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Industry Computer software
Founded Podebrady, Czech Republic (2005 (2005))
Founder Joshua Tabin (CEO)
Headquarters Cambridge, United Kingdom
Area served
Europe, United States
Products AnswerOil

PrismaStar is an international software company that develops consumer guidance technology, such as its flagship product, AnswerOil, a product search solution for online retailers based on the principle of faceted search. The company was founded in 2005 in Poděbrady, Czech Republic and now has over 30 employees in Chicago, London, Cambridge, Poděbrady, and Prague.

Intellectual Property[edit]

PrismaStar owns several patents and pending patents for its technology.[1] One such patent relates to Persistent Relative Positioning, a process that enables interdependent sliders to be used for balancing the relative importance of a product's attributes to the shopper's decision.[2] This is used in the company's main product, AnswerOil.

AnswerOil screenshot.
AnswerOil uses patented technology to help shoppers find their perfect product.

Media coverage[edit]

In an entry into his FriendFeed on 11 July 2009, prominent American blogger, author and former Microsoft employee Robert Scoble reported that "the one search company most likely to get purchased by Microsoft to crush Google that I saw in Cambridge UK? PrismaStar", expanding that, "because they offer a new way of searching things that really rocks. I can't explain it in text."[3] Continuing his positive coverage of PrismaStar, Robert Scoble posted a video interview -- "Refined searches equal more sales"—with PrismaStar CEO Josh Tabin to his popular technology blog Building43, where Josh Tabin demonstrates the power and innovation of PrismaStar's patented AnswerOil technology; with Scoble's summary commenting that "AnswerOil offers buyers and sellers what both are looking for: better results." [4]

PrismaStar's Chief Techthusiast (technology enthusiast) and serial-entrepreneur CEO Joshua Z. Tabin was featured in BusinessWeek in 1999, where he discussed his previous, self-founded company, Tabin Corporation.[5]

Tabin has subsequently made numerous media appearances in which he talks about PrismaStar and its technology. Examples include a Digital Imaging Marketing Association podcast,[6] a Joshua Tabin interview with Ernst-Jan Pfauth[7] in The Next Web blog as part of a series of interviews with Internet start-ups, and another interview with Tabin from the Internet World trade show in Earl's Court, London, in 2008. carried an interview with Tabin in 2007[8] discussing PrismaStar and the pros and cons of starting a business in the Czech Republic. The same blog also ran a February 2009 article[9] about the launch of AnswerOil with Czech online retailer,

PrismaStar's AnswerOil product selection technology has been covered by some blogs and press, including a TechCrunch article[10] by CrunchGear Editor John Biggs that was subsequently published on The Washington Post's website,[11] a ZDNet article[12] by Assistant Editor Andrew Nusca, and a feature-piece[13] in PC World (CZ) magazine.


In 2007, PrismaStar won a first place Internet Effectiveness Award (IEA) in the Czech Republic for its WLW Hotel Selector.[14]

Customers and Partnerships[edit]

Current customers utilizing PrismaStar's AnswerOil technology include Jessops,, HotelSelector, BestSelector, and Calumet Photo.

AnswerOil currently supports over 1000 product categories (visible here in English) at

PrismaStar appears to be using Sprinx as its Czech-based server hosting partner.[15]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Tabin, Joshua Z. "Method and Apparatus to Facilitate Altering a Presentation Order for Search Results", US Patent & Trademark Office, January 17, 2008.
  2. ^ Tabin, Joshua Z. "Method and apparatus for interactive criteria-based commodity comparisons", US Patent & Trademark Office, July 12, 2007.
  3. ^ Scoble, Robert. "The one search company most likely to get... - Robert Scoble", Robert Scoble on FriendFeed, July 11, 2009.
  4. ^ Scoble, Robert. "Refined searches equal more sales", Building43, July 16, 2009.
  5. ^ Rosenberg, Hilary. "This Generation Is All Business", BusinessWeek, February 24, 1999.
  6. ^ Kruger, Jennifer. "DIMAcast 115. Jennifer interviews Josh Tabin", DIMAcast, August 24, 2008.
  7. ^ Pfauth, Ernst-Jan. "AnswerOil: product search and decision-making tool", The Next Web, March 12, 2008.
  8. ^ "PrismaStar - Web 2.0 company with Czech background",, June 29, 2007.
  9. ^ " launched dynamic product search based on Flex",, February 12, 2009.
  10. ^ Biggs, John. "AnswerOil lubricates your gadget purchases", TechCrunch, May 27, 2008.
  11. ^ Biggs, John. "AnswerOil lubricates your gadget purchases", The Washington Post, May 27, 2008.
  12. ^ Nusca, Andrew. "Weekend Gadget Guidance: Shop for online gadgets by sliding", ZDNet, May 30, 2008.
  13. ^ Žák, Čestmír. "PrismaStar uvádí interaktivní nástroj pro internetové obchody" ("PrismaStar provides an interactive tool for internet shops"), PC World, June 3, 2008.
  14. ^ "Vítězové Internet Effectiveness Awards 2007 Vyhledávač ubytování Hotel Selector", Internet Effectiveness Awards 2007.
  15. ^