DEMO 2006: 70 companies gather at a hotel in Phoenix, Arizona to compete head on for our attention. $15,000 buys you 5 minutes in front of 700 people, and a chance to make history (which is not recorded real time because the wifi is crushed under the load and no one can get online). At least there is reliable internet access in the press room, along with dozens of free USB drives laying around (this whole “press” gig is pretty damn awesome).
A few companies caught my eye today as the ones to watch this year. Here they are:
Blurb will turn your blog or other website into a book. As in, a real, tangible book that you can hold. The service is now in private beta and will be available to the public in March(ish). CEO Eileen Gittins does a great job describing the product and this looks to be an interesting space, especially for ego-type purchases where bloggers buy a copy for themselves.t’ll be about $30 for a four color, 40 page, 8×10 hardcover book with a custom dust jacket.
I wrote about Kaboodle, a clip service that is really useful for gathering and sharing information on the web, back in October. They launched some incredible new features this week to normalize data across items: search for items, clone/copy a page, find related items, vote on items, etc. They are also allowing users to create profiles to allow more social aspects. A lot of people are finding Kaboodle to be a very useful shopping tool.
Mountain View based Kosmix is a structured search engine with three current verticals: health, politics and travel. More are coming soon. Instead of showing linear, Google-like results, Kosmix is categorizing results to create a taxonomy. They claim their engine can be used to create good results over almost any topic area. This is one to watch and I’ll be doing a full profile on them soon.
Fred Wilson wrote about Krugle today as well, saying “It’s a search engine for open source software. Vertical search for open source. Sounds like a good concept. The demo was simple and the proposition was compelling. Not sure how they make money, but the demo isn’t supposed to focus on that.” Knowing how often developers use search engines to find code snippets, this will be an extremely useful. The company is based in Silicon Valley and Josh Kopelman is an investor.
Sharpcast, led by CEO Gibu Thomas, just launched this week as well. It’s an incredibly powerful platform to synchronize data and any application between (certain) mobile devices and the desktop. The photo showcase application is compelling. Look for a full review on MobileCrunch. Sharpcast is funded and has the smell of a company that can go all the way.
I finally got a look at newcomer storage service Zingee, which would have been included on my “Online Storage Gang” post if they had been around. Zingee could be serious competition for Omnidrive, with high end sharing features, permanent URLs for files, no file size restrictions (yeah!) and other neat feature. Full profile coming soon.