Ask Jelly

Hey-oh. Here’s the tl;dr. We launched Jelly in 2014 to help folks get answers to questions. We are returning to our original vision with renewed enthusiasm and an entirely new approach.

Twitter has always inspired me when it highlights the fundamental goodness in people. Jelly is born of this inspiration. We have an audacious grand plan—the complete reimagining of how people get answers to everyday stuff. (For anyone who remembers Jelly, yes, we took a break but we’re back 100%. Silicon Valley types might call this an, “un-pivot.”)

Back in the day, folks would turn to friends with questions. Then came the web and search engines. These days most of us go straight to a search engine. Increasingly, people are asking on social media (which can sometimes be awkward). We think there is another way to get high quality answers without sifting through an ocean of “results.”

Have you ever said out loud in frustration, “Why can’t I just get to a real person!?” This is a problem for lots of folks and we are trying to solve it. Jelly is different because we get you straight to the answers. Not only that, you get answers from actual humans. Our algorithm doesn’t search the web for relevant documents, it finds a person who’s, “been there, done that” and signed up to Jelly because they want to help.

Jelly is a different kind of “search engine.”

What Is Jelly and Why Should I Use It?

We like to say that Jelly is, “Helpful answers for busy people.” Try asking Jelly a question when you don’t have the time or inclination to sift through search results and you don’t want to ask your social media contacts. Asking Jelly is not attached to your identity — you don’t need to create an account to get answers. Asking Jelly is as familiar as a search engine but the engine part is the wondrous power of nice, helpful people.

Using Jelly is very familiar.

How Does Jelly Work?

Jelly is people first and has lots of computer science and algorithms written in Swift, Go, and other stuff that my co-founder Ben Finkel would be much better at explaining. Basically, Jelly learns which people know what things and it learns what your question is about. Then, it pairs your question with people who are most likely able to help you. As a bonus, you can follow up with these real people to get into specifics. Oh, and Jelly is not just a smartphone app — it works on the good ol’ web too.

Do People Really Answer Questions?

Heck yeah they do. When we launched the first version of Jelly we learned something interesting. We had way more answers than questions. It turns out that people love to share what they know—especially when it’s about their favorite spot, hobby, and general area of expertise. That’s why this time around, there’s no account needed to ask a question. You only create an account if you want to answer or otherwise engage.

Saving You Time

Yes, traditional search engines return thousands of results in a fraction of a second. However, it’s your job to figure out which results are ads (hint: they’re usually the top results), which results are highly ranked because the people who built that web site know how to game the system, and which results might actually be of some help. Often you go through many pages and try different keywords. All of this takes time.

We measure our success by how much time we save you.

We’ve decided not to measure our success by how fast we can show you a massive quantity of possible answers, or how much time you spend on our service. Once you ask a question on Jelly, you can go do something else. We’ll let you know when someone has answered your question. So, it’s not instantaneous, but it’s timely, and you’re getting quality over quantity. We think people will like this. (We do!)

Okay, When Can I Try Jelly?

We’re in a closed beta now and launching soon. We wanted you to know what we’re up to here at Jelly Industries, Inc. and to give you a chance to reserve your favorite username early. Right now, we’re putting some finishing touches on the service and fixing some bugs. You can keep in touch with us here, Medium, and Twitter. Oh, and we are hiring for a few key positions if you’re interested.

Biz Stone,
Co-founder and CEO
Jelly Industries, Inc.