They say a car loses half its value the minute you drive it off the lot. The same can often seem true of a brand new computer — after that lightning-quick first boot or two, PCs have the nasty habit of gradually bogging down until that new quad core processor doesn’t seem much faster than the last one you had. Enter TC Disrupt finalist Soluto, a startup that’s looking to help restore your computer to its former glory. And better yet, it’s going to hold those bloated, CPU hogging applications accountable.
Soluto has developed software that monitors your PC for things that are likely to annoy users — printing problems, crashy apps, resource hogs, and those frustrating applications that randomly cause your mouse to become useless for a few seconds at a time. It records which applications were running at the time of the hiccup, and analyzes low-level events to track things users aren’t even aware of, like which applications are competing for memory.
Even better: if a user somewhere in the world consistently has issues with a certain application and then makes a change that fixes it, Soluto can then tell other users who have had the same problem about the fix.
The product looks very compelling, with an impressive UI. After Soluto has analyzed your machine, it can suggest numerous fixes, including ‘no brainers’ like omitting certain applications from your bootup. It can show you your computer’s speed over time, mapping out when you installed a certain application — so you can see what led to the problem.
The company’s PCGenome project could actually help solve these problems. Soluto takes user-submitted data from its application and uses it to figure out which software works best on each computer. It can identify which hardware has had issues with which software. It can also help you pick out software that runs well on the specific model of PC you’re using, based on other users.
To monetize, Soluto has a few options. It will offer a freemium model with two plans: manual, which is suitable for people who are already computer savvy. This option tells you what’s wrong with your computer and how to fix it, but it’s up to you to do it. The second option is automatic: set it up, and Soluto will work in the background to fix tasks without your intervention. At this point this automatic setting does things like fix driver settings, and in the future it may be able to download applications that will work better on your machine than the one you’re currently using.
Sacca: I wonder do you think this will migrate people back to PC on the platform. I’ve forgone that for the rest of my life probably.
A: It’s relevant for many computer platforms. We’re starting with PC but we will come and save Mac users.
Round 2 Business Presentation
Soluto was one of the companies chosen to proceed to round two of the TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield, where they talked about their business model. Here are my notes from that presentation:
We’re going to market with the geeks initially. There are hundreds of millions of people in pain. Consumer expenditures on security software is $3.6 billion. Snake oil solutions are pulling in $300 million.
We’re also going after SMB market. Value is easily quantifiable – we can look at boosts in workforce efficiently. We also extend the effective life of a PC, because people don’t get fed up with them and decide they need a new one. And we cut back on maintenance/support expenses.
A: We raised a bunch of VC money to sustain free period where we create large PC genome. We believe we will do that. The challenge of being affiliated with one vendor or another is a huge challenge. We want to be objective.
Robert Scoble has posted a video of his interview with Soluto’s founders:
And here’s the entire presentation, at 51:30 in the session one video.