All over the Bay Area, particularly in San Francisco, thousands of startups are developing innovative products and services that collectively promise to transform the way we live our lives going forward.
It may not seem all that sexy, but much of the most significant innovation in digital technology is devoted to helping us get things done more efficiently.
Here are eight local startups that are leading the way in that regard as we enter the new year:
Newspapers, magazines, books, radio, TV, and even web-based publishers have all suffered major setbacks in recent years, with massive layoffs in some sectors and stagnant growth, at best, in others.
Meanwhile, dozens of local startups are exploring creative ways to transform old media industries into data-driven mobile/social/local services that collectively represent the prospect of a much more diverse new media landscape in the years to come.
This post highlights eight of those disruptive companies, listed alphabetically, that we have been able to profile at 7x7.com during 2011. Half of them are focused in one way or another on challenging the traditional book publishing industry, as ebook sales continue to explode.
The following ten startups are all, in one way or another, transforming the way we relate to food here in the city, and beyond. This is not a ranking, but a list, alphabetically by company name:
One of the most significant social and economic trends that has emerged from technology entrepreneurs in 2011 is collaborative consumption.
Treatful, the "Anti-Groupon," Brings Online Gift Certificates to Acclaimed Restaurants into the 21st Century
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), we Americans are in the process of spending around $28 billion on gift cards this holiday season, with 80 percent of us choosing to buy at least one, spending an average of $43.23 per card.
There’s nothing new about gift cards, of course, but what is new in 2011 is the effort by a number of local startups to attack the traditional, impersonal sort of card with a new, much more personalized online approach.
Now there’s a fourth to add to the list – Treatful – co-founded by two Stanford business school grads, Brent Looney and Hoon Kim.
Jason Johnson's BlueSprig is emerging from six months in stealth mode with the first of a series of a new lightweight apps for Android and iOS phones called AirCover.
The idea behind AirCover is to bundle in one app a lot of key security, privacy and efficiency functions “that we think should ideally have come with the phone,” says Johnson, a partner at the Founders Den.
Covering the tech sector in San Francisco these days is a lot like what it was like being a reporter for Rolling Stone here in the 70s – you get your mind blown, a lot.
When it comes to holiday shopping, tech gadgets might be high on lots of people’s wish lists, but they also tend to be rather pricey.
And, if you find yourself somewhere in the ninety-nine percent with the rest of us, you probably will not be able to buy a smartphone or a tablet for everyone on your list.
On the other hand, if your loved one already has, say, an iPhone, iPad, MacBook, or a Kindle, Nook or Kobo eReader, you might go the way of helping them accessorize.
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