Let's play TechCrunch!

So last night I got to "demo some exciting products," as the kids say, at Bite PR's PlayBite event. So in the grand tradition of TechCrunch, here's a rundown of the products I tried.

Swaptree

  • Service: Sharing site
  • Status: Private beta
  • Is it any good? Frustratingly so. Beats the competition by being free and flexible — just throw in everything you're willing to trade out, list everything you want, and Swaptree shows you everything you can get for your stuff. The system auto-arranges three-part and four-part trades to make a thick web of borrow-ability.
  • Business plan: You're giving Swaptree of all the media passing through your hands, and your zip code. Holy targeted advertising, Batman!

Limbo 41414

  • Service: Bid pennies on products from your mobile phone. Lowest unique bid wins.
  • Status: Funded by DFJ, working out its partnerships
  • Is it any good? The setup's gimmicky, but hey, this is a world where people pay two bucks for a ringtone.
  • Business plan: Sponsored auctions — hey kids, bid on the new Sony plasma TV! Tell all your friends! — and occasionally charging a buck per bid.

Three more after the jump.

oqo

  • Product: A handheld computer running a full version of Windows XP
  • Status: In production for a year now
  • Is it any good? Pretty cool, and it fits in a cargo pants pocket. But since it's market toward the suits-and-slacks crowd, this heavy thing will end up clipped to belts. Works with wifi, but what good is a handheld that doesn't run on cell networks?
  • Business plan: 1. Make product. 2. Sell product. 3. Profit!

Inkling

  • Service: Prediction markets. Fantasy stock market meets Long Bets.
  • Status: Bootstrapping and already pulling in clients. Still needs to buy Inkling.com — InklingMarkets.com ain't as sexy.
  • Is it any good? Even Blink author Malcolm Gladwell would accept the wisdom of these crowds — check out the business plan.
  • Business plan: The public consumer version's just a demo — businesses pay for internal prediction markets where employees trade. Inkling is considering white-label versions for content outlets too.

Browster

  • Service: Actually, I didn't demo them. So let's pretend Browster is a dog. Pug dog. No, bulldog.
  • Status: Friendly, if a bit of a drooler.
  • Is it any good? Good dog. Gooood dog. Have a biscuit.
  • Business plan: Get adopted by Steve Jurvetson. Be VC-fed like Matt Mullenweg.