Touring New York Startups: Meet Hunch


Caterina Fake, who sold Flickr to Yahoo, and Chris Dixon, who sold SiteAdvisor to McAfee, launched a new startup in New York earlier this year called Hunch.They call it a “decision engine.”

To us, it feels like a game of 20 questions in reverse.

How it works: You go to the site and tell it you want to buy a product — say a PC. Hunch asks you a bunch of questions. Based on your answers — and the answers of people who answer questions like you — Hunch comes up with a couple suggestions. Obviously there are plenty of money-making angles here.

It’s fun. You should try it.

Anyway, we swung by Hunch’s offices in New York’s Flatiron District yesterday and brought our camera.

Check out Hunch >

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[slide
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title=”The entrance to Hunch off 21st street. Lots of bikes locked to the scaffolding!”
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title=”Welcome to Hunch”
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title=”That’s Volkan Gurel in the middle. He was working on a masters in artificial intelligence at MIT before Hunch”
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title=”Weyu Zhou helped build the International Space Station before going to Ask.com, then Hunch”
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[slide
permalink=”hunch-gets-its-internet-connection-via-a-wi-max-signal-beamed-from-the-empire-state-building-this-is-the-receiver-5″
title=”Hunch gets its Internet connection via a Wi-Max signal beamed from the Empire State Building. This is the receiver.”
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permalink=”hunchs-office-dog-nanu-6″
title=”Hunch’s office dog, Nanu”
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permalink=”heres-cofounder-chris-dixon-7″
title=”Here’s cofounder Chris Dixon”
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permalink=”the-employee-hang-out-area-is-called-the-decision-lounge-8″
title=”The employee hang-out area is called the “decision lounge”…”
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[slide
permalink=”it-features-the-requisite-funky-lighting-and-rock-band-drums-9″
title=”…it features the requisite funky lighting and Rock Band drums”
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title=”Hunch: A better place to get answers from than a Ouija board”
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title=”The beer coasters were collected by a Huncher who spent his junior undergraduate year in Berlin in 1989, before the wall came down.”
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title=”The Hunchers mapped out everybody’s startup lineage”
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permalink=”instead-of-hunch-points-users-are-awarded-hunch-banjos-13″
title=”Instead of Hunch Points, users are awarded “Hunch Banjos””
content=”From the Hunch FAQ:

Why are they called banjos?Hunch team member Caterina Fake has often talked about mainstream content vs. user-generated content being the difference between watching a television show vs. telling stories around a fire; or listening to Britney Spears vs. grabbing your banjo, going down to the parlor and putting the band together: Uncle Greg on the jug, mum on guitar, Gertrude on vocals and Lucy on the mandolin. Dad supplies the bad jokes, the clapping, and the whooping. Given all that, we weren’t going to call them ‘Hunch Points’ or something similarly uninspired. The Hunch currency had to be ‘banjos’. In retrospect, it’s obvious.”
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[slide
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title=”Art by Hiromi. “He seems to have gotten a little fancier and pricer now,” says Chris.”
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title=”Visitors to Caterina Fake’s office often compliment her on this piece of art. But really it’s just Crate & Barrel packaging used to muffle sound”
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title=”The view from Caterina’s office.”
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permalink=”hunch-keeps-a-telescope-trained-on-the-empire-state-building-17″
title=”Hunch keeps a telescope trained on the Empire State Building…”
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[slide
permalink=”heres-the-view-18″
title=”…Here’s the view.”
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title=”What’s a startup without plenty of schwag…”
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title=”…unhealthy snacks…”
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[slide
permalink=”booze-21″
title=”…booze…”
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[slide
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title=”…and a fridge full of soda?”
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[slide
permalink=”kelly-ford-knew-chris-dixon-from-working-on-siteadvisor-together-he-spent-two-years-at-mcafee-after-the-aquisition-23″
title=”Kelly Ford knew Chris Dixon from working on SiteAdvisor together. He spent two years at McAfee after the aquisition.”
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[slide
permalink=”jon-on-the-right-found-his-hunch-job-on-craigslist-after-working-as-a-paralegal-its-different-here-24″
title=”Jon, on the right, found his Hunch job on Craigslist after working as a paralegal. “It’s different here.””
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title=”Tom Pinkney, left, is another MIT and SiteAdvisor alum”
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[slide
permalink=”wheres-caterina-hunchs-most-famous-employee-splits-her-time-on-both-coasts-and-was-in-cali-when-we-visited-26″
title=”Where’s Caterina? Hunch’s most famous employee splits her time on both coasts and was in Cali when we visited”
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