Searching for a better retrieval system
The Web is a vast storehouse of information, but without a way to navigate its pathways, it can be a challenge to actually find what you need. For businesses bent on maximizing employee efficiency, long Web searches can feel especially painful. New York-based TripleHop Technologies aims to ease the situation with its information retrieval and decision support software. The company’s CTO, Dr. Joaquin Delgado, talks about entrepreneurship, technology, and finding what’s hidden.
What got you personally interested in doing this work?
TripleHop Technologies was founded on the basis of cutting-edge research work in the field of “information filtering and recommender systems” performed during my Ph.D. in artificial intelligence and computer science in Japan. It was a unique opportunity to bring to life a series of technological advances, sparked both by academic research and potential market demand. Turning years of theoretical work into a reality and making the switch to an entrepreneurial mode has been an exciting challenge that I have never regretted choosing.
How did TripleHop Technologies get started?
The idea for the company actually developed from a real business need of one of TripleHop’s co-founders, Renaud Laplanche. For a time, Renaud worked as a corporate lawyer and, as a lot of professionals operating in comparable industries, often found himself stuck late at night in the office. One of his frustrations was that he spent a disproportionate amount of his day just looking for stuff: looking for a good precedent to start drafting a contract, sifting through his emails to find an old e-mail from a client, doing research in various online services, etc. He felt that there had to be a better way, that would increase his productivity, enable him to focus on the more substantive aspect of his work, and maybe even allow him to leave the office at a decent hour.
Why do you feel there’s a need for your services?
For the same reasons the company began, we believe that there’s a growing need for better tools for coping with the infamous problem of information overload, as well as aiding decision making processes. We are just at the dawn of the information age, in which knowledge workers represent the main asset for corporations and the economy in general, so anything aiming at solving problems for this growing population is posed to be a necessity.
What kinds of challenges do you see in your business?
As a newcomer to the market, we are facing what every company at our stage has to cope with. Even with the best technology in the world, with limited resources it is always very hard to build brand recognition and sales volume while trying to grow and expand the company, especially in this bear market. Nevertheless, TripleHop has not only been surviving the crisis, but demonstrating a moderate but steady growth. Since the company’s inception, we’ve been increasing revenues and adding clients like AOL Time Warner and USA Today.
What’s a matching engine, and how does it benefit your clients?
It’s a technology that enables users to be matched with information that corresponds to their interests. You use all the information you can get or create about the object of recommendation (product, document, job application, etc.), and hints about the user’s intention to filter information. The main difference with general search and retrieval is that matching has as main objective, aiding the user in a decision-making process.
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