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SF Beta: Web 2.0 as haiku

SF Beta: Web 2.0 as haiku

I like to hear entrepreneurs pitch their ideas. It have kind of a fetish for it, actually. But I also have a limited attention span, so for me, the shorter the pitch, the better. That's why I'm happy to host the Stirr events whenever I can, because the pitches at these events are limited to 60 seconds. At tonight's SF Beta party, the pitches were even shorter: The entrepreneurs had to present their companies as haiku.

I appreciate brevity in a pitch. In 17 syllables, however, even clear and practical ideas are reduced to abstraction. Still, it was a hoot to see CEOs try to cram their companies into the short form. Here are their haiku, with a bit of my prose commentary.

My top pick from this list, by the way, is ShopcastTV.

Looking for new friends?
Chat with neighbors and old buds,
A new way to meet

Meetro "overlays the physical world on top of the online world." It's an instant messenger service with the flourish of being location-savvy. If you tell it where you are, and if your friends do the same, it'll tell you which of your buddies are nearby. You can also connect to people in your extended network. The system will read your MySpace profile and integrate with instant messenger networks like AIM. There are PC and Mac versions. Mobile support is forthcoming (see also: Dodgeball).

Civic soul at risk
Groups evolve solutions through

This is a very ambitious wiki-like tool designed to make civic groups, like political campaigns and neighborhood committees, more effective. I previously coveredthe company from a New Tech Meetup.

Rooftop Comedy:
Pro stand-up comics
Video for web and phone
Ha ha ha ha ha

In this case the haiku says it all, with syllables to spare. There's a higher proportion of actually funny content on Rooftop Comedy than on YouTube, as I wrote previously.

If you like to shop
Then there is only one stop
ShopCast is the spot

It's like the Home Shopping Network via podcast. Sounds just as crazy as the original HSN (and QVC), but the shopping channels make a ton of money. The ShopCastTV CEO told me he's working on tech that will allow you to flag items for purchase even from a disconnected device like an iPod. Sadly, this could be the killer app of videoblogging.

The Forbin Group:
Need infrastructure?
We'll design and build it right,
at The Forbin Group

This is a tech consulting firm. No cool Web 2.0 products here. Move along.

Cutting through the hype
2-0 hype that they all blog
BuzzShout brings the truth

BuzzShout is a nice Web 2.0 product blog and community-driven directory.

The elusive web:
now versatile as paper,
with aid from diigo

Diigo is a very versatile--and initially confusing--Web clipping and annotation service. It got a lot of press when it launched in August, including some from me.

Google buys YouTube
The Web 2 bubble starts now
$1.6 Billion

Um, ok. Despite the cryptic haiku, Tailrank is a a useful service that finds interesting posts in blogs, and clusters related posts together.

Wrap-up: We heard about some useful online services and listened to some truly awful haiku. While there may actually be more money in poetry than in many Web 2.0 businesses, I sure hope the CEO haikusters don't quit their day jobs. I probably shouldn't quit mine, either...

Indian summer
shirts stick to entrepreneurs
It is not the heat