Wednesday, September 10, 2008

TechCrunch 50 - Session 2: Meme & News

DotSpots: Click to watch their Demo Video at TC50
What's it about: Annotating the Content on the Web. Or converting every content-based page into a Wikipedia.
What's cool: The technology really leverages the power of the Internet to enrich news content. Also, the Server and Browser-based extensions are a great way of catalyzing the network effect.
What's the model: I don't think they can make content publishers pay for this service since they also want to make it into a browser extension. But from the look of it, they could build in ads into this. I foresee a lot of interest in this product from the Internet Goliaths. In all probability, they'll sell the intellectual property for a huge sum if the product sees adoption.
What's the challenge: Making the network effect happen. Filtering the junk.
Hot or Not: HOT

Angstro Click to watch their Demo Video at TC50
What's it about: News alerts about people and companies in your social network.
What's cool: The filtering algorithm in case of people sharing the same name. The algorithm matches the resume/profile with the piece of news.
What's the model: Useful feature in the High Net-worth Individuals (HNI) segment who could spend some money to subscribe to this service. However, it makes more sense for a LinkedIn or even a Monster. Executive search firms using these sites would love it. (I'd love to have this on workosaur.)
What's the challenge: Scaling this from a feature to something more significant. Also, Google Alerts is a great service. Am sure they'd soon figure out an algorithm to make it work better than Angstro.
Hot or Not: NOT

LiveHit: Click to watch their Demo Video at TC50
What's it about: Social News Discovery based on Concurrent Consumption of Content.
What's cool: The social discovery technology in itself is cool. We all know about StumbleUpon.
What's the model: This seems to work like Sphere in terms of recommendations albeit with a social spin to it. The recommended plug then leads to customizable pages of LiveHit with Ad Inventory and the recommended newspiece in an iframe. So the sites using LiveHit make money and LiveHit makes money off them or as a percentage of this ad revenue.
What's the challenge: Technology and Distribution. Social discovery is going to be big but the technology and monetization models will evolve with time. I really think that one of the bigger players is going to be doing this better than LiveHit (Hint: Google already does it in case of YouTube.)
Hot or Not: NOT

Quant The News: Click to watch their Demo Video at TC50
What's it about: A product called An AI system that that analyzes news stories about stocks, identifying their sentiment, and then measuring their potential impact on a stock's price direction.
What's cool: The potential applications of a sentiment identification technology. (I had seen something similar year or so ago at a company called SpotEazy. They have then changed their biz model but the technology has that WOW effect on you.)
What's the model: Subscriptions to the sentiment analysis by investors. Also, they could license their technology to the online trading systems or look at building a trading system themselves.
What's the challenge: Technology. I am not too sure if it's advanced enough to be relied upon as guidance. Also, as this scales and if it works and people depend on it, more people will find ways of gaming the sentiment. So, the technology needs to hold especially in a system where people have an incentive to game it. I see it more as a fun feature that gauges sentiments during elections or before the launch of a movie or an album.
Hot or Not: NOT

No comments: