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October 24, 2005


Dan Ciruli

Grid/distributed computing has attracted significant investment in the last few months. Optena, Univa, SWsoft and eXludus all did A rounds, and several firms did later rounds (United Devices, DataSynapse, Voltaire).

Notice one thing that those companies have in common? Not one is .NET based technology.

This field is an important one for the .NET ecosystem. Have you heard of interest in this area?

Greg Linden

Hi, Don. I'm surprised to see Findory.com, our personalized news site, missing from your list.

As you described these other startups, Findory would be a collaborative filtering-like, personalized news and blog recommendation site. It learns from the articles you read, searches thousands of feeds worldwide, and builds you your own front page of news.

It's easy to use. Just read a few articles, then go back to Findory.com to see your personalized front page.


Greg, I agree that Findory belongs on the list of new search companies. I have seen Findory based links to my blog. I listed the companies I had "seen" in the past few weeks, knowing that it was not a complete list of all the companies in a particular space. Thanks for reminding me of Findory.

CAVEAT - Typepad has messed up the hyperlinks somehow. I know I entered them correctly the first time. I double checked it before publishing. I just went in to fix the problems, but the links are still messed up. I'll give Typepad a while to sort this out. If they can't fix it I will remove the links.

Thanks for your patience.

Brian Schneeberg

Hi Don,

It's good to see that someone working with startups in Boston is pro-Microsoft! I was just at Paul Graham's startup school (www.startupschool.org) recently and the prevailing climate was very anti-MS (not to mention rain-soaked). It appears he is setting up his VC firm, Y-Combinator, to be a Yahoo and Google feeder. In fact, both of these companies had representatives speaking at the gathering. According to their own talks, they are looking to scoop up compatible startups (i.e., not using .NET) earlier in their lifecycles. Do you see MS heading down the path of acquiring startups earlier?

On a related note ;^), you may want to check out what we're doing with pure .NET technologies over at Grimaldi Productions. We are developing a product called Mentations - a personal intelligence agent delivering information at a glance via dynamic pictures/art (i.e., dashboards for your life). I'd love to get your feedback on it; you can download it from www.mentations.com (the site will be getting a major facelift over the next couple of weeks). While the help system hasn't been built-out yet, just right-click on categories/the background to access options!

I think Mentations would exist in a separate category from those you have listed above. I'd name this category, "Information Aggregators". It is a superset of news or RSS aggregators and I would humbly suggest that you add it to your list of areas above.

Mike J

I will recommend that another innovation area is browser. FireFox, Opera, IE7, Tablane, Flock etc.

A list innovation will emerge in this field.

One should ask: Internet has huge change in last decade, why shouldn't the browser?

Bob Tretiak

Great observation and write-up. We create an integration solution by using a DSL to drive our software factory which then generates a pure Microsoft integration solution. Very much in-line with Microsoft's future direction with VS2005. VS 2005 will enhance our capabilities. The product is installed at customer sites and has case studies done by Microsoft.


Bob, I am familiar with Bridgewerx. Great product for the SMB market. You guys are excellent Microsoft partners.

Digipede is another excellent Microsoft partner in the Grid Computing space.

I need to find some time to explore Mentations and ITscout, among others. So many cool products...so little time to play with them :-(


Farhan Lalji

Is microsoft offering a finder's fee? Just kidding. I think the companies you've mentioned are all pretty mainstream. The key is finding the garages where development is happening and the buzz hasn't really started.

Kevin Strehlo

It's a great list, and Integrien is indeed one of those innovative companies that built a base of satisfied customers before seeking VC backing. But rather than security, our Alive solution delivers integrity management. Don't think perimeter defense, think monitoring transaction chains for weakening links. Alive improves service levels by ensuring an organization’s most important transactions make it successfully end-to-end through the entire IT infrastructure.

Kevin Strehlo

Travis Reeder

One that I just released is at http://www.rel8r.com , it's a tag search which gathers content from multiple tag enabled sources, or you can add your own sources to a particular tag.

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