FAIRFAX, Va. – A few short years ago, website and video game designer Jim Omer sat at his computer in his Northern Virginia home browsing his favorite movie review site, Rotten Tomatoes. Suddenly Jim saw a flash; that one illuminating- light-bulb-ah-hah moment we all dream will one-day put us in a Ferrari. You see, Omer is also a huge sports fan. So he thought, ‘why not pool together the best sports prediction analysis onto one big hub-site, like Rotten Tomatoes does with its critiques?’
“I always looked at predictions and thought ‘wouldn’t it be great to aggregate all that news?’” said Omer in a recent interview with GetReal.
“It’s good to know what that group of 10 thinks, but it’s even better to know what a group of 500 thinks.”
Omer awoke the next morning with the idea still “bubbling in his head,” and opposed to tabling the idea for a rainy day or procrastinating as most of us would, Jim made the decision to march forward and discover just how sweet the legs on his project looked. The budding entrepreneur purchased the domain name Pickfactor.com immediately and has never looked back.
Now three years later, PickFactor has launched and continues to gather new members each day. Omer said sports fans can choose from a cornucopia of “experts” with vast knowledge of both NFL and NCAA football. These experts range from household names from ESPN and the NFL Network, to the up-and-coming “emerging stars” (as Omer calls them) now making names for themselves.
“We’re doing something in a way everybody does, but nobody does it this way,” Omer said. “The progression in sports analysis is getting deeper and deeper. This was taking predictions to the next level. By giving this concentrated dose of analysis, I can find what I want; prediction analysis or [I can] link to the experts, writers and bloggers I want to read. It’s easier to find and I think it’s a logical progression.”
While still in the Beta phase, Omer continues to brand PickFactor and ensure the site’s technology fits not only the current status, but the future’s as well.
“My personal vision for websites in general and sports is they need to be very mobile friendly,” he said. “We’re producing a whole suite of Apps for Android and IPads that are all coming out in the next few weeks.”
The site tracks all analysis and informs fans of who the hottest and most accurate experts are on any given day. Percentages are broken down week-by-week and game-by-game to give the viewer the greatest advantage possible. And while the current focus is strictly on NFL and college football, Omer said he definitely plans on expanding PickFactor into an array of sports including soccer, rugby and ice hockey.
And when it comes to business strategy and expansion, Omer said he remains a strong believer in online advertising.
“When you look at what happened with Bleacher Report, ad revenue works,” he said. “Every website needs to be ready and able to move towards the Internet advertising model – it’s getting stronger every day.”
You can follow Todd C. Smith on Twitter @tcsmitty