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Pitch overload at Always On Summit. First up: Web services

Pitch overload at Always On Summit. First up: Web services.

I am at the Always On Stanford Summit today. There are two full days of conference in a cool Stanford auditorium, which you can watch live, and down the hall, 68 CEOs pitching their startups in a small, overheated room. I'm the latter. I won't be covering all 68 startups, but I did want to pick out some of these guys.

  • Cleverset is a service that "delivers relevance across the Web." It's a system that monitors what users do on various sites, so that when they go to another it can predict what you'll be interested in so you get the best content or retail recommendations. "We're the only company that can understand and predict the behavior of each individual," CEO Todd Humphrey said in his pitch. The company has 78 site customers, and apparently it's driving up click-through and transactions. Scary. But this is really what Web commerce is all about. See also Aggregate Knowledge, Collarity.
  • iPolipo is a scheduling utility that we covered earlier this week
  • .
  • Startforce is an operating system that lives in your browser. Like Goowy, it's a suite of handy little applications the company has built, and like Netvibes and other single-page aggregators, it's supposed to be a platform for others to build on. The service is already a moderate success in Japan, and today it's opening up in the U.S. I got some video of the Startforce demo which I'll post later. It's very impressive for a Web application: Fast, fluid, and Windows-like. But while I like the idea of more capable Web services, I'm not clear on how Startforce will win over the developers it needs.
  • YouSendIt is a large-file-sending service that's getting new enterprise-class services and pricing options.
  • cFares is a newish online travel site. It's a membership site ($50 a year) that unlocks "wholesale" airfares. cFares also lets airlines dynamically adjust prices "at the point of sale," to undercut competitors. This allows the customer to "get a fare that doesn't otherwise exist," the CEO said in his pitch. It's like Costco, he said. You make you money back in one or two transactions.