AskLaila, FourInt’s recently launched product, is probably trying to be too many things at the same time. Currently, they are offering:
- Local search service,
- City specific content,
- Events, and
- Lifestyle content
Lets first talk about their search – The search is pretty well executed (and covers most of the local services), though I strongly believe that the local search will expand more than just the regular search.
You need to provide intelligence using the available data – for e.g. I am amazed at JustDial’s restaurant range suggestions. We need more of such services, which directly don’t fall under basic needs, but are more of latent needs.
Now, coming to the city specific content – all I can say is that the quality of content is not something that will drive me to AskLaila. The content looks more like an attempt to increase the adoption of AskLaila’s search service and candidly speaking, lacks the zing and depth to even get a mention.
And now the mashup : In my opinion, only a few companies can do a great mashup; and the sole reason is that to do a mashup you need to piggyback on one of your successful product. For e.g. any Y! mashup will piggyback on 3 services – Y! QnA, Flickr and del.icio.us.
If you don’t even have a single successful service, why mashup? How about staying niche?
Don’t you think that AskLaila, in order to be everything should actually focus on a niche area? Atleast, I think so.
On a lighter note, I have a feeling that AskLaila seems to be hugely inspired by Microsoft’s MsDewey (except that Laila doesn’t have a face!).