The Great Disruptive Start-Ups Search, Part 1

The Great Disruptive Start-Ups Search, Part 1

Summary: My post from yesterday, wondering where are the disruptive start-ups in Web 2.0, caught the attention of a number of people. So I'm going to continue my search for disruptive start-ups here on ZDNet and see what comes up.

TOPICS: Enterprise 2.0

My post from yesterday, wondering where are the disruptive start-ups in Web 2.0, caught the attention of a number of people. So I'm going to continue my search for disruptive start-ups here on ZDNet and see what comes up. 

Firstly a 9rules Network buddy, Mike Rundle at BusinessLogs, made an excellent point about target audiences for Web 2.0 apps:

"The problem I see is that every new "web 2.0" company targets the same audience: 20-somethings who socially bookmark their life, use RSS to track weblogs, and seemingly can't find any restaurants without needing someone else's opinion. Is this the best our industry can do?"

Mike's post received some great comments. Things that were mentioned were a social app to help Florida people prepare for hurricanes, the disaster relief workspace Recovery 2.0, bringing the "Web 2.0" experience to K-5 teachers, and other ways to put Web 2.0 technologies to good use. In the comments there was also a link to an app called CrossConnector, which enables users to "plan and manage mission trips and church activities." 

In a separate post Charles Jolley made a good case that his company,, is a disruptive start-up. Sproutit offers business software to very small businesses, which Charles says is an underserved market.

I should note that in my first post I talked about two separate types of disruptive start-ups:

1) a disruptive technology that changes 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. CrossConnector and are two examples.

I received an email from Bill Appleton, the CTO at DreamFactory Software, whose company seems to be more of the first type of disruptive start-up - a technology that could change the Web. DreamFactory provides "customization and integration technology for On Demand software systems." My fellow ZDNet blogger Phil Wainewright reviewed DreamFactory recently and called it an RIA platform (Rich Internet Application), comparable to Macromedia's Flex. Phil commented:

"All the buzz about AJAX may help to reinvigorate interest in existing RIA platforms like Flex and DreamFactory, and who knows which one will turn out to be the most widely used in the end?"

So I've come away from my first post more educated about disruptive technologies like DreamFactory and promising non-geek services like Recovery 2.0. I'll explore more of both in upcoming posts. If you think you have a disruptive start-up, or you know of one, please email me: readwriteweb AT gmail DOT com.

Topic: Enterprise 2.0

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  • The Rebel TV Company

    Brightbox, Inc. is the rebel TV company.

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    Tom Wood
    Brightbox, Inc.
  • Ning?

    I think Ning is a genuine disruptive idea.
  • Tech for the worl'd sake...

    rather than tech for tech's sake is a pretty important matter. I like
    this distinction made here, and I like both kinds of tech. If you dig
    the hurricane response web tools, you may really like the case
    studies over at Net Squared ( - non-profit
    social change organizations using new web tools in exciting ways.
    Net Squared is all about brining those tools together with corporate
    donors and early adopters. Readers here should really check it
    out. It ought to be very...disruptive!