Review of FOWA (Future of Web Apps) Expo

I recently watched a video of Web Start Ups pitching their companies at the FOWA (Future of Web Apps) Expo. I will be one of these people one day and it was interesting to watch their 1-minute presentations and their proposed business models. Some companies were a hit and some were misses.

I had to watch this presentation several times to completely understand the concept. There was virtually no presentation as it consisted of one slide that did not provide a clear purpose. From what I gathered, this company is providing a way for customers to talk to the companies whose web page they are on without leaving the site. I can see how companies would use this to enhance their customer service but I’m not sure how the advertising business model would work. This idea is aimed for listing sites and the presenter proposed that advertisers would pay for the users to contact the company. This idea needed a little more work.

The presentation consisted of several slides that explained the idea well. The idea itself is phenomenal. Let’s say I have a bike and I want to sell it for $100. Using this site, I can sell 100 raffle tickets for $1 each. Each person that has purchased a raffle ticket has a chance to win the bike. Only 1 person wins the bike but each participant receives a voucher for other retailers to ensure that everyone gets something. It’s a win-win situation. This company has the brokerage business model similar to Ebay. They charge the seller a fee (usually a varied percentage of the seller revenue) and also for the delivery of vouchers to all participants. This idea could be very profitable with some tweaks.

This presentation showed everything except for the application itself. This start-up is an API that is built to integrate all social media sites into one API. It reminded me of Tweetdeck but for EVERYTHING. Their business model is to charge set up fees and ongoing licensing fees and take a cut of advertising fees. Tweetdeck is available for free but I could see myself paying a little more if it included more sites.

This was the worst presentation. Half of the time was spent differentiating the site from competitors instead of explaining the purpose of the business. This start-up is just like any other blog site but they’re target market is 16 -24 year old women. Their revenue model consists of targeted ads, premium users, affiliates, and virtual economy items.

This presentation included all the necessities. I was quickly able to see how this idea could be marketed and their target audience. eRupublic is a massive online strategy game. Most of these games take up hours or days, this game is to be played in 15-minute increments. Users interact with friends, start companies and employ other users. Their revenue model consists of selling virtual items.

As I continue to focus and refine my business ideas, I’ll keep these presentations in mind. I’ll learn from their mistakes and revel in their successes. Look at their websites and let me know what you think.

“An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.”


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