Frustrated by how difficult it is to collaborate on decision-making over e-mail, AdMob founder Omar Hamoui today launched Maybe, a startup that simplifies the process for making decisions online.
Maybe is like a strange hybrid of Q&A sites like Quora, the image board Pinterest, and the opinion social network Thumb. People are currently using the service to find the best wedding shoes and the best iPad case, but really you can ask just about anything. (Though you don’t need Maybe to tell you which TV show to watch next: that’s Breaking Bad, folks.)
Google bought AdMob for $750 million in 2009, which helped solidify Hamoui as a rockstar in the ad business. He left Google in late 2010 and went on to create the startup incubator Churn Labs, where he dabbled in cool projects like the social app Gnonstop Gnomes. But it was Hamoui’s wife who ended up sparking the idea for the new site while shopping for a new coffee table.
“She spent of bunch of time browsing the web, collecting her options in a gmail draft, and then sent me an email of blue links that I was supposed to click on one by one to form an opinion,” Hamoui wrote in an e-mail to VentureBeat. “By the time I got to the fourth one, I had forgotten what the first one looked like, what the prices of any of them were, and certainly had not checked reviews or anything else that would help me give her a more informed opinion.”
Right now Maybe seems very basic: You can see the decisions other people are making, and create decisions of your own. The site differs from other Q&A sites since it works more like a poll. You’re choosing answers from a pre-selected list with a click of the mouse (you can leave comments, but it isn’t necessary). You can also “Re-Maybe” items for your own submissions later.
Hamoui stresses that the site is currently just a preview of Maybe’s capabilities. Eventually the company will add a mobile interface (which he assumes will be the dominant way to browse Maybe in the future), and research tabs to inform you about the decisions you’re making.
Maybe is based in San Mateo, Calif. Funding details haven’t been disclosed yet.
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