Allan Isfan is a co-founder of FaveQuest, a young start-up. This blog covers start-up topics.

Monday, November 13, 2006


pretty cool stuff

During my last post, I promised I would identify some companies with cool technology I discovered at the Dow Jownes Technology Ventures conference I attended in San Jose last week. I suspect many of you may be interested in checking out some of these services. I share these without my VC hat on, just pure consumer perspective. Some of these companies may be trying to raise money but not all of them are.

Before, I get to that, I would like to signal a change to this blog. I have used this blog to share some thoughts on start-ups and to give people a sense for how I plan on building my new company and make it successful. Not everyone is interested in start-up topics and I have found many great resources/blogs written by others that do a great job of that (I've included link at the right of the page). As I find new ones, I'll share them with you but won't elaborate too much. A new blog I started reading is:

Note that I've also added a feature to my blog that allows you to type in your email and you will receive new and exciting posts from me in your inbox saving you the trouble of going to the web page or setting up an RSS reader. Look just below my profile. You barely have to lift a finger. Am I nice or what!!

I'm going to be migrating the topic to more cool topics in the space of music and video services, cool multi-media gadgets and evolution of multi-media. We all listen to radio, music, news, watch tv and go to movies and view movies at home. This space is experiencing dramatic changes. On the surface, things may still appear the same with people mostly watching broadcast t.v., listening to broadcast radio or reading newspapers. However, people are increasingly moving away from broadcast and spending time and effort to pick and choose what they want, when and where they want it. Add to that people's interest in more reality based content and people's desire to be heard and you get a major shift in how people will be entertained. The one thing that became clear from the conference is that there is a MAJOR shift in advertising dollars from broadcast to online services going on right about now. So ... hang on ... cause things are about to get interesting!

Cool stuff and companies:
-this is the URL for my new company. There is no website yet (just bought the URL last night). I'll let you know when the site is up and running
-will definitely be looking for $$

-have developed technology that puts you in real commercials
-the demo consisted of the presenter taking a picture of someone in the crowd and uploading it to their server. He then played a pepsi commercial (the one with the guy from SNL dancing on the car) and his face was automatically replaced with the picture of the guy in the crowd, complete with moving eyebrows and lips!
-the idea is that commercials become much more interesting when you're in them. It was really funny and they figure you'll forward the commercial to all your friends
-profitable and looking for investment in first half 2007

-allows you to upload your personal videos, easily edit them and tag different sections so you can find the sections of interest later and search your library of videos
-also allows you to pick certain selections of the video and share those with others. For example, I filmed the hockey game and I share with you the times when your kid was on the ice
-these guys have done a very good job of making the interface ultra simple to use

-have developed algorithms that allow certain types of services, such as music, to figure out what you might like next
-this doesn't seem very exciting on the surface but the applications that come out of this can be very powerful. There is just so much information out there that figuring out what you might be interested based on your history and preferences, together with others like you could be huge. Basically like search (google) but more proactive.
-one product that has popped out of this base is called partystrands. This is a system aimed at bars and clubs that allow people to text the music they want to hear ... essentially a social jukebox. Their requests and other messages and pictures go up on the various big screen tvs throughout the club together with advertising.
-launching in US and Spain (CEO is from Barcelona)
-unsure if they are raising money

-not launched yet (can put in your email and they'll contact you when the service is available)
-allows you to pick a song and synchronize pictures and videos to it
-they have over one hundred songs you can use, including lyrics.
-the founder showed pictures of his kids acting out the ABCs to the song ... very cute
-adding the music to a slide show makes it much more compelling, especially if you can synchronize it
-looks very easy to use
-currently trying to raise $1M

-service that allows people to play music together, over the internet
-target is amateur and professional musicians, music education ...
-key trick is a timestamp based system to synchronize everyone since delays through the internet can be variable and mess things up
-you can use MIDI based instruments (like keyboards) or convert analog to MIDI using a small box so that you can plug in microphones, guitars ...
-with the scheduling challenges I see with "Funding Bad Habits", the dudes that play in my basement, together with the challenges I have scheduling keyboard and singing lessons, I could certainly see myself using this
-I spoke with the founders and execs of the company and you could not find a more passionate group!
-they are currently trying to raise an A round in the next few months.

I'm going to leave it at that for now. There are a few more cool companies I'd like to share but you've probably had more than enough by now.


Allan Isfan
Entrepreneur with an Iron Ring

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Anonymous yapeng said...

motionbox is quite unique from youtube type video service. and the UI is very similar with flickr. this one is great video app.

2:46 PM


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