Big trend coming out of TechCrunch40: data normalization services like Mint, Cake, TripIt, and Clickable.
DMS is a new category (I think I just named it) in which companies pull in data from 3rd parties, normalize (clean) it, and then leverage it. In Cake’s case they suck in people’s trading activity to share investment wisdom. TripIt normalizes desparite travel prodiders to provide clean trip itenearies. Mint, which one the TechCrunch40 event’s $50,000 prize ($25,000 of which was technically my money!!!), sucks down your credit card and banking information to create a dashboard of your spending AND to save you money.
These services are creating a layer on top of existing services in order to do something that those services typically don’t want done. In the case of Mint they might show you how your bank is ripping you off and get you better rates for your credit card or savings account. In Clickable’s case they reveal the fact that you might be wasting money on a certain competitive keyword on Google AdSense and advise you to spend that money on the same keyword on Yahoo or Microsoft’s search services.
Even mEgo, and avatar service, is normalizing data by pulling in your MySpace preferences and syndicating those out–via a syndicated, Flash-based avatar–to Facebook, your blog, and… wait for it… MySpace. In some ways these service are aggressive reactions to the lack of open standards. FOAF never took off? No problem, we’ll login and suck down your data. That’s what Flock’s doing with their impressive social browsing features, which were also launched at TechCrunch40.
Of course, this is layering on top of layers. And, I’m sure at the TechCrunch40 conference in 2008 we’ll be seeing a sertvice called Icing that pulls in your Mint and Cake information into one dashboard. 🙂
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[ Second big trend coming up soon. ]