Friday, May 29, 2009

When will They Launch?

"If you review your first site version and don’t feel embarrassment, you spent too much time on it." — Reid Hoffmanwatershoes

We try to keep an eye out for the next new companies to appear on the scene.

Over the past few months we have found a pretty long list of new web or mobile companies waiting in the wings to go live.

In the spirit of Continuous Deployment and Customer Development, we encourage these sites to open the gates and let us in. We are here to help, really!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Genotrope Record: WherePhone

Funding Status: Bootstrapped

Investors: ?

Founders or Execs past companies: uLocate

Industry: Mobile Applications, Location

Offering Description: Low-cost real time GPS vehicle tracking using pre-paid cell phones as the in-vehicle device and map data

Friday, May 15, 2009

Whats next in Tech for Boston?

Levi Strauss, blue jeans
Image via Wikipedia

As a precusor to an event on June 25th called "What's Next in Tech: Exploring the Growth Opportunities of 2009 and Beyond." that he organized and will be moderating, Scott Kirsner challenged a few of the local tech bloggers to come up with some ideas on what will be the next trends for the coming wave of new technology companies.

I'm sure that Boston will make significant future contributions in both Bio Tech and Clean Tech, however I will let the knowledgeable experts provide further details for those domains.

In Communications, Computing, Software and the Web, the obvious current trends in new tech companies cluster around cloud computing and storage, green data centers , mobile applications, social networking, search engine marketing, gaming and virtual goods.

I suspect that Boston will continue with one of it's tried and true approaches to building successful business within the next wave of technology. The same method was used by Levi Strauss during the California gold rush, sell the picks and shovels. I think this fits in well with the more conservative New England ways, less risky than going for the gold, but you can still build very successful businesses.

Translated to the world of technology, the strategy is to build the tools, infrastructure and marketplaces that create an even larger swell in whatever current wave of innovation is building momentum.

Without going back too far into the early days of the internet and the rise of distributed computing and client server applications, we only need to look at some of the successful companies spawned here during the web 1.0 period to see the pattern.

Booklink the 3rd Browser

Vermeer html editor

Open Market first commercially available Web (HTTP) servers

ViaWeb online store builder

Akamai web content servers

you get the idea

So lets see what some local companies are doing within the previously identified trends.

cloud computing and storage: see Cloud Crowd

green data centers:  Viridity infrastructure to balance power, cooling and utilization.

mobile applications:  Skyhook Wireless infrastructure for mobile positioning

social networking: Mzinga enterprise infrastructure for social media. Tipjoy social commerce infrastructure

search engine marketing: Wordstream, Hubspot tools to optimize SEM and Inbound Marketing

gaming and virtual goods: GamerDNA virtual bazaar for gamers , Viximo marketplace and tools for virtual goods commerce.

As the list clearly shows,  the course of providing the tools, infrastructure and markets for the emerging technologies is still a mainstay of Boston's approach to building businesses.

Scott's question to us is "Whats next in Tech for Boston?"  If we apply the picks and shovels template to the trends, we can determine where there may still be opportunities. One category,  marketplace plays, may be promising.

One obvious vacuum is in the mobile space.

So you heard it here first, one of the next local companies will be building an "App Store"  for the Android Platform. Rich Miner, if you are listening, I can pull a team together in a month, and with the imprimatur of Google Ventures, we should have a pretty good shot.

What do you think? We should all be going through this exercise so that we can position Boston and our companies as the economy returns to health.

Come hear what some of the brightest minds in Boston innovation think will be the next tech opportunities. Early registration ends today.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Genotrope Record: Cadio Currently Hiring

Funding Status: Seed Round

Investors: MIT

Founders or Execs past companies: MIT PHD Students

Industry: Wireless/Mobile Analytics

Offering Description: Cadio analyzes GPS data from mobile phones to better understand consumer interests and habits. Using a privacy-aware opt-in model, Cadio’s algorithms create Tag Clouds for Consumers™ to generate brand-relevant inferences about where people go and what they do. Cadio offers market research services and enables lifestyle-relevant advertising.