Short reviews of a few websites.
For the past few months I've been told there's an economic crisis. I've also been told about a few startups. I would have thought that in hard times people are less inclined to risk. Can anyone explain me why the opposite seems to hold? While you think about that, I'll list the sites:
TaskWriter is a site for keeping track of what you need to do. Once you go to the website you see a "please wait while I'm loading" sign and while waiting you can read that you should use this site because it's the fastest. Now, that may sound ironic, and it is. Still, once the login box appears it gets much quicker. Registering is hassle-free. Once you get in you see that the main functionality of the website is to keep track of TODO lists where items are one line long. The obvious concern is: "Do I want my TODO list on some random website?" I guess the answer depends on whether you have something to hide.
EasyTrack is a site for Romanian companies that have many cars and want to track them. Why Romanian? Probably because maps are rented and it's expensive to rent good maps for everywhere. Why track the cars? To optimize costs. I hear that giving your employees cars as a perk may be costlier than it sounds. It's probably easier to abuse than a free lunch, anyway.
Balaurul (The dragon) is a search engine for jobs… in Romania. Now I finally see some correlation with the economic crisis: More people must be looking for jobs. I wonder if similar search engines are already successful in other countries. The business model is a little too Google for my taste: simple web design, attract ads. Usually cool stuff is different.
Disclaimer: TaskWriter and EasyTrack are the startups of two of my friends from college. I also met two of the three people that started Balaurul.
Others: My brother-in-law is starting a software development company, after being CTO for a long time in a company that provides software solutions for restaurants and hotels. Finally, three of my students will work for themselves for a while.
I hope many of these will be successful. I really do. All the people involved are high quality. Which makes me wonder what would happen if they would all work together. This must be a key ingredient in making a successful business: Getting many good people to work together. I wonder how you do that.