10 Disruptive New York Start-Ups

  • Cloud hosting, social media frenzy and the mobile revolution have ushered in an era of derivative start-ups–Yelp for X, Facebook-meets-Y, location-based Z, iPhone app for Q. The start-ups that got the most attention during South By Southwest were doing things like group texting and variations on the check-in. It’s odd that in the gold rush for the next Facebook, we seem to have forgotten that start-ups have the power to violently shake the world or utterly alter the way business is done in an industry, for better or for worse.

     

    Twitter made it possible for anyone with a mobile phone to broadcast a message to the world. Craigslist made classified listings dirt cheap and efficient, sweeping the newspaper industry’s legs out from under it at the same time. Airbnb is creating a whole new market in the hospitality industry with an idea so novel it was difficult to get funded. Zipcar is revolutionizing the way we drive; Square is democratizing credit card payments. The wireless telecoms industry is so complicated and fragmented that start-ups were unable to crack it for a decade–until Twilio came along and built a support infrastructure so powerful that it has resulted in hundreds of new SMS- and voice-based apps, including the dozen or so group texting apps passing out swag in Austin.

     

    These kinds of disruptive companies aren’t always as sexy as a Tumblr or as puckish as that start-up that does nothing but generate hype for other start-ups, and sometimes they’re so radical that the rest of the tech world either rejects them or swallows them whole. One example of the latter was Long Island-based Amie Street, which let artists sell their music priced to demand–a perfect solution to the problem of how to price songs when the cost of distributing them is zero. Amazon bought the company in September; its URL now redirects to Amazon’s music site and the founders said they expect Amazon to simply toss out the business model.

     

    But even as countless founders use the web for social media widgets and knockoff apps, radical thinking is thriving in New York. Check out ten of the most disruptive start-ups trailblazing in New York right now.

     

    Disclosure.

  • Cloud hosting, social media frenzy and the mobile revolution have ushered in an era of derivative start-ups--Yelp for X, Facebook-meets-Y, location-based Z, iPhone app for Q. The start-ups that got the most attention during South By Southwest were doing things like group texting and variations on the check-in. It's odd that in the gold rush for the next Facebook, we seem to have forgotten that start-ups have the power to violently shake the world or utterly alter the way business is done in an industry, for better or for worse.   Twitter made it possible for anyone with a mobile phone to broadcast a message to the world. Craigslist made classified listings dirt cheap and efficient, sweeping the newspaper industry's legs out from under it at the same time. Airbnb is creating a whole new market in the hospitality industry with an idea so novel it was difficult to get funded. Zipcar is revolutionizing the way we drive; Square is democratizing credit card payments. The wireless telecoms industry is so complicated and fragmented that start-ups were unable to crack it for a decade--until Twilio came along and built a support infrastructure so powerful that it has resulted in hundreds of new SMS- and voice-based apps, including the dozen or so group texting apps passing out swag in Austin.   These kinds of disruptive companies aren't always as sexy as a Tumblr or as puckish as that start-up that does nothing but generate hype for other start-ups, and sometimes they're so radical that the rest of the tech world either rejects them or swallows them whole. One example of the latter was Long Island-based Amie Street, which let artists sell their music priced to demand--a perfect solution to the problem of how to price songs when the cost of distributing them is zero. Amazon bought the company in September; its URL now redirects to Amazon's music site and the founders said they expect Amazon to simply toss out the business model.   But even as countless founders use the web for social media widgets and knockoff apps, radical thinking is thriving in New York. Check out ten of the most disruptive start-ups trailblazing in New York right now.   Disclosure. [gallery]

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great idea. I do enjoy Kanye ranking among the other 3 in the example above :)

  2. Didn’t BankSimple move to SF?

  3. 8kthuds says:

    Can we please stop acting like “cloud computing” isn’t just yet another way to resell technology that is decades old? Is the memory of the computing and technology media so short that they can’t look to even the recent past, circa 1970, and see that it’s just another name for mainframes and terminals. It’s embarrassing to have to keep it explaining it to supposedly seasoned professionals. Ah well, whatever the next big catch phrase is I guess…

    1. Can we stop being this guy, I’m really not picking on him, its cliche’ . Best advice is ignore the technology. No one will take into account the 1970’s or 1950’s argument. I’ll mention the Palm pre again . 1901 or 1950 in 2010 still counts for something more. Ultimately I’m going to be telling you to pick a topic and generation of someone else’s or your own and go with it. Just make sure to keep an eye on the entire market as it is all important.

      No one else read this still have a deck of cards left.

  4. Don’t you believe your too much on the independent software kick? Do you believe that the business industry has grown too uniformly natural? We are just seeing the sprouts of necessary consolidation possibility in the telecommunication industry from T-Mobile, Sprint, and who knows what may occur if AT&T becomes involved. As for phone based platforms Android, Iphone and Blackberry have established themselves well. The Palm and HP company with their Pre phones actually hold the key to major future developments. With a more uniform chat client that may allow for a mobile TV chat service. Many of the feature involved on the phone are understated though may produce larger moves uniformly on the market. (EX “Bump”) for Iphone was my idea for Blackberry with direct integration about 2 years ago) With Bump you have placed it on the market but its acceptance for serious users may be staffled a bit.

    As for Twitter we are yet to see real acknowledge responses from users. I have started a company “Decisive Decisions Marketing” a feasible company that produces real research in the market. Have you really done anything, or has it been me. I hate to take any credit, but I’m starting to think we function the same way. Facebook of course is strong, Pandora is the real winner here as it accompanies me on the long days of incoherence and irresponsibleness from the public. While we wait to see what happens until we can find real basis for real business approval , Meaning real decisions makers , making real decisions from their own asset control, clients such as twitter are no better then having a Sony Dash program for your news and weather. At-least it would always be first part and accurate. Throwing in the capability of twitter on something mainstream such as the Dash would likely make users more responsive. When Twitter becomes more organized such as tweet-deck which still needs improvement we may see some responsiveness for advertising. Developers on TweetDeck have gone a bit far from the Standard, doing too much of whatever. Making a program v.0.37.5 is pretty unacceptable . call it 1.0 and start thinking 1.5 , 2’s and 3’s again.

    Kind of tired of working for Free, but not tired of being Great. Enjoying the vision of my kingdom, keep breeding.