Jiva Technology

Workshop with ‘Just a Guy in a Garage’

On Friday we had an internal workshop here at Jiva HQ around the subjects of collaborative filtering and customer choice.  The session was led by Gavin Potter, who has a small measure of fame thanks to an article in Wired magazine about his involvement in the Netflix prize as ‘Just a Guy in a Garage’.

Gavin has a quote he uses to underpin his work which i think is pretty central to an awful lot of the thinking we do at Jiva (even if its not immediately obvious from our output up til now)

“If the 20th century was about sorting out supply, the 21st is going to be about sorting out demand”

It was a very different day than I was expecting as it involved very little melting of my brain as the hard mathematics that inevitably underpin this kind of work was left to one side and instead we focused on much more practical questions of how we could improve our websites, particularly how we could use the data we captured to improve recommendations and search results.

We identified all manner of things we could do to improve our current (and upcoming) products from simple copy improvements to quite advanced filtering systems and I am now working on pulling them together in a meaningful way to see how they can be integrated into our existing development roadmap.

All in all it was a very useful session but once again demonstrated we are very good at generating more ideas than we’ll ever have the resources to actually implement :)

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United Kingdom