Archive for the ‘startup.’

Lists of Successful Companies to Get your Startup Juices Flowing

Inspire yourself through the success of others.

If you’re looking to found a tech startup but don’t have a clue what exactly it is you want to be doing, you might want to peruse these links for some inspiration. This is a “list of lists,” and would take a very long time to go through them all in one sitting. The general idea is to look at the companies, see what they do and how they make money, get the bios for the founders, etc.

Also, this is a running list, so if you know of any others let me know so that I can add them on. You can either leave your ideas in the comments section or you can email them to me directly at graduatedtaste at gmail dot com.

Seed Stage Companies

Companies Backed by VC Money

Successful Acquisitions

How to Save Twitter

This is a follow up to my thoughts on the advent of microjournalism and how Twitter could become a bellweather in the news media if it positions its brand correctly.

I’ve been diving in deeper into these ideas and I realized that the way Twitter is percieved will be a major hangup if they want to continue further. Currently, Twitter is set up as a many-to-many application, in which you try and get as many to follow you and reciprocate the same. This is the status quo in social media (blogging, facebook, etc).

A new shift, particularly in online media, is the few-to-many application, in which a select “high value” producers generate content for the masses. This is only the natural evolution of online media; noise eventually gets filtered out until you find producers that create real value. The problem with Twitter is that currently there is too much noise, and until you find the proper filters, it will not be able to retain a sustainable user base.

Twitter needs to become a few-to-many application, in which they recruit high-value targets to write random thoughts to their Twitter feed. I gave several examples in my previous post, but I’ve realized there is a much more valuable target for them to reach: the Olympics.

Right now, they need to start getting in contact with as many athletes and coaches that are participating in the Olympics (U.S. participants as well as others) who have access to internet and cell phones throughout their competitions. Explain to them that it would be a great way to vent their feelings and show the rest of the world what it’s like to be a world class athlete.

This will provide Twitter with access to information that NBC can’t have. If NBC takes notice, Twitter can then license out the Olympics content out to them or try for an all out acquisition.

Clock’s ticking.

Twitter Can Reshape the News Media (aka Microjournalism)

In a continuation of the previous article, I attempt to look further for ways in which Twitter can expand beyond the TechCrunch crowd and start to hit the mainstream.

Yesterday, water was found on Mars. Who broke it? CNN? AP? Ah, no. It was the twitter feed for the mars lander who gave its audience a riveting story in tiny little pieces. Technology has now allowed the primary sources to become the media outlets, rather than being sanitized and processed for the masses, and this story may have saved Twitter.

This event will mark a new trend into Microjournalism.

Picture the scenario: you have all the major networks and their respective talking heads, well, talking. They sit their and speculate about every nuance of a major story. And their waiting…. for the next Tweet.

Imagine the countless opportunities for this! Howard Lindzon (investor in Twitter) brought up a good idea that Twitter should start paying for “inside reports,” with his example being Tiger Woods’ caddy. Imagine the traffic that would have came to their website, people grabbing onto every word… and then the mainstream media gets a hold of it. That’s critical mass.

Other possibilities:

  1. Texting information from a closed courtroom where media isn’t allowed.
  2. Celebrities Twittering about working in a movie. Think about Will Smith complaining about the heat in his suit for “Hancock.” This would be a tremendous promoting tool for the industry.
  3. Have the lead scientists at the Large Hadron Collider funnel their thoughts into Twitter.

It’s coming to the breaking point for Twitter. There are scalability issues and rumours about management leaving. However, they are in a prime position to go critical mass, and they are lucky they are in an election year. If they want to get a ton more exposure, they need to start recruiting major political players, correspondents, and embeds to engage in MicroJournalism. Once they have a substantial number of power players, then go to the media and show that they have the quickest sources out their. For the 24 Hour networks, this is like bringing them a purer form of cocaine… they can’t resist. Start to establish deals with the networks and expand from there.

Twitter will only survive with product verticals. They have been dismissed by the TC crowd as unnecessary. I believe that if they execute properly they will become a new form of newsmedia, that once established, will become a necessary architecture to provide up-to-date news.

The Monetization of Twitter Demographics

Howard Lindzon points out that the first adopters of Twitter are saying that there is no good way to monetize that app. That sort of talk always leads to nowhere. He argues:

They are early adapters for sure, but the data they create is mostly worthless.

He goes on to point out that breaking Twitter up into a niche (namely finance) would help stimulate monetization of the application. It’s a novel idea, really. The functionality has already been hacked together at StockTweets, a Twitter Channel.

Any ticker that the writer wishes to discuss will be prefixed with a ‘$’. So if I wanted to spill some haterade on Crocs, I’d say “$CROX : They make your feet stink.” The data is then aggregated and linked to the ticker so users can go back and browse various opinions.

Twitter in finance is a damn powerful tool. I swing trade occasionally, and it’s nice to have up to the minute information from people you can trust.

There are other niches that you can aggregate information from and monetize that data. I’m not going into detail here, but there are some possibilities that I’m mulling around. (BTW, I need a programmer that knows the Twitter API… contact me if you’re interested.)