On the Launch Pad
By Erick Schonfeld

(Business 2.0) – Startup: ThisNext The idea: Product tips from friends and experts

Los Angeles-based serial entrepreneur Gordon Gould has a plan to turn user-generated content into a moneymaker: Let people create and share lists of product recommendations. ThisNext launches in beta this summer, seeded with lists from trustworthy icons such as chefs, sommeliers, architects, and athletes. The lists, which will be constantly updated, can be syndicated on anyone's blog. "We are helping to organize all the natural product evangelists out there," Gould says. "The big stealth opportunity is to sit at the nexus of search, social networks, and brand marketing." By looking at which lists create the most affiliate sales, Gould will identify the biggest peer influencers in each retail category--knowledge that any marketer would pay big bucks for.