iPhone application startups to trigger tsunami of free booze at launch partiesOutside the Gizmodo and ArsTechnica party last night, a rep was handing out postcards advertising her company's "analytics and advertising for iPhone apps." My first thought was, "Isn't Apple going to have first crack at that data, since they control the distribution of third-party applications?" My second: All the Facebook widgetmaker parties I've been avoiding will probably soon be replaced by parties for iPhone appmakers. Just look at Bart Decrem, fired former CEO of "social browser" Flock now jumping on the bandwagon with Tapulous, which has already developed dozens of apps for the shiny device.

It was only a few years ago that Decrem was threw an open bar party on Nob Hill for Flock, and now he's rumored to have tapped Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff for a first round at an $8 million valuation. Pinch Media, for its part, is being backed by Union Square Ventures. And that doesn't even count the $100 million Kleiner Perkins has set aside for an "iFund." What's the prize? $1.2 billion in business that a Piper Jaffrey analyst is estimating the Apple iPhone application store will generate. And that doesn't include the money 111 Minna will make hosting parties for wantrepreneurs to celebrating their good fortune on Sand Hill Road hustling the latest flavor of the month business model. (Photo by Ian McKellar)