Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Launching a SemWeb Market Research Project

I’ve been involved with the business of the Semantic Web (SW) since 2004 and I think this is an excellent time to launch a review of the “industry players.” The SW industry now has a number of participants and there’s an opportunity to clarify who they are, what they do, and why anyone, particular buyers, should care.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be contacting companies like (and no, this is not a complete list):
  • Aduna
  • BBN
  • Cambridge Semantics
  • Franz
  • Garlik
  • ITA Software
  • Open Calais/Reuters
  • Siderean
  • Thetus
  • TopQuadrant
  • Twine/Radar Networks
  • Yahoo!
My conversations will follow a consistent format and I’ll have at least two classes of players – the first will be conventional vendors like Siderean, Thetus, and TopQuadrant and the second will be “deployers” of the technology like Open Calais/Reuters and Yahoo!. As I go along I’ll post observations on my blog, Semantic Business, and when I’m done I’ll write up the findings in a final report which I’ll make available for free.
It’ll be free because:
  • There’s a growing trend among analyst firms (at least the startups) to give their reports away for free. Where they make their money is in retained relationships, corporate sponsored presentations, and custom client projects.
  • I want to maximize industry (corporate, vendor, research & scientific) engagement, conversations, and involvement, so I want to minimize the barriers to interaction. Sounds a lot like open source, doesn’t it?
  • I’m willing to take the risk that this approach will work. It might not.
The level of activity in the industry is higher now than it’s ever been. That means it’ll be hard for me to find all the vendors, deployers, projects, etc. If you think I’ve missed something, please write to me and let me know.
I’m looking forward to this and I hope you are too!


Anonymous said...

Look forward to your results and apprecaite your approach. Openness is powerful so I expect you will reach your goals.

David Provost said...

Thanks for the good wishes - I'm already digging in!


Krista Thomas said...

Sounds like a great plan, David. Looking forward to it!
-Krista from the Calais team

Oleg Shilovitsky said...

David, Great initiative. Look forward for your result in this emerging space.

Christiaan Fluit said...

Sounds exiting! Be sure to take a look at, a collaboration of about 30 semweb companies.

Fabrice Epelboin said...

Looks promising, thanks for making this freely available.

Mills Davis said...


I wish you well as well, and will be glad to talk with you about what we are researching and what we think about business models, which you may find helpful.

Peter Sweeney said...

Best of luck with your review, David. We'd be very interested in your take on SemWeb.

- Peter, Primal Fusion

Daniel Hladky said...

David, Ontos is happy to be part of your analysis and we like to share our view of the semantic market, especially also the view on what is going on in Europe and Eastern Europe like Russia. Cheers, Daniel

David Provost said...

Thank you all very much for commenting - between these responses and my email traffic, it looks like I'll be pretty busy for the next several weeks. I'll be in touch!