Our company, VLSI Research Inc, was actually founded more than thirty years ago 1976. The WeSRCH.com website launched on February 16, 2007, for which the development was kicked off in summer before and the beta went up in November 2006.
We started as an engineering consulting company and morphed into a market research company when our founder discovered that companies paid a lot more when you helped them figure out how to make a business out of technology than they would for just showing them how to make technology.
In 1998, we developed our first website to distribute content in parallel with paper and snail mail. In 2001 we dropped paper and went 100% to Internet delivery because we could give them full interactive data analysis.
The story behind weSRCH goes back to 2004 when I started to try and figure out if research costs were indeed escalating, as many claimed; what were the causes; and what could be done about it. I discovered that it was a problem and that it would have been worse had partnering through consortia hadn't improved collaboration beyond the historical approach of professional associations, technical journals, and conferences developed in the early 1900's. What was surprising was that while researchers were great at developing tools to make communication and collaboration more efficient, they were late adopters when it came to using it professionally. It was a clear case of the cobbler's children having no shoes.
At the time, the Internet was mostly being used for selling and social networking was just emerging. Yet most technical professionals were still in the PowerPoint - e-mail age. The Japanese companies who made most of the world's data projectors nary had any in their conference rooms. You had to carry overhead foils to present there. In all of this, we saw the potential to use web 2.0 as a medium for professional networking as well . . . that it could become the professional collaboration tool for this century. Collaboration is critical to research productivity because it is how the ideas are germinated that blossom into products.