Daily Archives: May 9, 2011

What I learned by interviewing 23 startups in past few weeks

I’ve been slowing down my blogging lately. This has happened for a few reasons:

1. I was speaking at the Next Web a week ago in Amsterdam and wifi there was crappy.
2. Right before that I took a few days off to be in Yosemite with my family.
3. After I got back from Amsterdam I overscheduled myself, which means I got a ton of interviews done but had no time to upload those videos or process them or blog about them.

Anyway, this weekend I caught up and uploaded 24 videos. Which pissed some people off over on Facebook as I flooded their streams.

But, one advantage of doing and posting so many videos all at once is you start seeing patterns. So, here’s what I’m learning.

1. The iPad is encouraging some interesting new businesses to form, like Pose, which is a cash register and inventory-management company for retail stores. Video.
2. Health tracking and apps that help you keep your health up continue to pop up. Fooducate is a good example, it shows you whether the food you are picking in grocery stores is healthy or not. Video.
3. iPhone app store is too hard to use, so we’ve seen a ton of companies come out with ways to improve that. The latest I’ve seen is Zwapp, which shares apps with each other in a neat social way. Video.
4. Photo/camera apps continue to be hot. Especially true since Instagram took off and Color got $41 million. Here Pixamid has an easier-to-use and understand social camera than Color. Video. And Photogram has a new competitor for Instagram that lets you upload groups of photos to Facebook or Twitter. Video.
5. Enterprise collaboration service space continues to be hot. You know, the space occupied by Jive, Yammer, Salesforce Chatter, SocialCast, SocialText, etc. Here Moxie hooked up with design firm IDEO to make the best designed and easiest to use collaboration service. Video.
6. Traveling brings about new business opportunities, especially as regular travelers realize they are being slammed with high roaming fees. Here two startups really help out. Onavo compresses your iPhone’s data, which saves about half on data roaming charges. Video. And MaxRoam gives you a SIM for unlocked phones that saves you a ton on voice calls. Video. Plus, a third company, Abukai, helps you do your expense reports when you travel by scanning the receipts with your mobile phone’s camera. Video.
7. The Web isn’t forgotten. Scrible helps you research things on the web and save and share them. Useful. Video. Silk is building a new kind of database which will be used first by the Next Web to build a startup database. Video. Shufflr.tv helps you find more and better video online. Video. Webdoc helps you build a new kind of rich, expressive, site. Think a modern Blogger or Tumblr. Video.
8. But the most interesting set of companies is being built around smartphones and here, for the first time, Apple’s iOS doesn’t have the coolest apps. For instance, Innobell lets you add social apps to a phone call. Only on Android today. Video. TekTrak gives you really great security. But mostly on Android today. Video. And WalkBase lets you track your phone’s movement through wifi and assisted GPS patterns in the room. Again, only on Android because Apple and Microsoft don’t let WalkBase talk to the radios the way Android does. Video.

Anyway, here’s all the videos embedded, so you can enjoy them. These are all on my YouTube Channel, if you like them please subscribe there.

Talking iPad apps and accessories with Sam Levin:

Android app WalkBase tracks wireless data to tell whether you’re in the same room:

VUFind lets people play and share around their visually-recognized interests:

A must-have when traveling: MaxRoam, saves money on roaming calls and data:

Mobilistar makes world clickable with mobile augmented reality:

Why you should jailbreak your iPhone:

Scrible helps you research the Web (cool tool!):

A new way to do expense reports with your mobile phone: Abukai:

Mobile wireless compression from Onavo saves TONS of money when overseas:

A “social camera” Pixamid:

A new dating service: Kismet:

Zwapp helps you find better apps for your iPhone:

Silk: a great new database powers new Next Web site:

Shufflr.tv helps you find better videos online:

Cool Ring prototype shows new way to use Tablets:

TekTrak makes your mobile phone more secure:

Must have mobile app at the grocery store: Fooducate helps you make healthy choices!

Webdoc brings you rich expression on the web:

Moxie competes in enterprises with Yammer and Salesforce Chatter with a better design:

Exclusive first look: Photogram, new kind of photosharing app for mobile:

Small-business cash register comes to iPad in Pose:

Loqly: ask questions about local businesses:

Add social apps to phone calls with Innobell: