A Kansas startup named Kozoru has been making big claims about how it’s going to revolutionize internet searching for about a year now, while also bouncing between putative business models. At the Web 2.0 conference in October, the company’s founder, John Flowers, told reporters that the company was shifting from “a web-based question-answer search engine” to one geared for “to instant messaging and mobile devices.” He also mentioned that he “hopes to sell the technology to an as-yet-undiscovered business partner.”
Then, in early December, Flowers, who describes himself as “Futurist, Strategist, Technologist, Visionary & Polymath,” wrote a rambling, self-indulgent “life meditation” on his blog about the failure of others to grasp the brilliance of Kozoru technology. A meeting with Apple earlier this year, for instance, ended like this: “We showed how we can answer questions against the Apple KB [Knowledge Base] and we were carefully and silently ushered out of the room at great haste, with little or no return phone calls … When I think back about what we did wrong, I am presented with the very real possibility we did nothing wrong technically, but that our solution – because it would replace an entire team of language and search experts (all using Verity to index their content) – was considered frightening to this team of people.” He goes on to talk about a more recent meeting with Google: “Everything we saw and heard and felt seemed like we were getting along great with everyone there. Everything, that is, until three weeks ago when – without warning – they stopped responding to e-mails or returning phone calls.”
Now Flowers has a new post, called “Banned by Google,” that’s attracting attention and sympathy. He says that “out of nowhere” Google has banned Kozoru “from using their system to show them how you make search better.” He implies that Google is seeking to squash his technology because it would deliver “more authoritative, more relevant and better” results than Google’s engine but that Google “couldn’t decide how or if [the] results were able to be monetized — after all, less results means less space for ads and so forth.”
I think I’ve proven that I’m able to think the worst about Google when necessary. But I’m going to draw the line here. If I were Google, I wouldn’t return this guy’s calls either. A crank is a crank.