Los Angeles Business Journal

EverySignal Changes Station, Switches Focus from Consumers to Businesses

By Tom Dotan Friday, January 11, 2013

EverySignal, the big data company out of the incubator Science, announced it’s changing course and switching its focus from consumers to businesses.

The company’ s technology is able to scan through a person’s Facebook and LinkedIn feeds and pick out the major life events – birthdays, engagements, new jobs – then compile the updates into a regular email alert.

Today, in an email sent to EverySignal’s subscribers, founder Derek Merrill said the company was stopping the current service immediately.

Instead it will be using the technology for “brand marketers in need of turn-key solutions for social performance marketing.” He did not say exactly who these marketers were.

EverySignal’s promise as a consumer product was to bring some search and filtering features into the still-unruly frontier of social media feeds. Facebook has its own filter in the Newsfeed that ranks friends’ updates based on relevance, but posts that don’t make the top of the feed often remain unseen.

However, as Merrill told the Business Journal, although many people liked the convenience the email alerts offered, it was never enough to finance the whole operation. And as more people used the technology – the email mentions it gathered 2 million unique user streams – the pricier all that data gathering and compiling got.

“We were paying these heavy processing costs that ramped up too quickly,” Merrill said. “Meanwhile we were getting heavy interest on the brand side.”

Now that the consumer side is finished (all the user data EverySignal compiled has been deleted), Merrill also revealed that the engine behind gathering the life events was exploring the possibility of using it for insurance industries. These companies could take the data of, say, a new engagement, and start offering life or homeowners insurance.

But Merrill said the company soon learned the insurance world still had a ways to go before it could use that information effectively.

Retail brands, however, seemed very interested. EverySignal has already tested the technology with some of the in-house ecommerce startups at Science (the Santa Monica incubator that’s brought us Dollar Shave Club and men’s clothing service Triple Threat).

In the next few weeks, EverySignal should be announcing which brands the company will be working with and what, exactly, the new version of EverySignal will be. But one thing is clear: it won’t be for consumers.

“The commercial side of things was always going to be more profitable, “Merrill said. “We never thought we were going to monetize the consumer part of it,” Merill said.

Or, to paraphrase Charlton Heston, “EverySignal isn’t for People!”