Decide.com has been cloaked in stealth mode for nearly the last two years. During that time, the startup has remained tight-lipped about what it’s been up to, while at the same time managing to raise $8.5 million from Maveron, Madrona Venture Group, Google founding board member Ram Shriram, former Expedia CEO Erik Blachford, and others — all in the name of building a “revolutionary new shopping service that will bring unprecedented levels of transparency to electronics shopping”.
Today, Decide is finally ready to unveil what it’s been working on and launch that new shopping service into the wild. The proposed goal? To offer a novel comparison-shopping tool that will take that feeling of nagging regret out of consumer electronics purchases. For those who may not be familiar with the regret associated with the consumer electronics shopping experience, Best Buy actually released a great commercial a few months back that highlights the often annoyingly speedy pace at which new product iterations and updates hit the market. Figuratively speaking, it always seems that just as soon as one buys a 3D TV, a 4D TV is right around the corner.
Decide tackles this problem by giving users a service that uses data mining techniques to tell a consumer whether they should buy a device now or wait until there’s a cheaper model on the market. After all, in doing its year-and-a-half due diligence, Decide observed that, in 2010,an average of six new laptops were released into the market each day, plus one new TV and one new camera every other day.
And, as electronics geeks know, many device manufacturers make announcements or start planting rumors about their next generation devices months before they are available on the market. MacRumors is one popular example of the many websites and blogs that traffic in these tips and early rumblings.
Thus, Decide is offering consumers a tool that uses proprietary data and predictive algorithms to tell them when they can buy with confidence, or whether they should wait for a price drop or a new model that’s slated to be released in just a few days. Decide matches hundreds of thousands of devices to their “model lineages” and crawls the Web for news and rumors, as well as applying “advanced machine learning and text mining algorithms” to predict future product releases.