There is something wrong with the information today. First, we suffer from an information overload (1). We can know whatever we want, whenever we prefer. However, in most of the cases, this doesn’t make us more educated, as info touch us just the time to impress. Probably it will be disappeared in a moment of real need. Second and more important, “Information is not knowledge”, at least according to Einstein. Information is the skeleton, knowledge is its human application, colored by creativity, fixed by ad hoc application.
The founders of Jelly, which are Biz Stone -one of the Twitter co founder-, and Ben Finkel, started up from this intuition. Do algorithms really know us? Could friends’ advises be replaced by recommendation agents? Can Wikipedia answer all our questions? They said no. Technology, they thought, does a lot in terms of gathering the worldwide intelligence, but it will never be able to replace human brains. Phew, this is comforting.
So they created Jelly. Jelly is an app and an idea that like a jellyfish uses different tentacles to feed the same brain. Jelly is personalized. Last, Jelly is social.
Let’s suppose you’re walking back home in Rotterdam and you see a strange building (which is very likely). You could maybe wonder what is it, and when it was built. Or maybe that in the evening you need a supermarket that is still open, to buy the ingredients for your last minute recipe. Maybe among your friends, or your friends’ friends, there is someone with something to say to help you out. So you take or upload a picture (which explains better than a thousand words), maybe circle the object you’re interested in, and send your question to all your friends. The app will notify you as an answer is provided. To show your gratefulness you can then use one of the Thank you! cards provided by the website. “Let’s help each other” Jelly says. Love and Glory are assured (2).
To build your network Jelly connects all the people linked with your social profile/s. Jelly is a combination of Facebook, Yahoo! Answer, Instagram. Q&A, photo sharing, social network, and search engine are all combined in a powerful tool. It is like using a search engine, in the sense you ask the question and it gives you back the answer. However, the big difference lies in the warmer approach, as there is a community rather than a computer that wants to help you. The second difference is that the questions are delivered through pictures, that makes it funnier.
It seems that even Mark Zuckerberg liked it.
The app is available for both IOs and Android, and it is free. Once you download it you have to access through Facebook or Twitter, so all your friends will belong to the pool you’re going to use for your question. Moreover, the app also provides you with the option to forward the question to your friends’ friends if you need better or more answers.
The app was only released in January 2014, thus information about the revenue’ sources are hard to find, or maybe the app doesn’t have any, yet. Within the corporate worlds however, there are already some big companies that see potential in Jelly. For example, General Electric is interested in using Jelly’s community to find out which industry will be more influenced by the 3D printing (3). At the moment, less than 10 people work in the company as the app is entirely based on user-generated content.
Some reservations about the business model: nowadays we have dozens of tools to fill the gap between information and knowledge. Why not asking my Facebook friends for a suggestion? Why not using Yahoo! Answer for my last silly question?(4).
Well, Jelly has a nice logo…
- Malone, T.W., R. Laubacher, and Chrysanthos Dellarocas. “The Collective Intelligence Genome.” MIT Sloan Management Review 51.3 (2010): 21-31.