The Noisy Channel


I Gotta “Hunch” You’ll Wanna Check This Out

March 27th, 2009 · 20 Comments · General

It’s all about who you know, and this week I was lucky to meet one of the investors in Hunch, a decision-making tool from Flickr founder Caterina Fake that “gives you its best hunch” of what you would like when you’re feeling indecisive. It made a big splash today and is the top story on Techmeme as I write.

It’s an intriguing concept. I played with it for a bit, and I have to confess I’m not indecisive enough to fully appreciate it. But I can see the appeal for folks who would like to crowd-source minor decisions and thus introduce a bit of randomness and novelty into their lives. Especially for decisions like what to eat or where to go to college.

In any case, my new acquaintance was kind enough to not only give me an account, but also to provide me with 10 invites to distribute to incorrigibly curious.

As always, it’s first come, first serve.

20 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jacek // Mar 27, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    I’d love to try this one out, thanks Daniel.

  • 2 Christopher // Mar 27, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Hi Daniel,

    I’d love one if you still have some.



  • 3 Sameer // Mar 27, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    I would love to try out. Thanks, Sameer

  • 4 Jeff De Cagna // Mar 27, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Would appreciate an invite if you still have some.

  • 5 Eric Iverson // Mar 27, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Sounds cool. Still have invites?

  • 6 bing // Mar 27, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    I’d love to try one. Please send if you have any left…


  • 7 Alex Bendig // Mar 28, 2009 at 12:15 am

    I’d love to try this out as well.

  • 8 Vegard Sandvold // Mar 28, 2009 at 4:16 am

    This sounds very interesting. I would love to get an invite. Thanks!

  • 9 Mo // Mar 28, 2009 at 8:00 am

    sounds interesting, would like to try it out.. cheers

  • 10 william smook // Mar 28, 2009 at 9:33 am

    hunch me too… let’s give it a go.

  • 11 Daniel Tunkelang // Mar 28, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Invites are all gone. Sorry to anyone who missed out. To those who got their golden tickets, please report back on what you think! It’s still the top story on Techmeme–impressive publicity for such a launch.

  • 12 Daniel Tunkelang // Mar 28, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    BTW, Hunch told me that I should ask for a raise. It also said that I should have gone to Yale and that I should ask out a co-worker.

    I guess I’ll soon find out whether my manager, my alumni association, or my wife read my blog!

  • 13 Gareth // Mar 28, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Hi Daniel – would appreciate an invite if I’m not too late ..

  • 14 Christopher // Mar 29, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Played with a few what to do, where to do it questions.

    Hunch’s top results essentially says, I’m ideally suited to work at a startup but it also suggest I be a veterinarian in Washington, D.C.

    Now yes startup, I love animals but I’m no way near wanting to be a vet & Washington, D.C., are you kidding me! Now the 2 & 3 choice for place was Seattle & San Francisco which makes sense though I’m surprised New York didn’t show up. Jobs had entrepreneur & scientist as alternatives.

    So at first blush it’s a fun little tool but not (as of yet at least) all that accurate.

    I’m wondering what algorithm they are using for the underlying decision tree and if/how they are approaching new rule learning & boosting.

    I’ll continue to toy around with it though. Maybe for food suggestions & the like it’ll be better.

  • 15 Daniel Tunkelang // Mar 29, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Maybe it knows you better than you know yourself. After all, it’s not like your tried living in DC as a veterinarian, right?

    But seriously, I agree that it would be interesting to know if they’re doing anything technically innovative with the decision trees.

  • 16 Christopher // Mar 30, 2009 at 3:36 am

    Ok Daniel, when that came across my blackberry I started howling. Think I’ll hold uprooting & re-training off…at least for now. šŸ™‚

  • 17 Vegard Sandvold // Mar 30, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Hunch tells me my personality type is Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging (INFJ), which is the same result I have got in other tests. So I guess the accuracy of the results depend on how clearly you can define the problem.

    I also had a very pleasant experience with Hunch. Last night I started on a new topic which I named “Am I a Maximizer or A Satisficer?” I was tired by then, so I didn’t add any questions or results. But when I checked back today, I discovered that someone else had continued my work. It was reassuring to see the crowd-sourcing at work.

  • 18 Alex Bendig // Mar 30, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Again, thanks for the invite. I have been playing with this off and on since Saturday. I must say, this is growing on me. At first it gave me the impression of mostly a toy – akin to answering quizzes for entertainment. Even over the last couple days though it seems like the content has already been evolving quite notably. I think it will be pretty interesting to follow, as more and more people use the site.

  • 19 Daniel Tunkelang // Mar 30, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    I played with it a bit more–my wife noticed that they use the word “play” on the site. I didn’t actually get any valuable advice from it. Maybe it’s just not for me–I have seen that others are getting value from the site, which leads me to believe that the approach could work. They certainly make it easy / fun to supply information about yourself through questionnaires, which bodes well for a data-driven approach.

  • 20 New Toys from Hunch // Mar 27, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    […] been following Hunch for a while, and my impression has evolved from theĀ initial skepticism with which I greeted it a year ago (to the day!). Given the track records of co-founders Caterina […]

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