I'm sure they're aware, but for others here: decide.com does a fantastic job at price predicting products, and is founded by the same person behind the price prediction algorithm purchased by Bing ("Farecast") and he is also a tenured professor at the University of Washington specializing in machine learning. Pretty steep competition both from an engineering and business standpoint.
The economic (consumer choice) problem that Priceonomics is aimed at solving is the "when to buy a product" problem. Plenty of products already exist to aid consumers with the "where to buy" and "what/which to buy" problems. This paper at Microsoft Research goes through the theory:
Did you read the article? Here's the important point:
From this perspective, comparison shopping may focus
consumers' attention on differences between available options, leading them to overestimate the hedonic impact of selecting a more versus less desirable option. To the extent that the process of comparison shopping focuses attention on hedonically irrelevant attributes, comparison shopping may even lead people to choose a less desirable option over a more desirable option.
Pricenomics helps you get the best/fair price for an existing thing you were already going to buy. It is purely about making a more informed decision about one item, not comparing between somewhat different products and making the wrong decision.
Exactly. After looking at the results of some generic terms (netbook, ultrabook), they're really not equipped for general-purpose feature comparison. But when you narrow it down to a specific model, it seems like it would help you avoid ripoff craigslist/ebay deals.
I suppose this a positive, but I'm skeptical when companies use marketing events and cheeky blog posts to trumpet funding events. Especially when they don't disclose the reason why they needed to source funding the first place. Or they never mention how the capital will help the idea move forward.
The other reason why I am skeptical is that feels like startups these days are more focused on raising money than shipping product. Is the referenced blog post an example?
This is what I hear from this post: "hey, everyone! (waving hands) - we raised a round!"
I'd rather see: "hey, everyone! check out what we rolled out today!"
And If what you rolled out today is successful, innovative, generates net income, and is backed by 500 trillion in venture capital. Fantastic!
Otherwise, why should I be concerned that you got some people to invest in your idea?
Your skepticism is mis-placed. Your concerns are lame in general and especially so for Priceonomics and this particular post. Priceonomics has a history of writing quality blog posts of interest to this audience. This post acknowledges the folly of talking about a funding and proceeds to spend most of the time supplying very useful information about the process. Asking for more detail about intended fund usage is unnecessary. Everyone already knows basically what the funds will be used for.
And you know what? Raising money is worth celebrating. Funding is critical to helping entrepreneurs be successful.