There seems to be a trend with people taking a more critical eye to Yelp, Angie’s List, etc., and putting more stock back in word of mouth reviews from trusted sources. One of the major downsides to popular review sites is that you likely don’t know the person leaving the review, what frame of mind they were in at the time of the experience, or their personality, aside from what they have written. Also, with many businesses fabricating positive reviews to increase ratings, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to know what to believe. A disruption to the review/recommendation space is long overdue.
eMazeMe was created by Chris Pauly and Brian Pigott as a platform that allows users to see what businesses and service providers their friends are recommending, and to add and organize their own favorites to share within their network. According to the founders, their goal is to “change the way you add, share, recommend all of your favorite trusted providers without the need to text, use word of mouth, FB, Google, etc.”
Their most obvious competitors are among the leaders in local recommendation sites –Yelp, Angie’s List, and Facebook. However, the founders of eMazeMe point out weaknesses with these models, specifically a skew toward negative reviews from people, some who may have had an easily resolved issue. With Facebook, there are also issues of privacy and security which may turn people off.
eMazeMe aims to solve some of these issues by allowing users to add/share/drop businesses which in turn gives them a macro level view of how the provider is doing. Also, users are only allowed to read comments from friends and friends of friends, thus reducing the gaming from businesses and allowing consumers to write more helpful comments to their friends.
eMazeMe demoed at the Chicago Tech Cocktail Startup Showcase and Mixer on September 26th.