From the beginning, our mission has been to enhance our customers’ websites and web applications with instant answers available right when and where their users need them.
Seattle, WA (PRWEB) May 20, 2014
Qazzow, Inc., the world’s leading website contextual answer service, today officially announced its new name—AnswerDash—and welcomed new board of directors and advisory board members. The management team, board members, and advisors selected the name “AnswerDash” to better communicate the company’s brand promise of improving customer experience by empowering people to get instant answers to questions that arise when using websites and web applications. The new name also communicates the company’s ability to offer a dashboard of insights about exactly where on websites customers have questions and need answers, and what actions they take once they get them.
“From the beginning, our mission has been to enhance our customers’ websites and web applications with instant answers available right when and where their users need them,” said Jake Wobbrock, co-founder, President and CEO of AnswerDash. “We are delighted to work with our new directors and advisors to create our fresh corporate name and identity, and I believe these business leaders will be instrumental to our ongoing success.”
Wobbrock formed AnswerDash after four years of research with his co-founders Andy Ko and Parmit Chilana at the University of Washington Information School. Their focus was on how users interact with desktop and mobile web pages and web apps, particularly when questions arise that, unless answered quickly, result in poor user experiences. The research resulted in an intuitive service that improves users’ website experiences by weaving selection-based contextual answers into web pages and web apps, reducing or eliminating the need for typing search terms, scouring knowledgebases, writing support emails, or exchanging live chats in order to get help—things Wobbrock argues require a lot more effort on the part of website users.
“AnswerDash offers an innovative service that reduces a company’s website support costs and converts more site visitors into paying customers,” said Bill McAleer, Managing Director at Voyager Capital, who co-led AnswerDash’s Series A along with WRF Capital. “The company has incredible potential and I’m looking forward to working with the team as it prepares to expand. We have recruited a strong Board of Directors and Advisory Board to help accelerate the growth of the company.”
AnswerDash’s Board of Directors currently consists of four members:
Mike Fridgen has more than 15 years of experience launching successful Internet companies and has worked with several startups spun out of the University of Washington including Decide.com, where he was President and CEO, and Farecast, where he was Vice President of Marketing and Product Development. Mr. Fridgen graduated from Harvard Business School. He is currently the General Manager of seller insights at eBay. When asked why he joined the AnswerDash board, he said, “Two things made me a believer in AnswerDash: its exceptionally talented team led by Jake and Andy, and its mission to transform traditional online help into a fundamentally superior user experience.”
Bill McAleer has more than 25 years of senior executive and investing experience in the IT industry. He has participated on the boards of 21 companies, including 15 companies that were sold for exits. He is currently the Managing Director at Voyager Capital, which he co-founded in 1997.
Ken Myer has a record of success in leading and growing startups. He is currently a technology commercialization lecturer at the University of Washington, a partner at Vantage Point, LLC, and a director at Data I/O, Esna Technologies, and TransformativeMed. Previously, Mr. Myer was the President and CEO of the Washington Technology Industry Association, the Interim CEO of Yapta, and a 19-year veteran executive with IBM, among other executive positions.
Jake Wobbrock is an experienced technologist and entrepreneur in the field of human-computer interaction, user experience, and product design. He holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from Stanford University and a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University. His research has created breakthroughs influencing the development of mobile interfaces, gesture interaction, and accessibility. He is currently on leave from the faculty of the University of Washington Information School to serve as co-founder, President and CEO of AnswerDash.
In addition, three board observers are active with the company:
Thong Le has a successful track record as a venture capital investor at WRF Capital and Accelerator Corporation. He currently serves as the CEO of Accelerator Corporation.
John Reagh is a managing director at WRF Capital where he has helped finance numerous companies including Farecast, Lumera, Numinous Technologies, and Performant. Along with Voyager Capital, WRF Capital was a co-lead investor for AnswerDash’s Series A, in which the company raised $2.4M last December.
Linden Rhoads is the Managing Director of the W Fund, which invested in AnswerDash. She is also the Vice Provost of the University of Washington Center for Commercialization. Previously, Ms. Rhoads was a serial software entrepreneur.
AnswerDash is also pleased to announce the addition of a world class advisory board with experience in SaaS, e-commerce, CRM, and customer experience:
Peter Baltaxe has considerable experience launching and running consumer Internet businesses, both as a successful serial entrepreneur and at large companies such as Apple, AOL and Amazon. He is currently the Vice President of Product at Porch.com.
Joni Barrott has many years of leadership experience at large companies such as Cutter & Buck, Starbucks, and Big Fish Games. She is currently a customer service executive consultant with Seattle-area e-commerce and startup companies.
Eric Best is a veteran entrepreneur and has founded five successful technology product and service companies. He is currently the founder and CEO at Mercent, co-founder at Impresys, and director at ITEX Corporation.
Jeremy Kembel has 15 years of experience in the tech industry, most of it in early stage and fast growing companies. He is currently a Director of CRM Products at Oracle working in the Cloud Service group focused on SaaS products. Mr. Kembel came to Oracle by way of Oracle’s acquisition of RightNow Technologies in 2011.
John Kembel is an experienced entrepreneur who has founded three technology companies. He is the former Vice President of Customer Experience Design at Oracle. He is also a founding strategy board member of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford (the “d.school”), where he serves as a Consulting Associate Professor.
Dawn Lepore serves on the boards of Coupons.com, AOL, and RealNetworks. She previously served on the boards of eBay (13 years), Wal-Mart, and The New York Times Company. She was Vice Chairman at Charles Schwab for 21 years, and was Chairman and CEO of Drugstore.com prior to selling it to Walgreens in 2011.
Aaron Martin is an experienced technology executive, entrepreneur, and angel investor. He is currently the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at Providence Health and Services (PHS), where he operates a $150M venture fund focused on innovations in healthcare.
AnswerDash, the world’s leading website contextual answer service, offers businesses tools to improve the customer experience of websites or web applications. AnswerDash enables companies to deliver answers to their customers right where they need them, whether on desktop or mobile platforms. By providing quick relevant answers, AnswerDash increases sales, reduces support costs, and provides valuable insights to online businesses.