Judy's Book

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Judy's Book
Type Private
Headquarters Seattle, United States
Area served Worldwide
Founder(s) Andy Sacks (Co-founder)
Chris DeVore (Co-founder)
Key people David Niu (board member)
Geoff Entress (board member)
Andy Liu (board member)
Mike Ma (board member)
Ali Alami (General Manager)
Industry Internet
Employees 7
Subsidiaries Snappd.it
Website www.judysbook.com
Type of site Local Social Search, Local Ratings and Reviews
Advertising Banner ads, referral marketing
Launched 2004
Current status Active

Judy's Book is a social search tool and online yellow pages used by millions of registered users across the United States to find the best deals, discounts and coupons and to locate local businesses and professionals such as physicians, restaurants, dentists, dry cleaners, pizza restaurants and plumbers, and rate and review them.[1]

History[edit]

In 2004, friends and entrepreneurs Andy Sack (Founders Co-op, Kefta, Abuzz, Firefly Network)[2][3] and Chris DeVore (Founders Co-op, Sapient Corporation, Adjacency[disambiguation needed])[3] founded Judy's Book with a $2.5 million seed funding that they were able to raise.[4] The social networking-based local search tool allows small businesses to promote themselves and users to browse through listings to locate businesses and professionals in their area and rate and review their experiences.[3][5] According to the official website, the idea of Judy's Book was inspired by co-founder Andy Sack's mother-in-law, Judy Albert, who kept a "little green book" full of lists and shopping tips and other favorites that she'd share with family and friends to help them find "the best of everything".

Seth Godin described the start up as "Craig's List meets Zagats meets Orkut."[6] The website allows small, mid and even large sized businesses to submit all promotions and deals they have so that users can then easily navigate through them and keep up with the latest offerings.[7] Registered users can browse through local and online stores and even post deals, coupons or any other sales they learn of and further enhance existing postings by providing more detailed information and adding personal reviews, ratings and tags.[3]

Marketing tactics[edit]

In 2005, in an effort to get the website off the ground, the company offered iPods to anyone who submitted 50 reviews of local businesses. While the then-owners and founders of Judy's Book, Andy and Chris, refused to reveal how many people won iPods or how many reviews were submitted, Sack announced that their marketing efforts were successful as the website saw a 50-60% increase in reviews and member registrations every month.[8]

In 2006, the website gave out $100 gift certificates every day from February 16 until March 5 to the person who had written the most reviews that day.[9][10]

Also in 2006, in an attempt to further increase traffic to the website, Judy's Book announced that it was partnering with Local.com.[5] All reviews written on Judy's Book were included in Local.com's search results.[5]

In 2006, Judy's Book claimed trademark on the term social search.[11][12]

Deadpooled[edit]

After burning through $10.5 million in capital that was raised over the three years of its operation, and unable to generate enough revenue to keep the website afloat, the company began looking for a new buyer.[13] Judy's Book was deadpooled in October 2007.[14]

Change of ownership and management[edit]

In October 2008, nearly one year from the day Judy's Book laid off nearly all of its staff and was declared "deadpooled", Seattle-based angel investors Geoff Entress Madrona Venture Group, David Niu (founder of BuddyTV) and Andy Liu (CEO of BuddyTV) bought the company from the original founders, Andy and Chris.[6][11][15] The group are currently working together on another venture capital, Founders Co-op. However, in an interview with one of the owners, Andy Liu noted that the purchase of Judy's Book took place before they invested in the Internet incubator, Founders Co-op. While none of the investors were willing to reveal how much was paid in its acquisition, it is assumed to be far less than the $10.5 million the original founders had put in the start-up.[6] The website is currently led by General Manager, Ali Alami.

In June of 2012, the new management of Judy's Book launched KidScore which is an at of glance measure of a places kid friendliness.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Posts about: Judys-Book". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  2. ^ CrunchBase. "Andy Sack". People. CrunchBase. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d Cook, John (2 September 2004). "Venture Capital: Checkbooks open for Judy's Book startup". SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER. Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  4. ^ Kontzer, Tony. "Local Search Market Heating Up--Local search companies such as Judy's Book and TrueLocal are finding a niche in Google's shadow". Information Week. Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c "Judy's Book, Local.com Partner". Northwest Innovation. Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c Crunch, Base. "Judys Book". Companies. Crunch Base. Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  7. ^ Green, Heather. "Businesses Talk Back at Judy's Book". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  8. ^ TEDESCHI, BOB (15 August 2005). "An IPod for Your Thoughts: A Web Site Offers Incentives to Reviewers". New York Times. Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  9. ^ "Earn Rewards for Sharing Your Advice; Judy's Book Will Give Away $100 Gift Certificate Every Day To Person Who Writes the Most Reviews". dBusiness News. Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  10. ^ Top, News. "Judy's Book Starts Gift Certificate Promotion". Northwest Innovation. Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  11. ^ a b Cook, John. "Judy's Book reborn with new investors". Tech Flash. Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  12. ^ Mills, Elinor. "Judy's Book gets trademark for 'Social Search'". cnet News. Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  13. ^ Cook, John (23 October 2007). "Judy’s Book cuts staff, looks for a buyer". SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER. Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  14. ^ Kaplan, Dan. "Judy’s Book follows BackFence, collapses". Venture Beat. Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  15. ^ Krasilovsky, Peter. "How Yelp Beat Judy’s Book". Digital Media Wire. Retrieved 7 March 2011.