Sentiment Analysis and Silicon Valley

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Today marked the first ever Breaking Biz podcast which saw me talking to Toby Crayston, who left his software development role at Bloomberg after 5 years in order to set up TextRazor. You can listen to the interview using the audio player below:

TextRazor is certainly going to change the way retailers deal with customer feedback online, including the usual abusive tweets, phone rants and so on. As a Social Media Manager, I’ve always found the topic of sentiment analysis a tricky one, given that all the ‘scraping’ tools available aren’t really equipped to deal with sarcasm and the differing ways we use language to express our feelings.

Toby’s insight into starting your own business included the following tips:

  • Don’t just quit your job, start slowly with a side project
  • Stay flexible. If one thing doesn’t work simply move on to the next until you find something someone would be willing to pay for
  • Be patient. The reality is, profitability can take a little time but if you’re able to bootstrap your new business then that’s preferable to seeking funds from investors
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