|« May 2013|
March 14, 2007, Broadband Instruments launched "Slacker" a music ecosystem, which combines interactive webcasts, satellite radio, and traditional MP3 playback. Head-quartered in California, it was founded by three former music startup CEOs - Dennis Mudd, Jim Cady and Jonathan Sasse. Whoâ€™ve succeeded in creating their two big babies: slacker.com (an online music service) and the Slacker portable device.
Slacker is no slouch
As cnet says:
Slacker is all systems go! The online device automatically refreshes new music from the stations of your choice and lets you save or discard songs with a â€˜love itâ€™ or â€˜ban itâ€™ option. Add $7.50 as a monthly fee and it will save the songs for good, without those pesky radio ads!
The real path breaker is the Slacker desktop radio. It combines all the features of the Slacker web player, with mini-player, visualizations, large album art and playlists. But hereâ€™s the great part, it goes anywhere with you! It will be the first to use satellite to deliver music constantly to your device. Even when you are not in a wi-fi environment â€“ now go top that!! The good news just got better, the Slacker portable player and Slacker car kit are just around the corner.
The future of Slacker has been neatly summed up by techcrunch
Slacker has raised $13.5 million in funding from Sevin Rosen, Austin Ventures and Mission Ventures. It faces competition from Last.fm and Pandora. However, none of them can play outside wi-fi coverage, while Slacker can â€“ nyah, nyah!
Where did the name Slacker originate?
We offer our listeners a way to hear the music they love without the effort typically associated with downloading and creating the perfect playlist. Whether they listen on their computer, on the Slacker Portable or in their car, a simple push of a button delivers music personalized just for them. We enable our listeners to enjoy their music without the work, as Slackers.
What are your hiring plans for the near future?
As we grow we'll be looking to add top talent to our organization. Slacker currently has job opportunities posted at Slacker.com.
Explain how the music industry has changed in the last few years.
A major change in the industry was the emergence of MP3 technology into the mainstream. The ability for music lovers to rip their music from CDs to MP3, beginning in the late 90s, and share them with anyone in the world was a giant step. Broadband penetration then gave people the ability to easily exchange these songs. Now, the next phase of music consumption is occurring and Slacker is leading the way, giving music fans the most convenient and personal experience possible.
How is Slacker different than other available online players?
Slacker not only offers an extensive music catalog, but also offers over 75 music stations programmed by experts, thousands of artist-based stations and easy to use tools so you can build the perfect station for you. The real breakthrough is that Slacker will enable you to take the entire experience on the go, so you can listen wherever you like.
How important is the ability to listen to music via wifi to your users?
Slacker devices will automatically fill up with your favorite content, based on your personalized settings via Wi-Fi, USB and breakthrough satellite technology for your car. It is an important step forward to ensure that our customers can always get new music without needing to go back to their computer and manage their content constantly.
What specific type of web sites would be great partners for Slacker?
Any sites that promote or are dedicated to music.
What type of technical programming is used to create Slacker?
Slacker programming is a combination of algorithms, data matching and professional radio programming. Users, who hear or ban tracks as well as customize their stations by adjusting station attributes, also influence the technology.
What's the next exciting product/ service that Slacker will launch?
The beta web player is available today at www.slacker.com. This summer the Slacker Personal Radio Player will allow you to take your stations on the go. Then in the second half of 2007 we will have a Slacker Satellite Car Kit. This product will enable users to dock their Slacker device in their cars and "fill up" stations as they drive. All these dates and products are with respect to the U.S. market.
Thumbs up to Slacker. It was truly exciting to use it and even more to write about it. It delivers on all aspects and the future plans look good as well. Who knows, this could be another I-pod kind of story in the making!
Thanks to web 2.0, we are all going to be knowledgeable, culturally aware, and â€˜coolâ€™. Because thereâ€™s no chance in hell you are going to be ignorant, given the Zvents of the world, unless you unplug that machine and head to the Himalayas.
Zvents is positioned as an â€œevent search engineâ€�. It comes right down to your neighborhood and tells you whatâ€™s hot. The company was born right after the founders discovered just how tough it was to keep track of events in the Bay Area.
As summed up by killerstartups.com
The site itself is easy to use, letting you search for events, venues and movies. There is an upcoming list and once registered, users can create groups, share events, save favorite event searches and get a calendar too. It has the ubiquitous RSS.
Itâ€™s a well thought out solution, with a win-win for users and event planners. As techcrunch says:
At the core of this site, is the Zvents media platform which provides a complete events solution. This includes, Zvents Crawler or Zbot, which crawls into websites listing events to be shared, to automatically get event information. Its new release includes Zvents Network Calendar, for Venues, Event Promoters, & Organizations.
The competition is plenty. The latest issue of the Economist listed two similar offerings Flavorpill and Le Cool as great success stories with massive funding. EVDB (now eventful ), operates in the same space, though Zvents is clearly ahead on the technology front.
The company, located in San Mateo, California, was founded by Ethan Stock and Tyler Kovacs in March 2005. It is privately held and is funded by NetService Ventures, Red Rock Ventures, and VantagePoint Venture Partners. This funding enabled Zvents to go nationwide and expand its team. They also generate revenue with ads on site.
Where does the name Zvents come from?
Z is a cool letter - like X, Y, etc. -- I wanted a 'hook' to hang our brand and logo around. Zvents sounds like events, it's short, and it was available. Our first alpha launch featured the phrase (from me) "Until we come up with something better, that's what we're calling this puppy." We've never really looked back from the original decision.
What type of programming is used to create Zvents.com (http://zvents.com) ?
What kind of technical skills does Zvents look for in potential employees?
We have a more 'science' side of the team and a more 'engineering' side of the team - but general themes are search or scientific computing background, strong CS fundamentals, worked as a production coder producing highly scalable and highly available code before.
What is the state of local search? Is it growing significantly?
Oh, yes. Enormously - and as the latest Borrell numbers show, local advertising online is growing as well.
How does Zvents use its blog to communicate to users?
Given the tremendous work being done on the part of our developers and engineers, they, for example, haev implemented an extension to the Internet Archive's "Heritrix" crawler that enables it to store crawled content directly into the Hadoop Distributed FileSystem for processing with Map-Reduce, our blog is a wonderful resource for industry developers interested in working with events, local search, and the work we're doing to substantially improve both. More than that though, the blog provides an opportunity to communicate Zvents' voice with perspective on our new capabilities and features. We'd like to talk to our audience to share with them not only developments on the platform but exciting things to do and popular destination. Zvents gives people the opportunity to Discover things to do, the blog allows us to do a little of our own discovery and share what we find.
How can event promoters use Zvents?
As a search engine we provide the unique opportunity to get your event in front of a highly relevant, interested audience. Through Zvents, those that see your art festival in Palo Alto, CA are those that are seeking an art festival or its related activities and live in and around the area. More than that though, powers the event calendars for hundreds of partners with our event database distributed through newspapers and local websites. Put your events on Zvents to attract the most targeted audience possible and benefit from reaching millions more through distribution through our partners.
What type of individuals can benefit the most from using Zvents?
Anyone who is trying to discover things to do in their local area â€“ a single guy looking for a great date idea, a mom looking for a place to take her kids on the weekend, a hipster seeking cool music or art shows... we're a general search engine for all of these people, stuffed with great things to do.
Yes, the leisure industry has never had it so good. With Zvents, even smaller events can reach their target audience without the big spends. However, I would echo the Economistâ€™s sentiments that most of their audience trusts these sites because of their cool, underground, non-commercial image. With funding and expansion, the trick is to be true to your roots.
Want a web site, but donâ€™t know any designers? Afraid of the cost? Wondering whoâ€™ll host it? Site-kreator.com is all set to change that. With an internet connection and web browser, get ready to make your presence felt online.
As Marketwatch sums it up:
Itâ€™s not skin deep either. Sitekreator.com is a complete web solution. The user selects the template, adds features like blog, photo gallery, web forms, and even a mailing list. As the pages are being created, they are automatically search engine optimized, with search engine friendly URLs. Businesses can set search keywords, descriptions and integrate Google sitemaps. Fully-functional sites can be ready inâ€¦hold your breathâ€¦about 30 minutes!
The back end of the business is supported by a high performance hosting service and once online, the site even lets customers track traffic. The pricing is cool too. Apart from the 14 day trial version, there are packages to suit all pockets, with varying storage options.
Competitors vary from Wiki offerings to similar sites such as Irun.com, Moonfruit.com, MS office live and Google page creator.
Who are your ideal customers?
SMBs/entrepreneurs who want to have full control over their web sites, without learning complex technologies.
Specifically, how much has web design or the use of HTML changed in the last ten years?
Web design started a little bit more than ten years ago, so for the last 10 years it changed from fetus to grown-up individual (a lot).
How do you use your blog to communicate with the world?
We post all product announcements and we get feedback from our users.
Is your product available on Firefox?
What type of site or businesses would be great partners for Site Kreator?
Designers, ISPs, Hosting providers
What are your expansion plans as far as number of employees?
It depends very much on achieving our financial goals. :)
Easy to use, need based, affordable, Site Kreator scores on all these points. The only hitch, is that competition is everywhere, not just from similar sites, but from e-lancers, design shopsâ€¦the list is long. The task is to keep the features list updated, the back-end strong, and as always, make sure thereâ€™s someone to reassure the customers. Especially the technophobes!