The View from Guidewire

I got a bee in my bonnet this week to start a regular feature on The Guidewire, posting each Friday and giving a peek into how things look from where we sit in emerging tech. There are plenty of great week-in-review blog posts out there but, frankly, I just wanted to have a little fun. Chris and I spend most weeks deep in conversation with startups, whether they’re applying to DEMO, auditioning for Innovate!Europe, or just giving us a download on their products. But I’m always keeping an ear to the ground under social media.  There’s just so much inanity lying there fallow. So I think it will be a bit of trend-watching, a bit of news update and a bit of humor to highlight the absurd parts of the Web that sometimes get lost in the shuffle.

News from the Social Media Vortex

–It was only a matter of time. The Shorty Awards are officially established, to honor those folks who achieve excellence in… tweeting. I scoff but do acknowledge that there is a fair amount of wordsmithing involved in making your point in 140 characters. (I think my most successful tweet to date involved, not technology, but a spilled pickle jar in the frig.) Keeping with the democracy of the blogoverse, you can nominate your own categories. The current breadth of categories on the site seemingly ensure a nomination to most everyone on Twitter.

Apps on the Radar

–My productivity took a dive earlier in the week when I downloaded Monopoly for the iPhone. That and Centipede should ensure hours of time-sucking during international flights next week.

–If your time-sucking tastes trend more toward inebriation, may I suggest GiveReal, a Facebook app that lets you give redeemable real-world drinks to friends. To be serious, though, I hope to see GiveReal expand their repertoire into all manner of real-world gifts. Could this be a potential revenue stream for Facebook? One can dream…

Money Money Money

–On the one hand, Accel Partners announced two new funds this week, adding a total of more than $1 billion to their coffers. On the other hand…

–The axes fell at Yahoo, with 1,500 workers affected Monday and Flickr in the crosshairs just today. Seems like interested parties should start wearing a hole in the road to the South Bay for a fire sale. Take the money (and a bit of your dignity) and run, Yahoo.

–On that note, one of my favorite tweets this week came from @xobni: “former yahoo – if you are an engineer, apply @xobni – we are hiring.” Go for it, coders. I am increasingly falling in love with my Xobni sidebar. Not to mention their new method of recruitment.

The “I Don’t Get It” Department

–Microblogging service Tumblr closed a Series B, $4.5M round.  I’d think smarter investments right now would lie in technologies that answer real-world needs for mass consumers or enterprises. Is microblogging honestly gaining enough traction to support this?

DEMO Trends – Where the innovation is with DEMO 08 applicants**

–Web discovery – A new way to find related content online, from a deep database of existing bookmarks.

–Content aggregation – information sharing built around subject, rather than the URL

–Search – Make searches more personal by building your own multi-layered concepts

**With the caveat that we can’t reveal too much about the companies at this stage. Let your imagination run wild.


–Condolences to Kevin Fox, who had his light-up Christmas Flamingo stolen from his yard. If I lived in the area, I’d be a prime suspect.

–Tweet of the Week award goes to @kmonson for “It was too loud in the other room, what with all the tranny opera singers.” I must start hanging out with him more.

–I’ll be headed to court soon, if this guy has any say. I am an egregious user of the ; )

That’s it for the inaugural View from Guidewire. Comments, suggestions and mild insults welcome.

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1 Comment »

  1. JimForbes said

    You’re establishing a markedly good critical voice of your own. I”m looking forward to watching you epand and reefine it by adding a dash more wickedly funny cynicism.
    I still remember that I had much more fun with DemoWeek than I did other outlets, because i created and crafted it as a vehicle for my own voice and views.
    Looking forward to seeing you build your View From Guidewire.
    JM Forbes

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