SmoothSpan Blog

For Executives, Entrepreneurs, and other Digerati who need to know about SaaS and Web 2.0.

Picks from the TechCrunch 40

Posted by Bob Warfield on September 18, 2007

Lots of stories about this interesting conference because so many story writers are there.  Below are my picks from the first day of the TechCrunch 40

Session 1: Search & Discovery

Powerset:  Understand the difference between a noun and a verb.  Hmmm.  Seems like we knew how to do that a LONG time ago.  What’s new here?  Is it just that nobody had gotten to it?  Sounds cool, I’m always open to better search.  I do remember reading an article where people presented the same search results under different names and Google got a 25% better relevance rating than the other services even though they were all the same result.  Can you say “search placebo” anyone?

Faroo:  Watch what people do in their browser and use that to decide how to rank search results.  Cool.  Not sure why Google can’t just watch what people click on, though they only get to see that first click.  Doh!

Session 2: Mobile & Communications

Cubic Telecom: Flat rate cell phone calls from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world.  Who wouldn’t like that?  Seems like the old guard will fight dirty to kill it though.

Ceedo:  Carry your PC personality on a USB key, pop it into any PC and have what you need.  Remove it and leave no trace.  Cool!

Session 3: Community & Collaboration

None of the Session 3 products turned me on.  Too bad, there’s a lot of potential in the category.

Session 4: Crowdsourcing

Cake Financial:  Crowdsource investment ideas.  When you are interested in a stock, see what other stocks folks interested in your stock bought.  Compare your performance against family, friends, and top investors, all without disclosing your net worth, actual shares owned, and so forth.  See what users with better results are trading today.  The ZDNet folks liked this one too.

Ponoko:  Design a product and Ponoko will manufacture it for you.  So far, it seems to be focused around laser cut products made from acrylic or wood, but you can do some surprising cool things with this.  As some will now, CNC machine tools is my hobby so Ponoko appeals, though I’m not sure how good a business it will really be.

One Response to “Picks from the TechCrunch 40”

  1. […] Kiwi start-up Ponoko picked for TechCrunch conference NZ start-up heralds DIY 2.0 Wellington start-up hailed for originality at TechCrunch40 conference Engadget VentureBeat- Ponoko Stands Out ReadWriteWeb- Crowdsourcing at TechCrunch Andrew Parker on Ponoko and the Future of Product Design Killer Startups – Ponoko – Embrace Your Creative Side DIY Life – Ponoko Custom Manufacturing for your Idea Crunchgear – Ponok – a Funny Word That Will Make Your Dreams Come True Geekzone – Ponoko Starts Up at TechCrunch40 Wellingtonista PersonalBee TerminalDigit – Ponoko – On Demand Social Manufacturing Smoothspan – Picks from the TechCrunch 40 […]

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