From Research to Tech Startup, the “What if we?” to “How can we?”


Our founders Jake Wobbrock and Andy Ko were each invited to talk about tech startups at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute 20th Anniversary Celebration at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Jake provided an overview of how technology research compares and contrasts to doing a tech startup. In technology research, researchers ask “what if we?” as they explore new possibilities in hopes of making discoveries. In a tech startup, entrepreneurs ask “how can we?” as they seek to acquire customers and gain market traction through disruptive product offerings.  Both require the ability to make progress under conditions of extreme uncertainty.


Andy focused on the leap from Professor to Chief Technology Officer and how AnswerDash was founded out of federally-funded university research. He and his co-founders’ research into website user experience uncovered a key takeaway about our world: there is a huge opportunity to improve web customer experience with a shift toward point-and-click contextual self-service.


And so today at AnswerDash, we ask: "how can we?"

  • How can we enable website visitors to find the answers they need, right when and where they need them?

  • How can we help our customers gain actionable insights from their visitors’ behavior with website self-service?

  • How can self-service be used not only for ticket deflection, but for increasing website conversion rates?

AnswerDash says “we can!” to all the above questions. It enables companies to listen to customer questions to make better business decisions. Do you want to deliver a better customer experience and improve your website? Reach out to get your free AnswerDash demo.