Two years after a successful exit, Rick Blalock launches qualitative feedback startup

By Riley Kaminer

Two years ago, we reported that Jupiter-based Rick Blalock sold fishing regulations app Fish Rules to a Swedish competitor.

Now, Blalock is at it again – cooking up another South Florida startup, this time with the help of co-founder Kincy Clark, a customer service leader who previously ran Bolt’s support functions.

The duo is building OneStudy, an artificial intelligence-powered platform that helps users collect qualitative feedback. 

The need for such a product first came to Blalock when he became the Chief Product Officer of Fishbrain, the company that acquired Fish Rules. As part of the role, it was Blalock’s job to understand what the 55 million anglers in the US need.

“It turns out that doing high-quality qualitative research – interviewing customers, asking the right questions, and extracting good information from them – is pretty hard,” he told Refresh Miami. “That’s why many companies outsource it.”

Another issue stemmed from the fact that Fishbrain’s users are all around the world, making it difficult to find a time to meet with customers at a time that worked for everybody.

OneStudy aims to solve these problems and more. Companies can create a study by describing what they are trying to learn and the feedback they’re hoping to get. They can then create a link to send to customers.

Through its interface, respondents chat with an AI tool akin to ChatGPT “but not as bot-like, so you don’t feel like you’re speaking to a support bot,” said Blalock. This makes the entire conversation more dynamic, with the AI-powered platform determining the most important information to collect from the user in real time.

For Blalock, OneStudy’s main selling point can be summed up in one word: scale. After users set up the interviews, they do not have to actively collect information from respondents. Once this information is collected, OneStudy automatically tags key themes, creates summaries, aggregates common responses and more – all with the goal of making this information as actionable as possible. Interview organizers can even start asking OneStudy’s chat assistant questions about how users responded.

In the first instance, Blalock and Clark are targeting B2C mobile apps. “They have a scale problem,” Blalock said of the fact that collecting user research for these types of customers is both critical and difficult. 

The applications of OneStudy’s technology extend far beyond this use case, however, with the team already in conversations with potential customers as varied as utility providers and political polling firms.

“I’m a Florida maximalist,” Blalock says of his love of the state where he’s lived since he was four years old. “I want Florida to be the tech hub of the world.”

He noted that the last crypto boom brought a lot of tech talent and investors to the state, and that many have remained here. “I think that’s a great sign.”

And Blalock is particularly excited to help grow the South Florida tech ecosystem along with OneStudy’s ambitious growth plans. “Our moonshot is to be a human research company – the main source for knowing anything about humans. We’re truly transforming qualitative research, enabling them to conduct thousands of interviews instead of just five to ten.”

Photo at top of post: OneStudy co-founders Rick Blalock (left) and Kincy Clark.


Riley Kaminer