well, at least the hot, fundable and press worthy stuff was swinging that way.
But I think that there is a real need for a real identity service on the internet. In fact, the lack of a solid, dependable identity platform may be something that is holding back a lot of interesting innovation – I mean imagine all of the interesting products and services which we could provide if we just knew that someone was who they really are?
One of the most interesting ideas we were kicking around a few months ago was something like a Glassdoor, but for your future boss or client. For example, when you interview with someone and are thinking of taking that job, how do you know that the guy isn’t a slave driver who forces you to work long hours and through weekends? Or for freelancers, is that potential client really a good guy – or is he a jerk who is going to stiff you?
This is not an easy problem – in my view, (and Yelp is a good example of this) you only get feedback from two camps, the haters who want to take you down, a much, much smaller group of people who had an over-the-top-awesome experience. There is a whole bunch of people in between who might have had a good experience but can’t be bothered to rate it. This becomes even more interesting when you are talking about individual’s reputations as opposed to businesses. I’m sure that there is some magic crowd/cloud combination that works, we just haven’t figured it out yet – my sense is that it will require some kind of big data approach, with a little crowd flavoring.
Hope these guys get some traction, since I think this space will be heating up quickly…
Traity, an alumni of Europe’s Seedcamp and Silicon Valley’s 500 Startups, has big ambitions. It wants to become the standard for online reputation, an opportunity surely missed by eBay’s reluctance to make its reputation scores transportable back in the Dot Com days. Today the Spain, Madrid-based company is announcing a $4.7 million series A round led by Active Venture Partners to help fuel that mission.