Disruptive start-ups: Some contenders

Disruptive start-ups: Some contenders

Summary: 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.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Google
4

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."

* sysbotz offers small business solutions, similar to Sproutit. Cory Rauch says his company is disruptive because it enables 'networking' of small businesses.

* 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.

Topic: Google

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

4 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Clarification, please.

    How is Google disruptive?
    The compoany is a search service that sells ads.

    They lead in the category, but what have they disrupted?

    I think of disruptive as a new business model.
    The internet has been disruptive for the content companies in the RIAA/MPAA.
    As the first successful online seller I know, Amazon was disruptive.

    But Google?
    Search was undervalued because people didn't see what a valuable resource it was for advertising. But that's a matter of degree not kind.
    Anton Philidor
  • I think this is..

    It's the dumb terminal v 2.0
    http://www.naltabyte.se/main.asp

    It's still using familiar concepts, but in a way that kinda eliminates the clientside of it.
    Mikael_66
  • Google disrupted the ad market

    The definition of "disruptive" is something the existing incumbents can't get into because *their* customers don't want it; yet when you offer it, you find a new tier of customers who didn't previously exist.

    Google disrupted the online advertising business ...

    Who were the existing incumbents? Media portals like MSN, Yahoo and their ad-sales divisions. Google created a new type of ad, that the existing ad-sales divisions couldn't get into, because *their* customers didn't know they wanted it. Ad buyers still thought they wanted large, graphical, animated banners and pop-ups. Google's ads weren't "better" on that dimension (ie. they were, small unobtrusive, text) but had a virtue that wasn't previously considered : relevance.

    Secondly, they were being placed where previously you wouldn't buy advertising : on low traffic, narrow audience, often personal pages. Once again, "worse" from the perspective of a traditional ad buyer.
    interstar
  • Elicit - No Response

    At least one of your choices, Elicit, seems to be dead. You can still download the software and they'll take your money, but there is no support whatsoever. In fact, emails to support get bounced back. There's a problem with the software noted in the forums; do not buy unless you like non-functioning software!
    Heman2000