Let’s just throw a few million at ’em, just in case. Really, it’s not a bubble.
The implementation of something like this is not technically overwhelming, or technically defensible, as demonstrated by fqwiki. The image processing is trivial, if tedious, and all the data is already organized and available to anybody in a structured format. They are only presenting the Wikipedia database.
1. How is this worth a valuation able to absorb $8M and not dilute the founders beyond motivation? It is not, obviously.
2. Why do you need $8M for an alpha consumer product which has no real technology of its own to create? You don’t, unless the only barrier you can possibly erect is marketing.
3. What is to stop Wikipedia, the actual curators of the real value, from adding the exact same audio and picture show to every entry? Why then would I visit Qwiki ever again? Absolutely nothing, and few would.
The Qwiki product is also not very useful. As many have pointed out, it is a very inefficient way to learn information. There is no text to read while listening. After you consume more than a few entries the tacky image animations actually become very irritating; they actually started to give me a headache (it would be much better to do a cross fade on a consistent image size). The trend of the Qwiki Compete graph is not a good sign, either. Qwiki has virtually no retention.
Qwiki is little more than a toy, basically, as any cursory investigation reveals. But this is Silicon Valley, after all. Let’s give them $8M anyway, just in case.