I got a pretty good email response from my post yesterday, in which I invited people to tell me about their disruptive start-ups. I'm not sure that many of them truly qualify as disruptive though. I'm looking for NEW NEW things, in the immortal words of Michael Lewis. Products or services that will literally disrupt an existing market, or create a totally new market. Here again are the two types of disruptive start-ups I'm looking for:
1) disruptive technologies that could change the Web - like Google did.
2) non-geek services built using Web 2.0 technologies. These will be disruptive because we don't have many of them right now and Web 2.0 won't hit the mainstream until we do.
Incidentally I came across this excellent quote from Google CEO Eric Schmidt on paidcontent.org:
"We look at markets as they exist and we assume they're served pretty well by their existing players. We try to see new problems in new markets using the technology that others use and that we build."
Emphasis mine. Now that's what I'm talking about...
Anyway, here are the contenders so far that I've received from people. I'd love to get your comments on all of these - do YOU think they're disruptive?
* CommunityWalk uses GoogleMaps to enable people to document their community or plan trips.
* Urbn Forage is "a suite of tools created to connect fashion designers, stores, and the people who love them."
* simplybill.com is an online invoice management service, targeted at small to medium size businesses.
* NetworthIQ is "a social personal finance tool that allows you to track, share, and compare your net worth."
* SampaSite, described by founder Marcelo Calbucci as an "All-inclusive Web Presence". It features online Word processing, Spreadsheet and presentation tools; together with "shared applications like CRM or CMS for your business, or simpler things like Calendar and Address Book for family."
All of the above are targeted at 'non-geek' audiences. I especially like the sound of CommunityWalk and Urbn Forage, because they're non-business services that use Web 2.0 technologies. Those are the types of services that could potentially create whole new markets.
Lastly, two people sent in contenders for potential Google-scale breakthroughs. I suppose it's too early to judge whether they'll succeed on that scale, but here they are:
* Findory is Greg Linden's personalized RSS Reader. Greg says that "personalized information, as demonstrated by Findory, is as disruptive to the web as Google."
* Elicit is described by CEO of Bingo Bango Software (great name!) Eric Griffin as "the first and only desktop or web client" to integrate services from Google, MSN, Yahoo!, Technorati, Flickr, Amazon, Furl and Del.icio.us "for the purpose of creating blog content".
I look forward to receiving more contenders for disruptive start-ups. I won't be able to reply to all of your emails, but please send your suggestions to readwriteweb AT gmail DOT com.