Qwiki CEO Doug Imbruce

Qwiki is a startup that does neat visual and audio slideshows of search and got a ton of hype after winning an award at TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference and recently raising $8 million from a bunch of people including Facebook billionaire Eduardo Saverin.

Qwiki is one of the few startups we’re bearish on. Sitting back and watching a slideshow sounds less interesting and useful than browsing the web and using Google and Wikipedia. And it seems to us that most of what Qwiki does is putting Wikipedia through a speech to text engine and putting up images from Google and Flickr.

Turns out we weren’t wrong. A coder similarly unimpressed with Qwiki put out a clone called Fqwiki written in just 321 lines of HTML, the basic code language for web pages. (NewsGrange)

When you start Fqwiki, the first entry it shows out of the gate is “snake oil.” Fqwiki is pretty buggy and unpolished, but it proves the point: what Qwiki does isn’t very extraordinary.

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