words and pictures by Brian Solis

The Silicon Valley Newtech Meetup is riding the wave of geek stardom and the August 2007 edition only reinforced its position as one of the leading Web 2.0 events in Silicon Valley proper.

As a co-organizer, supporting Vinnie Lauria, I take great pride in helping to enlist some of the coolest, hottest, and most significant startups across the entire 2.0 landscape – beyond Silicon Valley.


Vinnie Lauria

First up, uStream.tv

Johnny Ham, co-founder of uStream.tv, presented what is one of the first and most prominent livecasting networks on the Web to date. I was first introduced to the company at Web 2.0 Expo, where Jeremiah Oywang and Robert Scoble were livecasting from the main lobby. It really shook things up.

If you’re familiar with Justin.tv or the term livecasting, then uStream needs very little introduction. Basically it is an online community driven by people who create channels around live video content. Whereas Justin.tv is dedicated to live lifecasting through individual channels, uStream is focused more on episodic content.

Robert Pazornik of LicketyShip was up next. I originally met Robert at a STIRR event in Palo Alto last September. Seems that they are proving their business model is viable, as the company only seems to be growing.

The company premise is based on the fact that couriers are the fastest and most convenient way to get things delivered locally. LicketyShip’s web-based software connects people to a network of proven, trusted, and pre-negotiated couriers services to have almost anything and everything delivered in about an hour. It compares prices, capabilities, and reputations of couriers in your area, and selects the best courier available for your delivery. You can place your order with just a credit card, and track your delivery instantly directly on their website. Prices are surprisingly reasonable.

Sigurd Magnusson of Silverstripe visited from New Zealand to present the company’s content management solution. The company positions its product as the way content management was meant to be be, powerful enough for any website or intranet design and simple enough for your mom to use.

Basically Siliverstripe is an impressive and deep CMS solution focused on rapid, flexible, scalable, and highly organized Websites and intranets. The interface is very elegant and the structure of the design is reminiscent of Windows file explore – so it’s a breeze to build and manage sophisticated projects.

I don’t want to officially call him the guest of honor, because I don’t want to offend the other notable presenters. I will say, that I, we, were honored to have Guy Kawasaki speak about his new startup Truemors and the spirit of entrepreneurialism.

Guy has taken a lot of heat lately because of Truemors. He summarized his experience at the onset after boasting that his new site was started on just over $12,000, “Before it used to take over $1,000,000 to do a stupid thing, now it takes only $12k to do something stupid.”

Truemors is a web site that lets you “tell the world” about rumors, gossip, sightings, and interesting facts across a variety of popular categories. Readers can then read and rate each story. Truemorists can call in their truemor and have it converted to text, post it online, or send them via email or text message.

Truemors draws its inspiration from Twitter, BoredAt, Digg, PostSecret, PopSugar, and HotOrNot, sharing functionality and design elements with the most popular features from each.What drove Guy Kawasaki to do this?

Guy loves the idea of the democratization of the web and said so several times. He wanted to give people a place where they can voice information and share it with the rest of the world. His main point was that the barrier of entry today is so low that almost anyone can build an interesting company.

For more pictures from the event, jump over to the gallery on flickr.

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About the Author:

Brian Solis

Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research-based advisory firm. Solis is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging media on business, marketing, publishing, and culture. His current book, Engage, is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to build and measure success in the social web.

Visit Brian's page at http://www.briansolis.com
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