Get the answers with Hunch


Flikr founder Caterina Fake has a new venture: Hunch.

It’s in private beta now, and we’re giving it a test spin to see what’s the what.  It’s got lots of data and an easy UI. But you’re probably wondering what is Hunch. Via her blog post:

“Hunch is a decision-making site, customized for you. Which means Hunch gets to know you, then asks you 10 questions about a topic (usually fewer!), and provides a result — a Hunch, if you will. It gives you results it wouldn’t give other people.”

Essentially, it’s a startup to help people jump to conclusions.  It’s a fun time waster, but I’m not sure it’s as useful as the site’s creators think/hope it is.  For realz. 

Not to take anything away from what Fake has built, but essentially you can find out what magazine you should read or what blog to check out, or music to listen to based upon your individual personality.  That they do so with only ten questions leaves a bit to be desired.  Basically it’s a recommendation service or gives out advice – all the stuff your friends and family already help you do anyways or a shortcut for those people that are proactive and know where to find information to nagging questions.

TechCrunch is anamored with the site and I’m not sure why.

All in all the site looks slick, but does Hunch really have all the answers?

At this point the site covers around 500 subjects, ranging from topics on computers and gadgets to relationships and dating. Some of the questions are just for amusement (which Star Wars character am I?), but most of them aspire to be genuinely helpful. After picking a question you’d like to have answered, the site presents a series of multiple choice questions (you always have the option to skip a question if you don’t know how to answer it). At the end, the system presents an answer, along with its next-best guesses ranked according to how confident it is with its decision.

For example, say you were looking to decide between purchasing either a PC or a Mac. The site will present a series of structured questions set up by other users, such as “What do you intend to use the computer for?” In theory this is supposed to be better than asking the question on a general Q&A site like Yahoo Answers, because you won’t have to deal with the bitter flamewars that inevitably result. After entering ten questions or fewer, the system will spit out your answer.

Consider me unsold, but like all things with the right amount of hype and marketing, I’m sure Fake can make a go of this.  hunch2

Okay, maybe they are on to something, since I’m coo-coo for cocoa puffs for Zooey Deschanel and the questions don’t really leave room for you to cheat your way to an answer.

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