Megathread is an intuitive plug-in that can be applied to any blog, forum, discussion platform, or social network, without changing anything about the existing site. Our proprietary process uses an ethical, 3rd-person approach to recognizing the social influence and relevance of key contributing factors, such as keywords, people, posts, discussions, groups, communities, and more.
Megathread helps online communities understand their members and improve user engagement so that they can maximize their ability to manage, educate, and target their audiences. Megathread is the first cross-platform standard for establishing authentic, trusted relationships between people and information resources.
Megathread recently won the Software Product of the Year Award and was one of the featured exhibitors at the DaVinci Inventor Showcase which took place on Oct 13, 2012 at the Denver Merchandise Mart. A full list of award winners can be found HERE.
Megathread’s company founder and president, Brian Assam, took a moment to answer some questions about the Internet’s potential to becoming more integrative, meaningful, and effective…
1. What was the defining moment that led you to create this product? What problem does it solve?
In 1999 I had a life changing realization that gave me an initial glimpse of the socially empowering potentials of the Web. Regardless of my technical background, I intuitively knew that the key to understanding the Internet’s open-architecture lied in the principles of natural processes.
I moved from the west coast to spend the following decade on my family’s farm in South Dakota. Free of distraction, I studied the natural environment and immersed myself deeply into theory, contemplation, and self-education. What I achieved through this process was an understanding of how to apply the self-organizing principles of nature to the open-social architecture of the World Wide Web. I eventually derived a theory called “Social Synthesis,” and developed a technology called Megathread.
What problem does this solve? What is missing from our society is the universal ability to authentically value people for their unique qualities, skills and interests in order to integrate people’s attributes on a global scale. Megathread solves this fundamental problem through a 3rd-person algorithm (which follows the self-organizing principles of nature) that can be applied to any online community platform. This standardized approach to generating social credentials provides the most meaningful connections between people and information resources in education, technology, science, business, government, etc.
We believe that by creating a more open, authentic, and meaningful environment for social organization, the Web can become the necessary medium for solving our global problems.
2. After you came up with the idea, how did you size up the market and decide who your customers would be?
Since Megathread is a technology that generates an information resource through online discussions we had to focus on online communities that would accept this technology the most by receiving immediate benefits. This wasn’t an easy task given that this scope includes the millions of growing online communities that relate to a variety of different subjects scattered abundantly across the Web.
What we eventually realized is that online communities had to have active engaging discussions in order to generate meaningful information. Then we had to narrow this down more specifically, and eventually identified online communities dedicated to sports and recreation, which would love the statistical analysis, as a perfect starting point.
3. How did you go about naming your product?
With such a broad concept, putting a label on this technology became a huge challenge that led us through a roller coaster ride of about 20 different names, brands, and elevator pitches.
Eventually “Megathread” became the choice because it is the “thread” that connects all people, communities and information resources. Furthermore, Megathread applies specifically to threaded discussions. Since this technology is universal and the potentials are limitless, “Mega” became the perfect compliment.
4. How long did it take you to create your initial prototype, and what problems did you run into along the way?
We began development of the technology about a year ago and I’d say that right now we are still in a very early stage of production.
We’ve run into plenty of challenges, the greatest of which has come in finding the right team. Discovering this concept through ten years of living on a farm (albeit studying a natural systems approach to online social organization) in South Dakota created issues with networking and finding peer groups to launch this new start-up. While I benefited from being close to the land, I was isolated when it came to human resources, until I moved to Boulder only a year and a half ago.
5. Funding a new idea is always tricky. How did you go about lining up the money you needed?
I have been extremely fortunate to finance the majority of Megathread through my own financial resources.
6. Is this a product you’d like to produce and sell yourself, or are you wanting to license it to someone else? And if so, who?
While there is plenty of passion involved, I know that Megathread is a bigger concept than one can handle onerously. Ideally, the backing of an established company or investor who could help roll this out and accelerate it into the market would be the best-case scenario.
7. What channels are you using to market your product?
Because Megathread is a B2B2C concept, our marketing strategy will first include partnering with varying online communities, wherein we will then offer our technology to their users. We will contact these initial customers directly and grow through those business to business relationships.
8. How many people do you currently have involved in your business?
Right now we are a three-man team. This includes myself, a developer, and a director of business development.
I handle most the day-to-day product management. My background in Computer Information Systems allowed me to design the layout of the technology and the drafting of two patents.
Our developer, Salman Aslam is a highly skilled programmer from Pakistan that I found over the Web, and who has become an invaluable and trusted part of the team.
Casey Jones, who I have known for years and has an extensive background in finance, is the head of business and sales development.
We do realize that team is essential, and we are always looking for new qualified members. I am also fortunate enough to have a management background and know that it is more important to find the right people than to just plug in the holes. So we will be patient in who we bring along in the future.
9. How do you define success? What would hitting a “home run” look like in your mind?
A home run would be nothing less than integrating Megathread with the majority of online communities and providing “the” Internet standard for defining social influence, relevance, credibility and authenticity.
Along with this goal, providing a greater context for social integration and information organization, which allows for both the capacity to address our global challenges, and for people to discover their purpose and meaning. This is what the vision is all about.
10. Where do people go to find out more about your product?