3.06.2007

Biz 2.0's 25 Startups to Watch

Business 2.0's 25 startups to watch via CNN.

So let's see what the 25's got to offer. Figure on lots of advertising and lots of play towards the mobile industry (i.e. portable cash cow industry). Also, be sure to keep track of how many of the 25 are dependent on advertising for revenue. The trifecta is the user-generated, ad-supported, spin-off of an already established company. One thing it does make me think about is that the web could use yet another social networking site like it could use a giant sucking chest wound. The suckers are everywhere, like cockroaches too. I bet for every one I see, there are at least a dozen hidden that I miss.

1. Stumbleupon - stumbling upon websites that might match your interests, I thought search engines were for finding stuff you were interested in seeing?
2. Slide - easy to make slideshows for MySpace pages, I'm giddy.
3. Bebo - private but public social networking, sorry but big 'effin' deal.
4. Meebo - IM in a webpage. Woopity-fucking-do.
5. Wikia - making Wikipedia a social site and bam, Wikia. Maybe I should check it out but I don't see a draw here. Also, Jimmy Wales has got some 'splaining to do. Bad, bad mojo to try and laugh off an inner circle Wikipedian lying about his credentials. Very, very bad. [Update: Canned his lying ass to save his own face. Nice reversal, Jimmy!]
6. Joost - another YouTube with twists and revenue sharing. If they can provide a real viewable product (unlike YouTube which, I'm sorry, blows very, very badly) then maybe they have a chance.
7. Dabble - video playlists that can be shared. I really must be one of the few that finds watching videos online to be mildly tedious.
8. Metacafe - take one part YouTube, add one part Digg, sprinkle with a dash of Google AdSense and you get MetaCafe. Winning videographers can make some dough.
9. Revision3 - Production studio for online geek shows selling sponsorships to be hefe corporations. Have I mentioned that most video content online is unwatchable crap?
10. Blip TV - more online tv, this time serialized. And distributable. Oooooh.
11. Fon - wireless for the people. This might be the only company among the bunch that I actually like.
12. Loopt - mobile friend tracking. To what point, I have absolutely no idea, nor do I care. If I wanted to keep tabs on people, I'd hire a goddamned detective and do it properly. The only use I can see for this is for spouses to bust their cheatin' hubbies or ho's with.
13. Mobio - Oh boy, more ads! Oh boy, can I watch ads on my phone before finding something useful out? Wow! Thanks Mobio, or better yet, keep your fucking meathooks off my phone.
14. Tiny - flickr on phones. With comments. Because people really take quality photos with their cellphones. Or not.
15. SoonR - access your PC from your phone. Why? I really don't know. Have you ever seen a spreadsheet displayed on a 1 1/2 by 1 inch screen?
16. Turn - more nit-picky, fine grained targeted advertising. This time the advertiser can pay for sales or click throughs or leads or whatever they are willing to pay for. Gosh, I wish they could figure out a way to beam ads into my dreams so I don't miss out on any great deals.
17. Adify - sorry I'm just going to fucking absolutely hate your business model no matter what you do with a name like Adify.
18. AdMob - the place to buy ads for delivery to cell phones. Which is exactly what the whole world has been dying for, ads on their fucking cell phones.
19. SpotRunner - semi-personalized, pre-made ad clearing house. Oh boy! Budget ads on a budget and localized too!
20. VITrue - get users to make content featuring sponsor products for big money. Its like YouTubing for Dollars. In fact, that's pretty much exactly what it is. Shilling for pennies a day.
21. SuccessFactors - employee management system with optimization and automation. Actually, this also seems like a reasonably decent idea for a company. And they don't make their money by advertising, they sell subscriptions.
22. JanRain - password management. Yeah, thanks but I'm pretty sure there are easier, better and less exposive (that's intended to be exposive - the act of exposing).
23. Logoworks - automated logo design. Because I redesign my logos at least four or five times a week.
24. Rearden Commerce - or Big Brother's SuperPDA/Nanny. I like the concept of Rearden, convergence to integrate travel with meetings and other events. But the photo with the profile makes me distinctly uneasy, like some spook is going to be laughing about my ass waxing appointments.
25. Simulscribe - voicemail transcribed to email or text messages. I guess it would be nice for people who spend all day every day stuck in meetings and they still need to get messages but why not just send an email or voicemail in the first place? By the way, someone (possibly a PR flack) might want to let CEO James Siminoff that he shouldn't smirk for his headshot. It makes most people want to slap him. Hard.

Alrighty then. There's the 25 startups to watch. Of the 25, I see maybe four succeeding. I see a few being acquired and I see a few floundering until the VC money runs out and then they dry up and fade away.

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