This cool startup out of Framingham, MA called MyPunchbowl has created a killer way to create professional looking online Christmas and Holiday cards. Much better than those evite we are all use to. This one took me less that 60 seconds to create using their eCard Studio, then lets me upload my address book from gmail and Outlook. Cool for sending online cards, but not the same as getting them in the mail and posting on the fridge. Maybe next year, they’ll have a deal with a card printer, then you can create and mail cards straight from the web.
A couple of posts ago, I was complaining about not having good news outlet for new startups in Boston. Well last night I went with one of my Y2M buddies, Matt Smith (www.matthewcsmith.com) , to the WebInnovatorsGroup meeting and it was pretty good. There were at least 300 people there from startups, vc firms and a few media outlets. It was good to see that Boston does have a lot of good innovation happening. The meeting highlighted three new startups: Good2Gether (www.good2gether.com) and CMS and content distribution platform for cause-based inititaves; Pic Me Photo Sharing (picme.raizlabs.com) a social photo sharing app for the desktop and Jack Cards (www.jackcards.com) an service that will send you greeting cards before you forget your mom’s, aunt’s, sister’s birthday.
Of those three, I actually thought that Jack Cards has the best chance of getting bought by someone like Hallmark or Target. No one ever makes money off of causes (hopefully the causes will) and photo sharing is way overdone.
I’ve used Microsoft Money and Quicken, but neither comes close to the ease and useability of Mint, a startup that tracks personal finances. Mint gives a “refreshing” way to managing your money through its ease-of-use and web2.0-ish design. Even their business model adds to the experience by showing you how much you would save by switching checking accounts, credit cards, etc, from which they take a cut. Mint has raised some $16.7 million in the past six months from Shasta Ventures and Benchmark Capital and signed up over 100,000 users. I think this one is a winner – hopefully it has staying power. The only problem is, now I know where I spend my money.
I signed up as a beta user for a new search tool called searchme, and I’ll have to say, its pretty cool. It takes iTunes cover flow and delivers your search results as site screen grabs rather than text. The site is all done in flash and text ads overlay the bottom of each displayed site. I think they need to work on how they deliver relevant websites. I did a search for “Lost” and ABC was sixth and Lostpedia (my favorite Lost site) was 20th, but they have tools on the site that lets you refine your search by category like “tv” or “music”. Overall, a nice visual alternative for seach.
The site I visit most on the web these days (after my Google homepage that is) is TechCrunch. I am completely infatuated by the coverage of startups from TC. I think they have done a fantastic job in reporting on and creating interest around startups. I wish there was something comparable surrounding the Boston startup scene. Boston is still no. 2 in startups and venture capital (granted a distant second compared to silicon valley), why is there not better coverage about startups from the Hub?
I am also happy to see the reduction in volume of coverage about facebook on TC. For a while, it seemed that every post was about facebook, however ever since the whole beacon blow up, it seems coverages has diminished greatly. I for one am glad to see that there is a world outside of facebook. Don’t get me wrong, I think facebook is great. I almost had a chance to work for them when it was just Zuck, Sean Parker and a handful of others. Too bad it didn’t work out – just think about those options I would be sitting on.
I will be attending the WebInnovatorsGroup in April, maybe that will satisfy my need for startup news here.
Who say a little privacy invasion is a bad thing?
Ode to the day when we can move from site to site and network to network as easy as it is to add a Facebook app. If you belong to any number of web2.0 sites you probably know what I mean. Will Facebook and other really ever support data portability? Much of their value is that they have users locked in to their “walled garden”. Will they really provide freedom of my data? Is data portability the Ronald Reagan of the web proclaiming “Mr Zuckerberg. Tear down these walls”.
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