Posts tagged startups
Posts tagged startups
When you read Paul Graham’s post on frighteningly ambitious startup ideas, it’s easy to become exhilarated by the idea of the next Steve Jobs replacing the search engine, email inboxes, or medical diagnostic tools with disruptive, visionary technology. This type of post generates enthusiasm for projects going through incubator programs and creates the kind of energy that led droves of people to Y Combinator’s most recent Demo Day in search of the next big idea (and investment).
But on the eve of Demo Day as I look through Techcrunch’s list (among others) of the best startups in this Y-combinator class, I see ideas that leave me unimpressed. This is not to say I think any of them are bad, unmarketable, or doomed, but I’m not blown away, and I certainly don’t find them frighteningly ambitious in their creativity.
There are two disheartening trends I found in post-Demo Day reports:
With the press these companies are getting, I expect they will make investors and founding teams a hefty profit, but they certainly do not speak to me as signs of brilliant, innovative thinking.
Data aggregating provides a useful service external to the creative process. Useful services with an effective revenue-model are exactly that, but they definitely aren’t frightening me.
I want to be clear that this is not intended as a bash on incubators like Y combinator and 500 startups; they have nurtured the development of disruptive and paradigm-shifting companies, and I am confident they will continue to pursue world-changing ideas. But if reports coming out about this Demo Day are indicative of the best ideas being developed, these programs still have work to do. If I were Paul Graham, these types of companies simply would not satisfy me (despite what look to be very lucrative payoffs).
*I would love to hear more about the companies that missed a mention in these articles, particularly those that more closely reflect Paul Graham’s vision*
I’ve heard a lot rumblings of various startups trying to create maps of indoor spaces. Wondering if they have what it takes to compete with (or get bought out by) Google.