Under the Radar: Tracking Early Stage Innovation

I just saw Robert Scoble sitting outside of the Palo Alto Apple Store in a PodTech beanbag, he’s going to spend over 30 hours there with his son Patrick for the iPhone. Other PodTech media was there as well as CNN and other large media networks.

I’m here at Under the Radar at Microsoft campus in Mountain View, and sitting next to Chris Pirillo again. He was a judge this morning. I got hear about 1pm, so I missed the earlier companies that were presenting. Half these companies won’t be around in a year, but it’s still interesting to see all these business models developing.

CrazyEgg presented, they’re a user experience analysis company that tracks clicks of users. It displays this in a heatmap, while clicks is a powerful thing to track, the ability to track eye movement is also very valuable.

Cruxy, it’s a website that anyone can upload any file, There’s players tools and widgets to embed this in your own website, so you can sell through widgets. Its started by two guys in Brooklyn. The opportunity is if their widget can help trade and sell media content in different networks. They’re using Amazon’s S3 services.. They have a hook into virtual worlds. So what is it? it’s online data storage with network hooks. No offense guys, but this seems like a feature, not a product, the one chance for success? pure widget play.

“The online video analytics authority”. Two products, vidmeter 100, and vidmetrics. They can show the top videos of the day. They can make money by selling this service to social media marketers to find out which video is playing well in which video network. They scape data from the video network sites (like YouTube, Blip) or they have agreements. Emphasis that the company is a services company, also announced a partnership with Veoh.

Visible Measures
“New metrics for internet video”. They provide intelligence about video by obtaining data from different sources, mainly third party. They have some proprietary analysis and statistics. Seems like they want to move into the comscore and nielsen market. Out of the four companies list here, this is one that I would invest in. I’m not sure if I should add them to my list of companies that measures social media, as I’ve not fragmented it out by video.

“The world of thinking. FORA.tv delivers discourse, discussions and debates on the world’s most interesting political, social and cultural issues, and enables viewers to join the conversation. It provides deep, unfiltered content, tools for self-expression and a place for the interactive community to gather online.”.There are public events around the world, and they aggregate them. The quality is higher than youtube, the content is somewhere between PBS and Cspan. One of the judges suggested this content is not that exciting.

Splashcast lets anyone be a star. Three steps: 1) upload media, 2) personalize it 3) broadcast. They provide access to a vast amount of content, they can edit it, and then distribute it to their network. For example, facebook users can embed a splashcast widget into their site, which will provide lots of content. The judges asked how is this different than brightcove over a year ago. Great content + Great Tools + Great Distribution.

Ustream TV
It’s live interactive video for everyone. Live and interactive is interesting because it helps the users shape the content and that’s engaging. usream is looking for partners, distribution, viewers, content creators, advertisers, and sponsors. I’m on the board of advisers of ustream because I’m a big fan of their service. Challenges from host and judges: How can we make lifecasting interesting? Is is about live or recorded? What tools are you providing to allow users to promote. Local TV is a natural evolution for this. The biggest challenge is getting good content.

Watch live TV on your computer. Virtual cable network for you PC. Launched in May 2005. “Zattoo is live TV on your PC – it’s the football game as you chat, the news as you email, and Lost as you pay your bills. Zattoo is also TV when you don’t have a TV – it’s the channels you want, when you want, where you want”. These guys are right in the same space as Joost.

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