TC50: iCharts Wants To Be The YouTube For Charts

Today, you will find 900 billion charts offline but only 40 million charts online. Because of that, iCharts believes it currently must be too difficult to bring charts online. So it has developed an easy way to create, share, and embed interactive charts.

The self-proclaimed “YouTube for interactive charts,” iChart provides a way for users to take data they created with other services like Excel or Google Spreadsheets, and upload that data directly to iCharts. Once collected, users need only to drag and drop the data to the chart to create a fully-modifiable and interactive chart.

The startup presented today at TechCrunch50 during the Finance and Statistics session. You can watch a video of its presentation here.

At the bottom of every iChart, controls let users modify the view and change the data series. In addition to being able to zoom into a data range and highlight the most relevant data, users can upload audio files that they record to accompany the chart.

Like most of the other services announced at TechCrunch50, iCharts offers a widget that will let users place the chart anywhere online and can even be embedded into Powerpoint presentations, PDF files, and anything that’s capable of handling Flash content.

Most importantly, iCharts can be published and shared with anyone visiting the site and are automatically optimized so web surfers find them as images in search.

iCharts launches today and is already populated with a slew of charts that are freely available for reuse.

Expert Panelists

Roleof Botha:

I think it’s a very interesting idea because I spend too much time using Excel. I’m not sure how the business model will play out, but there’s a lot of value in communicating effectively. I’m very intrigued.

Don Dodge:

“I like it a lot and anytime you make something simple and easy, you have a winner. And you have a winner here. I assume that you make metadata available to search engines, which is huge and that alone is a big advance. I like everything about it. I’m a little concerned about the business model, but I love it.”

Kevin Rose:

“I’d spend some time designing the charts and hiring a “kick ass” designer. What do you think about the Google Charts API?”

Answer: First off, the business model isn’t quite complete in our thoughts yet. We think we have a lot of revenue streams available, but one key area will be advertising.

Mark Cuban:

“You have the easiest business model of everyone. Rather than being YouTube, you should license this great product to companies that don’t want to recreate the products and would rather you do it. Tell the companies that they can either spend time and money doing charts themselves or pay you for what you do best. Don’t follow the heroes, just follow the money.”

Kevin Rose:

“The only thing that worries me is that you’re competing with the Google API which is really nice.”

Answer: I don’t think we’re competing, we can be the company that you come to after using other services. I think they can all be partners and not competitors.

Mark Cuban:

“Google API won’t customize to customer needs so you won’t need to worry about the others.”

Click here to watch video of this demo.