David Vellante has some ideas about revolutionizing IT market research. A former senior vice president at research firm International Data Corp., Dave’s been running Barometrix, a successful startup focused on ROI measurement for several years. But here’s the new idea: a couple of months ago, Barometrix spun out Wikibon, a company that’s trying to apply wiki technology to market research.
The idea is to develop a rich research resource based upon contributions from knowledgeable people that are assembled and edited in a wiki. the first topic is information storage, but the goal is to apply this idea to other IT markets as well.
What makes this very Web 2.0-ish the idea of building a research product from content that is contributed for free. Research companies have always placed a premium on their ideas, and charged handsomely for it. Wikibon assumes that there are a lot of smart people out there who would be grateful just for the recognition. That is a fundamental Web 2.0: the assumption that good information doesn’t have to be expensive.
Dave’s competitors will no doubt hate this experiment, because they dislike anything that undermines their value proposition. But I think this is a heckuva good idea, and I’ll be eager to see how it turns out.