My 2011 startups-to-watch list

stripe-logo-black trello-logo-blue

Came across my list of startups-to-watch from late 20111, while doing some spring cleaning yesterday. It was interesting to go back and see how the companies had fared over the 2-3 years since.

The Risers:

The Survivors:

The Pivotor:

The Acquired:

The Departed:

The list mostly conforms to my 3 key areas of interest in startups in 2011:

  1. TV interfaces (Plex,, Corvair)
  2. Finance – Payment – Money Transfer (Stripe, Dwolla)
  3. ‘Easier’ Business Card solutions (CardFlick)

1st & 3rd were, and to an extent still are, areas that I looked at starting up  something of my own if no good solutions emerged. While my itch on bringing business cards to the digital century has been slightly sated by CamCard, the TV itch continues unabated…

If you made similar lists, do share who was on it, and how they did. Might just make an interesting comparison.

And if you too have an itch to work on solving the TV interface problem, get in touch!

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TV News – unfiltered good, taxing bad.

bbc news logo

I like following the news on TV, along with the web, for primarily one reason – lack of a filter bubble.

When I watch channel 503 on Sky, I’m hearing the same news as anyone who’s watching the channel in, at least, London and the South East. Very unlike my Google News page, which I’ve set up so articles on my interest areas to turn up on top, and to show as few articles as possible from Telegraph (too right-leaning), Guardian (too left-leaning) and FT (requires sign-in to read), and more articles from The Independent, The Economist (I have a subscription), and The NYT. My only other source of un-filtered news, other than TV News, is the daily Quartz news email.

While I love the unfiltered nature of TV news for keeping me updated with happenings in areas, it can also be very wasteful. It’s here that I’d like some tweaking. For instance, my ideal BBC News (or CNN, which I also watch occasionally) bulletin should still cover all the news stories that they are covering for everyone else in the London & SE. However, just marginally personalise it for me by, say, covering Ukraine more, MH 370 less, Labour’s Europe plans more, politicians’ comments about Bob Crow less, Cycling news more, Cricket news less, and, most importantly, Silicon Roundabout more, Oscar Pistorius trial much less.

The formula for my perfect new channel/app is simple: Keep giving me *all* the news. Keep giving me the same tone & message of news that everyone else is getting. However, modify the volume of coverage devoted to each news item based on my interests.

Anyone out there working on this? Let’s talk!

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End of summer

End of summer...
End of summer...

Flash Thought: TV network executives have a good reason to hate this late London summer, don’t they?

It’s their best advertising season with all the latest programming lined up, and yet we’re all ignoring the tellys and heading out to parks & pubs making most of the sunshine.

Having paid huge sums for syndicating new series and advertising them all over town, what would you do if you were faced with this delayed flourishing of summer:

  • Delay the seasons programming by a week or two?
  • Bait & wait, trying to grab an early hook for winter?