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Summary:

It has taken me a full day to recoup from the Crunchies 2008 and the associated festivities. Silicon Alley Insider, TechCrunch and VentureBeat, along with GigaOM, had jointly organized the event, now in its second year, to recognize startups, entrepreneurship and technology in 16 categories. A […]

Mark ZuckerbergIt has taken me a full day to recoup from the Crunchies 2008 and the associated festivities. Silicon Alley Insider, TechCrunch and VentureBeat, along with GigaOM, had jointly organized the event, now in its second year, to recognize startups, entrepreneurship and technology in 16 categories. A party in the City Hall rotunda followed the awards ceremony, held at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco.

In addition to awards, the ceremony also featured short interviews with Google’s Marissa Meyer, Microsoft’s David Treadwell and Ray Ozzie and YCombinator’s Paul Graham. The sage advice from these luminaries urged startups and entrepreneurs to keep hope and work with the limitations of this hyper-recession. Graham used the analogy of cockroaches surviving the economic nuclear winter. Ray Ozzie said, “When we are in an environment with technological and environmental change, you have to focus on these new huge constraints, but also new opportunities for destruction or rebirth.”

Erick Schonfeld, MC for the night, puts it best when he writes, “The easy VC money might have stopped flowing to startups, but that doesn’t mean the world has stopped.” I completely agree. The reason we co-host the event is for one simple reason: our belief in technology and entrepreneurship.

The awards are an homage to new ideas, new technology and smart entrepreneurs who trek to Silicon Valley every day from the farthest corners of the world to revitalize this little sliver of land once dotted by orchards and wide open spaces. Allen Stern points out that most of the awards (14 out of 16) went to companies based in Silicon Valley and wonders if all the great web technology comes out of California?

Absolutely not – and it will never be the case. However, just like Hollywood (Los Angeles) happens to be the place where many (not all) English language movies are made, Silicon Valley, because of its very nature, is home to a disproportionate number of startups. Nevertheless, points made by Allen well noted.

Of course, one should note that some nominees, such as Socialcast, Better Place, Asus, Truphone, Topspin Media and Etsy are all based outside of Silicon Valley. Of course, who gets nominated and wins – voters decide.

Crunchies 2008

Best Application Or Service

Get Satisfaction
Google Reader (winner)
Minted
Meebo
MySpace Music (runner-up)
Yelp

Best Technology Innovation/Achievement

Facebook Connect (runner-up)
Google Friend Connect
Google Chrome
Windows Live Mesh (winner)
Swype
Yahoo BOSS

Best Design

Animoto (runner-up)
Cooliris (winner)
Friendfeed
Infectious
Lala
Sliderocket

Best Bootstrapped Startup

BackType
GitHub (winner)
Socialcast
StatSheet
12seconds.tv (runner-up)

Most Likely To Make The World A Better Place

Akoha
Causes
CO2Stats
GoodGuide (winner)
Kiva (runner-up)
Better Place

Best Enterprise Startup
Amazon Web Services (winner)
Force.com
Google App Engine (runner-up)
Yammer
Zoho

Best International Startup

eBuddy (winner)
Fotonauts
OpenX
Vente-privee
Wuala (runner-up)

Best Clean Tech Startup

Better Place (runner-up)
Boston Power
ElectraDrive
Laurus Energy
Project Frog (winner)

Best New Gadget/Device

Android G1 (runner-up)
Ausus EEE 1000 Series
Flip MinoHD
iPhone 3G (winner)
SlingCatcher

Best Time Sink Site/Application

Mob Wars
iBowl
Tap Tap Range (winner)
Zivity
Texas Hold Em (runner-up)

Best Mobile Startup

ChaCha (runner-up)
Evernote (winner)
Posterous
Qik Skyfire
Truphone

Best Mobile Application

Google Mobile Application (runner-up)
imeem mobile (winner)
Pandora Radio
rolando
ShopSavvy
Ocarina

Best Startup Founder

Linda Avery and Anne Wojcicki (23andMe)
Michael Birch and Xochi Birch (Bebo)
Robert Kalin (Etsy)
Evan Williams, Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone (Twitter ) (winner)
Paul Buchheit, Jim Norris, Sanjeev Singh, Bret Taylor (FriendFeed ) (runner-up)

Best Startup CEO

Tony Hsieh (Zappos)
Jason Kilar (Hulu) (runner-up)
Elon Musk (SpaceX)
Andy Rubin (Android)
Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) (winner)

Best New Startup Of 2008
Dropbox (runner-up)
FriendFeed (winner)
GoodGuide
Tapulous
Topsin Media
Yammer

Best Overall Startup In 2008

Amazon Web Services
Facebook (winner)
Android
hulu
Twitter (runner-up)

Photo courtesy of Scott Beale, Laughing Squid via Flickr.

Photo of Mark Zuckerberg courtesy of Nandofejer via Flickr.

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  1. I went to both 2007 and 2008 Crunchies. This year was much better and I’m happy that we had another year of this awesome awards ceremony. Thanks for the sponsors and blogs who put this on.

  2. How do the hosts of the Crunchies define “startup”? Hulu? (a GE and NewsCorp JV backed by $100M in private equity)…Android? (Google has past it’s startup phase, no?)….Amazon Web Services? (see Google)….just curious. Be careful not to lose the spirit of the event.

  3. I was curious about the same “startup” question. I think this is a great event and everything but I’m not sure I would qualify Facebook as a startup anymore. This is probably one of those questions that’s difficult to answer because everyone has a different definition.

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