Last night we gave a live demo of the Littledata app at TechHub London's Tuesday demo night. It's always exciting to share Littledata with other entrepreneurs and business owners, and to get their feedback about Google Analytics issues (everybody has some!).
But in this post I'm putting our app aside for a moment in order to share some thoughts on the other company demos from the event. After all, isn't sharing feedback and ideas what the TechHub community is all about?
MyFilmBuzz is an early stage mobile app – launched eight weeks ago with 150 users. The user interface is really intuitive; making use of great visuals from movies and Tinder-style swiping to rate movies.
The commercial problem is competing with established players like Rotten Tomatoes with big established audiences. Can a better interface tempt film viewers away?
HeathClub TV offers personalised training videos and exercises, selling via personal trainers who create their own profile and packages. A bit like Udemy for personal training courses, the trainers take a cut of the course fees.
Again personal fitness is a very competitive market – the founder said one competitor spent £1.5m on their first version mobile app. I’ve personally enjoyed the 8-fit mobile app, with a similar mix of video exercises but without the marketplace for trainers to produce content.
It will be interesting to see if the user generated content model wins out in this market.
Trevor helps companies visualise data sources from their own business, such as SQL databases. The user interface makes a good job of simplifying a complex task, switching between table and graph views. As a data geek, I love it!
We thought about a similar product in the early stages of Littledata, so my big question is: how many users have the analytical knowledge to create the data integrations, but aren’t comfortable using SQL or similar. At Littledata, most of our analysts progress to coding, because it makes them quicker to do the analysis – but then we are an unusually techy company.
Grocemania allows customers to place orders from local retailers, charging a small delivery fee (£2.50) and small minimum order (£10) subsidised by 15% commission from the retailers. They have launched a pilot in Surrey with nine retailers.
The strategy seems to be to undercut other delivery companies, with lower delivery costs from freelancers and passing stock control onto the retailers. The presenters got a groan for highlighting how they reduce employment costs, but my real concern is how they can profitably undercut companies like Amazon who are ruthless pros at retail and delivery.
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Similar to Trevor, Worksheet Systems aims to solve the problem of storing lots of data in interconnected spreadsheets. Their idea is to split the user interface and database inherent in a complex spreadsheet, and present as a kind of Google Sheet – rather than the customer building an actual database.
It looks really powerful, but I wasn't clear what it can do that Google Sheets doesn’t; we use Sheets for lots of smaller ‘databases’ in Littledata, and it’s both simple and powerful.
Crowdfunding for scientific projects, helping scientists raise money from individual donations, business sponsorship and charitable trusts. They take 5 – 10% commission of the money raised.
It seems like a great model: crowdfunding is well proven in other areas, and some scientific projects have real public benefit. As the trustee of a grant-giving trust, I know the way we find projects is fairly inefficient, so this platform would be a great benefit as it takes off.
Realisable is an Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) tool, with a visual business rules editor to transform a data source. Their live demo uses a job to transform unshipped orders from Shopify into a format that can be exporting to an accounting package, adding a customer ID to the transactions.
I investigated this market in 2016, and there are some very big companies in the ETL market. Many of their products suck - a great opportunity - but there are ones with better user interfaces like Stitch Data.
Talking to the founders afterwards, their strategy is to dominate a channel (in their case, Sage consultants); I know this has really worked for another ETL tool, Matillion for Amazon RedShift.
What’s my favourite idea (outside of Littledata)? Crowd.Science has the biggest potential commercially I think, but I do love Trevor’s product.