Sort of the Chris Shipley’s DEMO conference, but in snippets: three “startups” get 5 minutes to tell the conference how awesome they are:
Spock: A search engine for people. I have heard of them before and read their writeup on TechCrunch. I have to admit I didn’t think it was going to do anything interesting. But the demo was really impressive; if they came up with the tags for people (G.W. Bush is a “politician”) and the relationships between people (his mother is Barbara) automatically, which should be possible, I’d be very impressed. And they’ve added the Web-2.0-necessary ability to allow users to vote tags and images up or down. Very cool.
(Trivia: It’s written in Ruby on Rails.)
WebEx: Since when was WebEx a startup? Huh? WebEx Connect is a platform for application developers to build collaborative apps and a marketplace to distribute them. Everyone wants to be a platform these days, but who can blame them? For collaborative apps, WebEx does seem to be well positioned (3.5+M users) to make their platform ubiquitous. But if collaboration makes the killer app (as WebEx and Google Apps is saying), then how can you expect MS not to include that? The demo didn’t show much about the platform itself, so I have no comment about that yet.
Inpowr: Ahhh, nice dropped the “e”. Quick! Fund’em! It’s a system that allows users to track and get ideas to improve their well-being and health. They claim it has been 7 years in the making. The demo must not have shown much of the content or complexity of the system because if that took 7 years, then they need to shoot their designers and developers. Not just fire them, but actually shoot them. What they really need to do is get Oprah on board so she can tout it like the “Best Life” program. The attendees at Web 2.0 Expo are just not the right audience.
Spock wins it for me. And they announced at Tuesday’s keynote that Spock won the audience vote, too.
Re: the e: http://www.raphkoster.com/2007/04/17/web-20-names-are-hard/