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More startups from Always On: Consumer sites

More startups from Always On: Consumer sites

Here are consumer Web sites from the Always On Stanford Summit.

  • Retrevo is a consumer reviews site we've covered briefly before. The CEO says that with all the reviews that are online, there's "no one to trust." So Retrevo's solution: assume the crowd is right even if individuals are not. It aggregates all of the (untrustworthy) reviews into a single review and score. The site also collects how-to info and PDF manuals on products. A new version of the site, Retrevo Snapshot, is coming soon, but the CEO ran out of time before he could get to it.
  • PayScale is an online compensation survey. Users describe their work and their pay, and then the system creates a "peer set," so they can compare their income with others. There are over 8 million profiles on the site, the CEO said, which covers about 2 percent of the U.S. working population. The data is sold to companies looking to hire people, so they can tell what to pay people, and to mortgage lenders, so they can figure out risk factors around classes of people but not individuals. As the CEO said, this service is "emotionally compelling." It's also useful.
  • PalTalk has a new paradigm, which it calls "Socialcasting." Uh-oh. What it really is: a 9-year-old company that combines broadcasted content (live streaming) with chat and social networking. In other words, you can gab about a show that other people are watching with you. (See Justin.TV for the ultimate version of this.) The goal is that the broadcasters will also watch the chat room and participate. The site goes live on September 10. It will launch with partners like Heavy and Blip.TV, as well as the video stream from some radio shows, including those from CBS radio and Opie & Anthony.
  • Booking Angel reminds me of OpenTable. The differences: first, it doesn't rely on the restaurants to be online, although they must be members of the service. When a customer wants to make a reservation, Booking Table makes a phone call to the business and the person who answers can then accept or reject it. Second, it's general-purpose. It can be used by restaurants, mechanics, doctor's offices, or any other appointment-based industry. It's not clear to me how the system knows which appointment slots are available ahead of time, though.
  • Iqzone lets you set up online classifieds directly from your mobile phone. It pushes your ad out to various services. See our previous writeup. It's pretty cool, I think, to be able to sell a car from a cell phone, but I'd recommend that people put more effort into selling big-ticket items. On the other hand, as the CEO notes, if you've got an item with time value, like a ticket to an event you can't go to, it could be very useful to create a classifieds listing from your mobile.