Feedback about Eleven’s Demo Day – KeenSkim

***There’s an update – Tudor/KeenSkim is hiring and he asked me to post it here!***
He is looking for a JavaScript Front End engineer and a Social Media Manager!
There’s no need to say (But if you think there is – read my article) – KeenSkim’s future is really good looking, so if you’d like to join – drop a mail at tudor [at] keenskim [dot] com
***End of Update!***
This is part 6 of 11 with my feedback about the start-ups from Eleven Accelerator.

For more information about the blog series and one very important disclaimer, you can read part 1.

To begin the New Year, i will go with the awesome Tudor Vlad and his product KeenSkim. Again, i have a lot of feedback for him but to be in the nature of his product, i am going to be short and provide summary wherever i can summarize 🙂

After this, i will post a screenshot of my article summarized by his product.


About the pitch

Tudor’s pitching is great.
It seems that going to big conferences like Pioneers Festival, How To Web and Le Web and practicing your pitch really pays off (Tudor did them all :))

The problem with the information overload is a big one, and the solution was presented in a convincing way. Users don’t have to change their habits. It just happens in their natural flow 🙂

To emphasize more on how big the problem is (Which makes the solution even more valuable), maybe you can add some numbers about how many new articles (or bytes of information) are created everyday and how people cannot process them all in a human lifetime.

The only thing i missed from the pitch was a slide about the team. As far as i know, KeenSkim is One-Tudor-Show which is not bad at all.



Put a big slide with you on it and say that you are looking (If you are) for more awesome people to join this promising startup 😉 Investors will love it and maybe you can find your co-founder to do the million dollar exit 🙂

About the product and monetization

I really like that the idea is simple enough. Click a button, have the thing you read summarized. That’s it!

If I put my money-giving hat on, I’d invest whatever i can invest, because Tudor + The product concept are worth a lot!

But if i put my everyday-browsing-user hat, i have one really big problem with KeenSkimdoubt.
The doubt that first, I have to read the summarized article and after that, read the entire article again just to be sure that i am not missing something (And after i read the entire article, read the summary again)
After all, this is an algorithm and it can’t always get what is valuable for me and what i actually like to read in an article.
There’s a major suggestion about this doubt problem in the next section 🙂

Another thing is that there are two sides of the problem with too much information – quantity and quality.
KeenSkim is not solving the problem with quantity (There are tons of articles and if i decide to use KeenSkim, there will be again tons of tons of articles with 2/3 less content).
There are other companies that try to filter your streams and curate the articles for you.
KeenSkim, on the other hand, gets the value from each article, which is the missing part.
You still can filter a lot of information via Twitter/Facebook but do you read it ?
Summarize it and have a quick look, then decide if it’s worth reading and understanding.
For me, this is the answer that KeenSkim is providing.

About the monetization
The freemium model does not look very promising.

  • Advertising. Users will pay to not have ads ? Where the ads are going to be in the first place ? Ads in a summarizing tool sounds like the best way to lose users.
  • Paid Subscriptions for heavy usage sounds more like API licensing. Do you have more details here ? Will it cost more than Github for example or something like 1$-5$ monthly ?

On the other hand, API licensing is the way to go.
With a very good and hard to copy algorithm, the best way to monetize is to sell to 3rd parties, who have tons of users and are willing to pay big money to make them happy.
The fact that Evernote is using KeenSkim is a good signal for that business model 🙂
My suggestion is to drop the Freemium model, build a habit in the users and sell your service to 3rd parties, to answer that habit.


Here’s a quick list with suggestions that i think can be helpful 🙂

  • Represent the summary in a series of tweets! Twitter has tought us to read stuff in 140 chars, so if you can summarize an article in multiple-tweets format, it will be killer !
  • Invent cloning, or find yourself another Tudor, to take care of the marketing/branding OR a CTO to take care of the technology and you take care of the marketing and branding for the product. Burnouts are nasty.
  • Go with a wordpress plugin. Make the bloggers put your “Summarize this” button in order to convert more people reading their blogs.
  • Go for crowdsourcing and rating from the users about different articles summarized by KeenSkim. Here is a user-case: I summarize a TechCrunch article that was summarized by 100 people before me and they have rated and suggested improvements for the summary. Now i have the option to read the improved version and remove the doubt problem. Something like what Google is doing with their translation algorithm.
    If you can combine Artificial Intelligence with Human Intelligence, KeenSkim will be unstoppable force (And lets hope it won’t turn into Skynet :D)
  • If you can put yourself in Google Labs with Gmail plugin for summarizing long emails – the world will be a better place !

A Summary of my article

Decide who will be next!

Only 5 startups left to be covered by my feedback series and it will be great if i can make it before the DemoDay in London.
Vote for which startup you want to see next and i will take that in consideration for the next article.

Thank you for reading!

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