A Search Engine for Global E-commerce (CNNMoney)
In 2005, Harvard Business School student Josh Green was working as an intern at E Ink, the Cambridge, Mass., company that developed displays for the Amazon Kindle. His boss asked him to find an overseas manufacturer of electronic display components. How hard could that be?
Very, it turns out. There was no consistent way to tell whether small manufacturers on the other side of the planet were any good. You could buy shipping records from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on CD-ROM for $100 per day, but they were often incomplete, convoluted and unorganized. Company names were misspelled. Addresses were incorrect.