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4 Big Themes at This Year's DEMO

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demo_badge_black.gif DEMO 2008 brought 78 companies to the stage for six minutes each. It’s speed dating for venture capitalists, and a testament to the short attention spans of today’s market. After not quite three days, here are four themes:

We have too many devices

A raft of new entrants want to integrate all my friends, phones and content, regardless of where I am or what I’m using.

Fabrik merges stored and online media, while Ribbit puts phones everywhere. 800 Genie lets me talk to my applications, Liquidtalk turns phones into enterprise podcasts, Review2buy uses SMS to comparison shop, Toktumi gives small companies big-sounding phone systems, LegiText manages enterprise SMS, and Movial makes desktop media mobile.

Managing and monetizing video

Video’s here. But how to pump it around and make money from it?

With that goal in mind, Vidyo is breaking the rules of videoconferencing and Zodiac Interactive has unveiled interactive TV shopping. Squidcast handles huge file transfers for free, Bitgravity streams live HD content, and Visible Measures will analyze viewer attention.

Componentization of the web

The web’s full of pieces: static images, YouTube clips, Facebook widgets and Flash plugins. Startups want to let users rework these pieces their own way.

CellSpin does simultaneous publishing, Sprout lets people build Flash apps from components, Seesmic turns videos into conversations, and Iterasi bookmarks the dynamic web.

SaaS and simplicity

Software-as-a-service is everywhere. But it’s not just about putting applications in the cloud, it’s also about rethinking them to make them easy and accessible to consumers. Lots of companies launched here should make established firms rethink their design.

Liquidplanner does project management, Blist builds databases without a degree, Flypaper makes everyone a flash developer, App2you eases users into form-based web apps, xtranormal makes everyone a storyboard artist, and Scenecaster — growing at an astonishing 2.5 percent a day — makes 3D modeling easy.

15 Responses to “4 Big Themes at This Year's DEMO”

  1. (BTW GigaOm’s judicious editorial team fixed the broken links. It’s amazing how many domain squatters grabbed the names of some of the companies launched. One, Basecamp-meets-facebook project site Huddle, faces a nasty message when you go to the .com version of their site:

    “Welcome to This domain can be purchased, but will not be cheap. Serious parties should send an email to dave AT webforge DOT com.”

    Youch. Sorry for the bad links.)

  2. thank you Alistair for mentioning Seesmic.

    “jc” or whomever you really are, I am sorry to hear you were disappointed from my presentation, fair enough, now it’s just the first time I hear Seesmic is a clone ! A clone of what ?

    I guess GigaOm readers can judge by themselves on my presentation here:

    again Alistair, thanks, too bad I did not meet you there, I am still around if you want to say hi at our booth it’s #22

  3. Most of them were disappointments. Very poor demos. Why do these people chock?

    Seesmic – I was expecting more from Loic. Seesmic turns out be just a clone with lots of vaporware.

  4. It seems that many companies are missing it totally. Everyone is trying to exploit instead of serve. Even though many companies are pitching “services”, really it seems simply to be ways to make revenue from the user.

    I am not against revenue, but the operating position is what matters. Figure out what we want as users, first. Then, make figure a way to make revenue second. Companies can do that either by capitalizing from critical mass or from the necessity of service (with integration with other products and services).

    Companies need to spend more time on user behavior, needs and growing trends. The company that makes best use of that information will be able to create successful services and products. Jockeying for VC money without clear purpose is just a waste of time for everyone involved and ruins opportunities for viable ideas from companies, that are still unknown.