Look Who's Piggybacking
Free data from the online giants has given rise to dozens of new products and services. Here are a few of the most innovative.
(Business 2.0) – amazon.com
Hive Group (WWW.HIVEGROUP.COM) • THE INNOVATION: Custom browser that displays the Amazon catalog as an interactive, color-coded grid. • THE OPPORTUNITY: Browser serves as a demo for the Hive Group's visualization technology, popular with customers like ChevronTexaco.
Liveplasma (WWW.LIVEPLASMA.COM) • THE INNOVATION: Visual search engine for music and movies. • THE OPPORTUNITY: CD and DVD sales create referral revenue. MP3.com also licenses the software.
ScoutPal (WWW.SCOUTPAL.COM) • THE INNOVATION: Software program that allows booksellers to check book prices with mobile phones. • THE OPPORTUNITY: Subscriptions cost $10 per month. Currently more than 1,000 subscribers.
Bonfire Media (WWW.BONFIREMEDIA.COM) • THE INNOVATION: Mobile version of eBay, created by former eBay employee Alex Poon. • THE OPPORTUNITY: Pocket Auctions on Cingular or Sprint costs $4 a month.
ChannelAdvisor (WWW.CHANNELADVISOR.COM) • THE INNOVATION: Company that helps sellers on Amazon, eBay, and other sites manage and automate their operations. • THE OPPORTUNITY: Top customers for its software and services include IBM, Motorola, and Sears.
SuperPawn (WWW.SUPERPAWN.COM) • THE INNOVATION: Chain of 46 pawnshops that sells inventory through eBay. • THE OPPORTUNITY: Exposes inventory of physical stores to online buyers.
A9 (WWW.A9.COM) • THE INNOVATION: Amazon search engine that shows results from Alexa Web crawl, Google, Guru.net, Internet Movie Database, and other sources. • THE OPPORTUNITY: Paid ads.
Pluck (WWW.PLUCK.COM) • THE INNOVATION: Superbrowser that searches Amazon, eBay, Google, and blogs, with results on one page. • THE OPPORTUNITY: Referral revenue and paid-search ads. So far, there are 50,000 beta customers.
Touchgraph (WWW.TOUCHGRAPH.COM) • THE INNOVATION: "GoogleBrowser" that shows results as a networked map of interconnected webpages. • THE OPPORTUNITY: Visualization software for corporations. The free GoogleBrowser serves as a demo.