Once again New York Internet Week introduced to the eager gadget- and Internet-fanatics to the new online projects of the future.
It’s no longer just an expectation, it’s a fact that the growth of Internet popularity and mobile communications is directly proportional to the growth of the popularity among the products and services that make our lives easier, more comfortable and help us to communicate, entertain and relax. And each year startups flow to New York to showcase their new projects, from silly to serious, from simple to advanced. They are greeted by no less excited folks in NYC, the city that holds more than 300 000 Internet and high tech specialists.
More than two billion dollars of the venture capital money were invested in dot.com and Internet-companies over the last few years. This time around the buzz was all around the smartphones and what they can do for us today and tomorrow. According to David-Michel Davies, the chairman of Internet Week NY, Internet professionals have been spending the last decade figuring out how to make smartphones even more useful. “Smartphones have so much potential that we still don’t know half of it”.
Take for example the company Foodspotting – included in the “Top 10 perspective startups” by Time Inc. According to Davies, people are no longer surprised by the Internet food reviews. Many websites offer food and restaurant reviews.
However, Foodspotting is more than reviews – it’s the site that allows people to review specific dishes and upload photos of them.
For example, someone who likes barbeque would try to find a place where he/she can get a good piece of chicken for the grill. He/she could go on to Foodspotting and look for the chicken barbeque cross New York restaurants and stores with the ratings. The site is like a “propaganda” of an individual lifestyle – it could put together people who like BBQ, or people who like oysters.
Another site goes an extra mile. The site GroupMe allows one to be in touch with people in the group who you got together for something. Going in a group to a restaurant? Make sure no one gets lost through GroupMe that allows sending free group texts from any mobile phone. It’s kind of like an Internet chat – but on a go.
For the ones who do not want to go out, but rather would stay at home and watch some TV, there is a news site SocialGuide.com that allows sending the TV viewers of the same show/movie/etc. your comments on a mobile phone. SocialGuide.com uses these viewers’ ratings to compile an overall – citizen – rating of a particular TV show.
According to the founder of SocialGuide.com, the information that is volunteerly submitted by a viewer – is beyond valuable to the TV companies and advertisers. It allows them to create a product that would satisfy the needs of today’s TV viewers based on what’s being liked or not on TV today.
Other new startups worth to note among the presenters and attendees of the Internet Week NY are Yipit – that consolidates the information about sales and discounts on products and services across multiple sites and then allows for the user to search for them by keywords and I-Ella – the site that is currently “by invitation only”. The users of I-Ella can showcase, sell, rent and exchange the clothing out of their closet and pay 10 percent commission on all the transactions. Part of the commission goes to the charities of their choice.
Manilla.com – another new Internet project presented during the Internet Week - allows to pay the bills simple and fast, thus - to save the trees. I can see how it could become popular among the eco-friendly and environmentalists.
All in all, the atmosphere during the Internet Week in NYC was energetic. So many ideas were tossed around. So many people attended. And so many people were left wondering, which one of these companies will be the next Google, Facebook, Netflix or eBay?
The opportunities are endless. And I'm definitely coming back next year...
In your opinion, which sites talked about above would make it in the industry, and why?