This was the first "New Tech Meetup" that I've attended. It was quite interesting. Perhaps more interesting was the before the session I was at "The Cup" in Boulder talking to a VC/Consultant/Entrepreneur type and comparing Boulder to Denver he said something like "The thing about Boulder is that there's more VCs up here so the Entrepreneurs from Denver have to come here."
At that exact moment, sitting in the Cup working on their presentation was Dandyid. Point proven?
Without further ado - my notes on the sessions.
Gnip (Guh - nip)
Used OpenOffice.org Impress and Ubuntu.
Basically they want to go from the "polling" model (think of all the rss requests that your rss reader makes in a day) to a push model. But it has to be polling, so they will do the polling in one big poll and then share the resulting data with you either by polling or pushing. Their model seems to be like Facebook, but in a B2B way. I'm not sure that I see the problem that they are solving, but they already have several big name partners which means that those big name partners see a business model which is really all that they need.
I like them more now that I see their website: "We got $h*t to pop". Ok, fair enough. They had a real demo - well done. The demo didn't 100% work. Oh well.
Question from the audience: Who saves money? Who spends money? What's the revenue module?
Answer: Uh, this is the new _tech meetup. I'm not a business guy....Let's say for now we're doing this for public benefit._
mobileXware (nice site!)
Used OpenOffice.org Impress and WindowsXP and they couldn't get the presentation to work. Whoops.
All presentation, no demo (it's hard to demo handheld stuff). Basically it's a fitness guide via cell phone that's for sale now.
Hiring "people across the board" interested in fitness.
Used a Mac, Keynote, and Firefox, with a Verizon card to provide network access.
"Mobile discounts on-the-go." "mobile ... on-the-go" ? "redundant ... and repetitive"
However - This was probably my favorite "business" of the night.
They had basically no slides - straight to demo. For businesses they can provide instant business. Create an ad, set a budget, get real time analytics on viewers, leads, and redemption.
As a consumer, you pick a keyword and send it via SMS to their system. Their "patented ontology" then maps it to one of the active offers and send you back useful information. Example: I SMS in "Sushi" and it sends back "1 Free Beer at Hapa". This seems really compelling to me. When my favorite restaurants offer happy hours I will almost always go there that night of the week. If a business notices that they are slow, can't send home employees, and has food that will perish this is a way to create demand on the fly. So, it's great for products or services that have an "expiration" - things like food, bars, music events, etc. They said that their next step is to move into services - "A store which has extra adidas might need us". Well, there's nothing compelling to me about an instantaneous need to sell sneakers - that's just a bad match for the solution. I hope their business model is based on the quick expiration items and not the more durable goods...
Used Mac and Firefox. Real Live Demo!
They let you Store all of your "identities" with them (i.e. your URL on various sites). Other sites can send in an md5 of your email and get back the identities that are associated with that email in the dandyid system. Currently have 300 sites, 20 more per month.
Creates a single profile for all of your profiles available as a "dandyid" page or as a ball of "chicklets". I think I'm too old for this - I've only ever entered my big list of "identities" on one site and it wasn't that hard. So, either I'm too old or the limited functionality means it's not enough to pull me in. I think I'll just wait for the OAuth/OpenID Attribute Exchange stuff to get good enough and will use that.
Used Vista, Powerpoint.
"Largest mobile commerce provider." Which, I want to know, are there any other mobile commerce providers?
Let's you browse/buy products from your WAP enabled phone. WAP is like the internet from back in 1994. I personally place more stock in bigger/more capable phones with real browsers. The browse seems powerful to comparison shop while you're in a store, but buying via phone seems dumb.
They are also doing some stuff with sending text messages kind of like DizGo is, but that appears to be a lower priority.
First, they demo'd their current stuff. This was nothing new to me. Then, they said, ok, so how do we make money? Well, "we hired David Fero to figure out how to make money. Now he gets to talk." Pretty funny.
Basically they have built an easy way to use the Google Custom Search Engine. They kept google ads on the side and they kept the revenue from those ads. Now they are going to open those ads up to more ad providers and start sharing the revenue with you. I'm optimistically skeptical (you'll note that I added the lijit widget back to my sidebar after a ...um... brief hiatus).
Mac, Firefox (couldn't get the network to work so they stole Vista/IE from Robert).
Gave tips about advertising on FaceBook - in aggregate across all their customers, they spend $10,000 per day on Facebook ads. Wow.
Claim that the CPC and conversion rates on FaceBook right now are such that it is competitive with Google ads. This is basically true because nobody else is using FaceBook yet. So, you should start using FaceBook ads to target your niche (depending on the niche...) and test it out.
Wrapup - Good Event, but Mediocre Tech/Businesses
I wasn't overly impressed with the businesses nor the technology in use. It's hard to show off really good technology stuff in 5 minutes. But, I did like the event overall and definitely plan on making it part of my routine. Also, they have beer down front so you should show up early if you do go.