Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Ether *is* Keen 2.0: Old Wine, New Bottles

Over at TechCrunch, Mike just posted on Ether, a new company driven out of the pay-per-call innovators Ingenio. My immediate thought was, "is Mayfield funding this company?" because Mayfield is (in)famously trolling through old bubble business plans for ideas, and this sounds an awful lot like

Keen was funded by Benchmark around 1999. I first saw gigantic billboards on the Underground advertising Keen in 2000 when I was living in London, and I remember thinking, "Damn, that's a great idea," as I stared at them from the platform across the tracks. It may still be a great idea, but Keen was relegated to a fairly painful fate, morphing into a psychic hotline and not much else. And certainly nothing that could make back the bubble-zillions that got poured into it.

In poking around to check out the carcass of Keen, I discovered a most curious fact:

Ingenio (Ether) *is* Keen! Changed their name sometime in the last seven years. Look right down at the bottom: "Keen is a trademark of Ingenio, Inc."

What was old is new again...!

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