Described as a “transactional knowledge market”, Mancx has launched today as a sort of classified ads site for business intelligence. Or to think of it another way: a kind of paid-for LinkedIn Answers where each request for specific information comes attached with a bounty.
In fact, Mancx offers users the option of linking their LinkedIn accounts for additional credibility, while at the other end of the spectrum, users can also choose to remain completely anonymous.
Each question or knowledge request has a price tag attached to it, although the platform allows for further private negotiation between users, and Mancx sits in the middle, taking a 20% commission. In that sense, the business model is obvious. But will it work?
To that end, the company cites research from Carnegie Mellon University which shows that financial incentives provide both better quality and more reliable information in knowledge markets. Or as Henrik Dillman, CEO and co-founder of Mancx, says: “You cannot expect busy individuals and professionals to spend hours researching and answering other people’s business-related questions without reward.”
And on one level, that’s probably hard to dispute, although motivations vary greatly, such as building reputation and the so-called trust economy.
However, in the case of Mancx – and it’s obviously early days – many of the currently placed ads or requests seem to be quite sales-oriented, which also makes sense. A qualified lead or nugget of industry analysis, albeit paid-for, is in turn monetizable and therefore profitable. In fact, Mancx has dedicated categories for ‘Sales Leads’ and ‘Market Analysis’, along with defining requests by country.
That’s not to say that it’s all sales. Some of the listed ads are quite practical, such as “Android/iPhone developer companies in New York area”, which carries a bounty of $150.
Mancx, based in Stockholm, Sweden, is privately funded but is said to be currently negotiating a second round of funding. They also say that they have a “patent pending for their solution to managing trade with information.”