Last night, I attended the January Silicon Valley New Tech Meetup. For those of you who do not know the format of these gatherings, it is very simple. Each group of presenters is allowed five minutes to pitch their offering and then the crowd is allocated five minutes to ask questions.
The first presenters were the founders of inChorus. inChorus has a very complicated technology that leverages the knowledge of its users. Users post projects/problems on the site and people who feel they have knowledge of the subject matter respond with their insight.
The second presenters were the founders of Pinger. It was obvious that their pitch was well rehearsed and timed perfectly. The presentation was articulate, timed, and informative. It was easy to see the problem and the value of their solution. To me, the most compelling part of their business model is that they do not have to partner with any of the cell phone service providers. In a very competitive cell phone market, startups usually design technology that can only be used with the service provider’s permission. I really like the fact the Pinger understands this challenge and designed an application that works around this obstacle.
The third presenters were from ComicVine.com. The presentation was very casual and conversational. The presenter really opened the door for crowd interaction. If you visit their website, you will be blown away by the graphics and the imagination of the sites users.
The last presenter was from PowerReviews.com. I found the site to very similar to consumer digest reports. It is a customer reviews and ratings service. PowerReviews.com is trying to leverage the power of its users to rank and compare consumer products.