Blake Borgeson, in blog form

suspected facts. validated opinions.

what i liked at techcrunch50: fitbit, grockit, goodguide, and peter thiel

with 9 comments

I didn’t watch every presentation.  I probably saw 10 in person and streamed another dozen or so from home.  I also didn’t pay to attend the conference.  I volunteered for free admission, which meant showing up for a couple hours on Sunday to chat with the organizers beforehand, then showing up early Monday morning to help get people to their destinations.  A couple of those people I guided I didn’t mind getting up early to meet: James Currier (I’ve written about him before) and Michael Arrington.  During that 10-second conversation with Mr. Arrington, I felt almost as if I was speaking to the most influential blogger about technology startup companies of our day, if you can even grasp what that means. =)

Since I was given the gift of free techcrunch, I thought the least I could do was give back just a bit with my opinions of companies I learned of that you actually might care to know about.

Each link goes straight to their tc50 presentation video, which is a pretty painless way to learn more, if you’re interested.

Fitbit.  These guys were one of 5 runners up, as were my next two highlights.  They’ve basically got a device about the size of a usb flash drive that you clip on your clothes and wear all day, every day, if you feel like it.  Using some sensors (accelorometer-type, not gps-type yet), it measures your movements and records your level of activity throughout the day and night.  It automagially uploads the data through a wireless base station in your home to their servers.  Anytime you want, you get on their website and see how many calories you’ve been burning, what your activity level has been like, what your sleep patterns have been like, in as much or as little detail as you like in very pretty charts.  There’s a tremendous amount more it’s capable of, in fact–watch the video if that sounds cool.  It’s a one-time $99 purchase. [sorry, realized they don't have a video available. their website is fitbit.com]

Grockit.  I’m not quite sold on using it myself yet, but they’ve made an incredible step forward in collaborative learning online.  Study for the GMAT with your friends, or with any number of people you’ll meet on the site.

Goodguide.  This is something I’ve been waiting for for a while now.  And these guys have seriously nailed it, it appears so far.  It’s an online guide and repository for health, environmental, and social impacts of consumer goods.  Their first focus is “personal care and household chemical” products, and already I’ve used it to decide I need to switch from Coppertone’s Sport Lotion to its Sport Gel sunscreen.  You’d be surprised at the tremendous difference between the two in terms of health risks.

Michael Arrington chats with Peter Thiel.  Great thoughts from Peter Thiel of paypal, facebook, slide, founders fund, and many more on technology trends, bubbles, and how much vc-backed startup ceos should get paid, based on analyzing the performance of past startups (his opinion, to break the suspense: 100k-150k).

Bonus: Tonchidot.  Not a company I would recommend investing in if you’re an investor reading this, but a video demonstration definitely worth watching, just to see what someone has been able to do with an iphone.  They overlay data from the internet on live video of the real world through your iphone.  You’ll have to watch it.

Written by blakeweb

September 11, 2008 at 12:25 am

Posted in Uncategorized

9 Responses

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  1. You'd think disqus would be better about not eating comments.The summary:-Agree with you about goodguide. Just waiting for a mobile, barcode-reading app to frontend it.-You get a feel for whether Tonchidot is for real? Everything I've seen has a very hacked-together-to-make-a-demo look. Plus I'm skeptical about how well this would work. In any case, I think we'd all like to see this technology improve– the different applications are pretty exciting.-No mention of Swype, which I think could be a game-changer for touchscreen devices. Just like T9 was for texting

    ParkerJones

    September 12, 2008 at 6:29 am

  2. Sorry disqus ate your comment, and thanks for letting me know–that's something I should keep an eye out for if I can.tonchidot: No, I definitely don't think it's really real. I mean, the video isn't fake, but yeah, I agree that it's a hacked demo in that their application isn't really ready at all. They seeded it with perfect data in a perfect scenario, so the video wasn't realistic at all. But it's coming soon, I hope.swype: Yeah, I skipped them–I never paid attention to them at the event because I have an app on my iphone already as of a couple weeks ago that does what they're doing, called writingpad (http://www.shapewriter.com/iphone.html). So swype's technology didn't look that unique or defensible to me. I like writingpad a lot, though right now it's confined to its own little notepad application rather than subbing in for the default iphone keyboard. That's what swype is trying to change, I guess. Seems like apple and the other phone makers will just do it themselves, and hopefully have it as another option for the way the keyboard works.

    blakeborgeson

    September 12, 2008 at 3:13 pm

  3. Maybe it was just a one in a thousand error:)) Disqus is one of the best commenting systems that a blogger can use at the moment. I had experience with other commenting systems, but Disqus is the perfect balance which offers all I need. _____________________________________Sports Website

    tiberiu84

    August 28, 2009 at 1:24 pm

  4. “…Anytime you want, you get on their website and see how many calories you’ve been burning, what your activity level has been like…” This is awesome, a health check-up in a flash.

    Hampers

    October 22, 2009 at 1:32 pm

  5. Well i think that I’m not quite sold on using it myself yet, but they’ve made an incredible step forward in collaborative learning online. Study for the GMAT with your friends, or with any number of people you’ll meet on the site.

    Jugendherberge Wien

    November 12, 2009 at 6:36 am

  6. Well after reading this article I felt almost as if I was speaking to the most influential blogger about technology startup companies of our day, if you can even grasp what that means.

    Listen RadioBar

    November 29, 2009 at 10:27 pm

  7. Investors are keen on checking the what, when and where of investing. I'm sure they will check the video for more.

    jogging double stroller

    December 27, 2009 at 9:28 pm

  8. Your being frank of not recommending a company that don't deserve even a second glance is a good point to consider: in an investors point-of-view.

    jogging double stroller

    January 2, 2010 at 5:45 pm

  9. A second chance can be requested but it should be done with a caution. Everyone deserves to be given a “new lease in business”.

    aed defibrillator

    February 12, 2010 at 11:40 am


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