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I'm currently in New York attending TechCrunch Disrupt. While I am impressed with few startups that are launching, I have mixed feelings for the startups in the commerce (both e and offline) space. I don't necessarily see disruption.I was at a fireside chat earlier today with Chamath Palihapitiya, the managing partner of Social Capital, a venture firm that is focusing on disruptive startups. He mentioned something which resonated with me — "We are at an absolute low point in terms of startup quality." It may seem slightly harsh considering that entrepreneurs are problem solvers who convert a gap into an opportunity. And, of course, the easiest opportunities to see are the ones that are hanging low. I have been in the e-commerce space for a while now, and work with tons of startups and developers around the world. I have a sense of where the industry is heading. I had a feeling before I came here that the startups were walking dangerously close to being just "one more." TC disrupt sealed that feeling. Very few startups are truly disrupting. Let's take a look at the startups that are here:Startups attempting to change retail experiences:
- 42 — Personalized retail store experience. Provide offline product recommendations to shoppers by tapping into the POS system.
- OK'd (from Paidpiper) — Ask anyone from your contact list to help you buy an item while you're in a store
- Black Tag — Personal shopping assistance. It saves user preferences and finds products that they are most likely to buy.
- Blappit — Personalization tool for understanding shopping behavior. Can train the tool and tell it what customers like.
- Epaisa — Square for the India and Middle East markets.
- Gentleninja — Marketplace for digital goods. Like Walmart for web products and services.
- Imply lLbs — Uses social data to compute probabilities to be used for product recommendations.
- Mallwego — Shopping with gamification.
- Mavatar — Comparison shopping platform across multiple retailers.
- Moodyo — Social shopping. Search for products you want and get recommendations about fit, price, etc. from your direct and extended circles.
- Paytango — Links credit card data with biometric identification. Pay by scanning your finger.
- Peopleprint — Online printing marketplace.
- Sailplay — A loyalty program connected across different online stores.
- Snaptiva — Search products matching your home decor or wardrobe by snapping a picture, works across different retailers.
- Touchtopay — POS system that uses a fingerprints-based payment system.
- Bidzy — Customer can easily schedule services and have merchants bid for theit business.
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