You won’t know what these companies are up to from the names, but soon most of the TechCrunch 50 startups will be online: http://www.techcrunch50.com/2008/conference/presenters.php
Thanks to live streaming of the conference it’s almost like I’m watching / listening right now.
I still think that the startup ecosystem is wildly unpredictable, and more like an evolutionary process where the losers drop out and winners bubble up as a result of processes that effectively swamp out factors under the direct control of the players. Google, Yahoo, Myspace, Facebook and most of the huge success stories with online technologies not at all the product of tight, rational, “follow-your-perfect-biz-models”, instead their success were the product of social forces as much as technological ones or tech implementations at the companies. I think this is even more likely as the number of new internet companies has mushroomed from hundreds per year to tens of thousands.
Of course the TechCrunch 50 is not simply a selection process. By exposing the companies to key players representing billions in prospective venture capital, it is a surprise that virtually all of these companies don’t enjoy at least modest success. This is only year two so it’s not clear how last year’s companies will fare ove time though early indications seem to suggest … not that much better than other startups.