Monday, July 21, 2008

10 start-ups to keep an eye on

Ten start-ups on their way to stardom?

For the sake of this article... Start-up is defined as an Internet property with break out potential (or even top of class), reasonable backing (or reasonable backing available), new and /or 'around for a bit but growing exponentially' ... or just stuff I like :)

Here we go:

1) Disqus - For those of you new to this place - The article is here.  Still an upcoming winner.
2) Twitter - While many have written the service off due to technical difficulties, Twitter is here to stay (see previous article) and the users keep coming back!
3) - Great initial PR and a unique open architecture, not to mention a lot of activity, places in the 'player' category.  The next version of the popular Twirl client will support (I'm using it and it's slick and easy). Emerging coolness.
4) Seesmic - Loic Le Meur is extremely responsive to his audience (a biggie for me, as some of you know) and Seesmic has been integrated into Disqus, Twhirl (which they own) and is already embedded (via Disqus) for video comments on hundreds of blogs.
5) Fetchdog - I actually met the some of the players of this dog-centric website for the first time right on Friendfeed last week.  The interaction was instantaneous and informative.  The website can literally match people's lifestyles to dogs in seconds, has TONS of information for new dog owners as well as a large online store with unique items.  The staff knows the web and Web 2.0. 
6) Friendfeed - For those that aren't there yet, I've adopted Friendfeed as my start-up page as have many others.  The ex-Googlers that launched it are adding and tweaking every day, and are also responsive to any apparent bugs and feature requests. Far and away the best networking and discovery vehicle I've ever used.  Potentially intimidating to new users due to it's rapid growth over a short period of time. Well worth the learning curve.
7) Pandora -  Huge online happiness abounds about this service that delivers music from the Music Genome Project.  Already mobile with deals on place with AT&T and Sprint.
8) - Doing the best job of combining most of the major career and job search websites into one.  Less a few hold-outs, literally a one-stop shop for job seekers.  Great progress here.
9) Zillow - I talked A LOT on this blog about Zillow, in the early stages, when ex-Googler Vanessa Fox was working with them. (Fox, for some reason, always gets my attention and has a few of her own start-ups underway ... for the next list :).  Zillow recently introduced a feature where you can type in an address (almost any address), and see recent comps (area sales) and other info on a property whether it's listed on their site or not.  A sheer hit for those re-entering the housing market.  Innovation continues here while others in this space have turn their attention elsewhere. 
10) - The buzz continues here in an all-important and rapidly growing online vertical .. education.  LOTS of information for parents and students, and interesting partnering with schools and more. and are part of this company.

Obviously, the downside to lists like this is tthat there are many others that should be here.

But ... that just leaves room for the next list, depending on YOUR reactions to this one :)

Check 'em out and enjoy

Staff edit 2:20 ET