December 10, 2013

Crowd Companies: A brand council for the collaborative economy

crowdImage by James Cridland on Flickr

Startup launches at LeWeb with a big idea

Target audience: Senior business executives, startup teams, innovators, product managers, marketers, operations leaders, sustainability leaders, social business strategists, PR pros, brand managers, social good advocates, educators, Web publishers, journalists, participants in the collaborative economy.

JD LasicaLast week I picked up the phone, and there was Jeremiah Owyang, a longtime friend, former partner of Altimeter Group and now the founder of a new startup. “JD,” he began, “I found the next phase of sharing.”

The last big wave, of course, has been social media. And while the social wave isn’t over, there’s a remarkable Next Big Thing rising up alongside it.

Today, on the first day of LeWeb in Paris, Jeremiah is announcing his new venture, Crowd Companies. (The beta site is now accepting sign-ups.)

crowd-companies

The idea behind Crowd Companies is that companies will increase their relevance and influence by tapping into the power of the crowd. But instead of launching a startup that attempts to ride the megatrend of the Collaborative Economy, Jeremiah is forming a brand council — the kind seen in other sectors — as a sort of meta-organization, a business association that will provide peer-to-peer knowledge, expert education from third parties and access to an innovation network of startups. Continue reading

February 26, 2013

Location-based services are coming of age (and it’s way more than Foursquare)

3 iphone-screenshots
From left, screenshots of the new app Now, EyeEm and Gogobot.

Geolocation apps start to splinter into verticals

This is the second in an ongoing series on the state of geolocation apps, sites and services. Also see:
• Part 1: Are you ready for the place graph?

Target audience: Startups, entrepreneurs, businesses with location-based components, educators, journalists, general public.

JD LasicaIn part one of this series we looked back at the early days of geolocation, with Platial kicking off the geoloco revolution in the practically prehistoric year of 2005. Since then, a number of paradigm-shifting startups have already come, gone or been sold, among them fwix, Loopt, Ditto, Blockboard, Everyblock (shut down this month) and the late lamented NextStop and Whrrl.

geologo-logoOn Sunday Josh Williams, former founder-CEO of Gowalla and now a product manager at Facebook, penned a great writeup on the early years of the Foursquare-Gowalla death match, spanning 2009-2010, before Foursquare emerged as the King of Check-In Mountain.

Now that the table has been set, what’s next for geolocation? Is it all about Foursquare, Yelp, yawn and go home?

I don’t think so. Instead, we’re seeing geolocation begin to splinter into niches and verticals. And, within a couple of years, geolocation capabilities will simply be baked into our everyday on-the-go lives.

From Silicon Valley and elsewhere, startups have emerged with powerful, useful geolocation capabilities central to their business model. As someone who’s as much an entrepreneur as a social strategist, I’m about to cast off into these choppy waters myself with a startup called Placely. (Come add your email addy to be notified when we’re ready to roll!)

Flavors of location: Travel, recommendations, geo-social & more

We’re still in the expansion, experimentation and buyout phase — before the inevitable contraction, consolidation and hand-wringing phase sets in

In surveying the competitive landscape, I’ve been struck by how diverse the geo landscape has become. We’re still in the expansion, experimentation and buyout phase — before the inevitable contraction, consolidation and hand-wringing phase sets in. Every week, it seems, I hear about a new startup doing something interesting with geolocation. (I still wish Gowalla had pivoted instead of selling to Facebook.)

Navigation apps like Waze and mapping sites (Google, Apple, Mapquest, Bing Maps) are all about location, but they’re too obvious to include here.

So what are the new breed of startups using location information in interesting new ways? Continue reading