Pressflip Is A Belly Flop

Pressflip is a new blog search engine (it’s actually a relaunch of a site called Persai, which launched earlier this year). The idea is you do a search, train the engine by telling it which results aren’t interesting to you, and then wait for new results to come in over time.

The search results aren’t very deep compared to established blog search engines, there’s no RSS for the future search results that I can find and the training feature isn’t intuitive or explained clearly anywhere. Pressflip is far from launch ready, and under normal circumstances we’d add a page on Crunchbase for them and move on until it became interesting or went into the deadpool.

Persai/Pressflip has some notoriety because the founders, Ted Dziuba, Matt Kent and Kyle Shank, previously wrote a blog called Uncov, which focused primarily on tearing apart startups and the entrepreneurs behind them. Uncov has now been taken down, although a review is here) It was a blog that, while overly harsh at times, provided a good counterbalance to much of the sometimes overly positive coverage of startups. And, it was extremely funny.

But Uncov was just a hobby for the Pressflip founders as they raised small amounts of angel financing and worked away on their startup. Perhaps the workload from Pressflip became too much, or perhaps they realized that the startup they were building was turning into exactly the kind of thing that they would tear apart clinically on their blog, but they shut down Uncov just a few days before Persai first launched.

Pressflip/Uncov is a perfect illustration of The Man In The Arena quote from a 1910 Theodore Roosevelt speech given in Paris. It’s awfully easy to criticize the work of others but incredibly difficult to build something unique yourself. The Uncov guys are now in the arena, and failing. We’ll see if they have what it takes to take their hits and keep fighting.