I have been an entrepreneur, inventor, strategist and venture capitalist for over 20 years. At the age of 25, I co-founded my first company and began serving as Chairman and Chief Scientist. At Boston Technology, I obtained patents for technologies that now enable telephone companies worldwide to offer voice mail on a massive scale to over two billion people. Boston Technology eventually merged with Comverse Technology, Inc., for $843 million. Subsequently I founded Internet-based music service company Gracenote, now utilized by Apple, Yahoo, and Sony. Gracenote services are accessed globally at the rate of 24 billion times per year by applications such as iTunes. This company was sold to Sony in 2008 for $260 million.
A serial entrepreneur, innovation is in my nature and I continue to actively invent. Currently I serve as chairman, CEO and co-founder of ChaCha, today’s leading free, real-time answers service. My inspiration for ChaCha came to me more than two decades ago – well before desktop search engines and the Web were created. I described publicly during speeches in Hong Kong and London a vision of people having access to all of mankind’s knowledge, from anywhere, and at any time.
In 2008 I had the realization that the enabling technologies of the Web and the ubiquity and portability of mobile devices finally provided the necessary pieces of the puzzle to manifest this dream. By allowing anyone with any mobile phone device to ask any question in conversational English and receive an accurate answer as a text message, ChaCha is the world’s easiest-to-use and most comprehensive way to access answers and information. Since the launch of its unique “ask-a-smart-friend” platform that Jones developed, ChaCha has answered more than a billion questions from more than 32 million unique users per month via online (www.chacha.com), SMS text (242-242), Twitter (@chacha), Facebook app, iPhone app, Android app, and voice (1-800-2-ChaCha™). I am now driven by the singular focus of making ChaCha the world’s easiest-to-use comprehensive way to access answers and information from anywhere.
Along with my duties at ChaCha, I am actively involved in several other groundbreaking technologies that are cutting the latest edges on the innovation front. I am also passionate about ensuring that entrepreneurship and innovation are encouraged throughout life starting with our youth. Please explore my foundations to see some of the projects and causes I hold dear.