Blinkx 2.0: Roadkill or Killer App?

I would like to see Blinkx succeed — the San Francisco startup has far and away the most innovative feature set of any of the host of desktop search tools out there, and the new 2.0 release is even better — but I am worried that they aren’t going to find a way to get people to pay. After all, Microsoft is about to launch free desktop search, Google already has, and Copernic has an excellent free product.

Where will Blinkx go to hide? Yes, it could go vertical and become a market research and business intelligence tool. But while that is still an open market, especially market research (as my wife regularly reminds me), few folks have had much luck getting market researchers to adopt a unified platform. Like lab technicians everywhere, such researchers are fond of rolling their own tools (Excel is a bizarre favorite) and complaining that nothing else works well enough.

Nevertheless, I like the new features in Blinkx 2.0, including smart folders and the P2P hooks. I also like seeing that the former head of Yahoo Europe, Mark Opzoomer, has joined the company as CEO. He is a fellow Queen’s University alumnus, so even though he is an accountant he must be a half-decent guy šŸ˜‰

Blinkx is doing some great stuff, much more innovative work in desktop search than what Google and Microsoft are doing. After all, while desktop search tools are on the desktop, they are hooked to the Internet — vendors should use it, and only Blinkx really is.

And that is perhaps Blinkx’s ticket to differentiating itself. if Blinkx is going to prosper it is partly going to be because it is first to chase down some search-related verticals and wins ’em, areas like market research and competitive intelligence. But it is mostly going to be because it turns search from an application into your working environment. Blinkx, to my way of thinking, is doing the right thing in following the immersive Madge model of search: “You’re soaking in it.”


  1. Kevin H. Stecyk says:

    Hi Paul, I am curious if you have tried Enfish (, which was briefly profiled in Barron’s a couple weeks ago. If you have tried Enfish, how does it compare to the others you’ve mentioned?

  2. Paul Nichols says:

    Microsoft have been talking about doing smart folders for years! All credit to blink for actually doing it. I really think they will succeed – they really are putting themselves ahead of the others with this new version.

  3. I agree, Blinkx really seem to have moved on with this new version. The new smart folders are really easy to use

  4. Charlie Sierra says:

    I have the distinct feeling that these guys are wasting their time.
    Anybody care to compare Blinkx to the Beagle project on the Gnome Desktop?
    I’m hard pressed to understand what the big deal is about, I mean a couple of 14yro’s over the holidays could build this software. BFD.
    The real problem I see here is than people/VCs are confusing an open niche for a business opportunity when in fact the niche amounts to nothing more than a mere FEATURE in somebody else’s portfolio.

  5. I really like Blinkx, i think its a great product and is totally ahead of the game right now with its smart folders. those folders make searching so easy and are so helpful. blinkx is the way to go as far as desktop searches go right now.

  6. I agree with you Eddie, Blinkx has really surprised me with their new version. The smart folders really are such an advantage, and so easy to use. I cant wait to see what else blinkx can do for me.

  7. Hey Charlie-
    I think you are being unfair, if a couple of 14 year olds can build this over the holidays than why have microsoft and apple been talking about this and attempting to start this (smart folders) for years.
    You are right Blinkx has done it quickly,surely this is more to do with the fact that thye have something that the big boys dont have!!?!!

  8. blinkx is much less intrusive than beagle, which is very greeedy with cpu usage when doing indexing of any type. i’d been hearing about conceptual search as ‘the future of search’, and until i tried blinkx i didn’t realize what a powerful tool it could be. very relevant results, adn the smart folders idea is incredible.

  9. charlie,
    think your missing the point there. beagle is more like copernic, enfish and all the others. they don’t do anythingf differnt from google, so can’t really see them suceeding ina big way once GOOG get their stuff together + move out of beta.
    otoh as far as i can see with blinkx they are doing some different stuff. haven’t tried the folders yet, but the linkng automatically takes you to other files/sites from ANY application. i’m no 14yo programmer, but i don’t think that can be that easy seeing as no one else seems to be able to do it.
    if you think about it, desktop seach + beagle are just features of blinkx’s portfolio.
    sounds like you need to actulally give it a go!! i’ll be trying 2.0 soon.

  10. Hey Wilson-
    I agree with you 100%, it all comes down to whether or not the search applications are any good. I personally have found blinkx to be really cool, helpful and easy to use. I am the kind of person who gets scared off by new tech. (hate downloading, etc) but this was so easy that I am totally pro blinkx now.

  11. Tony Simms says:

    blinkx is really cool. i love the smart folders and i think its great how this little start up was able to get them out beofre the other two big companies (apple and microsoft). it makes me like blinkx even more