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Open polls gauge popular opinion in minutes

Add / Remove While a simple Google search will present you with expert and amateur views on almost any subject, those opinions are generally scattered across thousands of websites, blogs and forums. Online polling sites like Ask500People and BuzzDash offer a centralized alternative, allowing you to gauge popular opinion on almost any topic and see […]

Crowdsourced customer service

Add / Remove Earlier this month we wrote about RedesignMe, a Dutch site that offers a place for consumers to share complaints, offer suggestions and try their hand at redesigning the products that are part of their lives. San Francisco-based Satisfaction, which just recently entered beta, takes the concept one better by giving the marketers […]

DIY dress design

Add / Remove Couture gets personal with StyleShake—a new online venture that lets creative customers design their own duds, picking from a selection of quality fabrics and putting together dresses from virtual pattern pieces to create truly personal pieces that can be delivered to their doors (in Europe or the United States) in as little […]

Zipcar uses mobile GPS to pinpoint nearest car

Add / Remove We first wrote about Zipcar in 2003, applauding the company’s innovative approach to the staid car rental industry. Catering to urban dwellers in North America and the UK, Zipcar’s car sharing fleet is rentable by the hour, gas and insurance included. Which allows customers to use the vehicles whenever they need them. […]

Mission control for busy families

Add / Remove Following our coverage of Bizzyboard, a whiteboard calendar for coordinating family schedules, one of our spotters came across Cozi—one of those solutions the web was born to provide. Launched about a year ago, Cozi Central is an online service that helps busy families manage schedules, appointments, shopping and communications from wherever they […]

Airline’s mobile travel guide speaks Spanish

Add / Remove Launched yesterday, Martinair‘s mobile travel guides combine several not-so-new elements to create a helpful tool for their holiday-bound customers. The Dutch charter company is the first airline to offer its passengers a travel guide they can install on their web-enabled mobile phones. Customers can buy a destination guide for EUR 6.50, and […]

Niche market for broken iPods & abandoned GameCubes

Add / Remove Earlier this year, we wrote about a small start-up that had found an interesting niche: buying broken iPods from consumers. offers people a very simple way to sell their broken or unused iPods: after indicating which model they’d like to sell and what condition it’s in, the website gives an instant […]

Helping unskilled workers find employers

Add / Remove Websites like Monster and Craigslist handle a large share of recruitment for skilled workers. But most jobs that need to be filled require very little training at all. And finding good store clerks, housecleaners, dishwashers and other menial workers can be as hard as a finding a good lab technician or XML […]

Top 3 choices for shoppers

Add / Remove Offline, shoppers have often sought out mentors to help them make the best choices, from fashion-forward department store buyers to a favourite magazine’s über-curators. 3LUXE presents an interesting online twist to this behaviour, highlighting just three items in each of its many product categories, from the best bathroom cleaner (Mrs Meyer’s Clean […]

Gas pumps that give directions

Add / Remove It’s a well-known fact that at least half of all drivers—those with a Y chromosome, in particular—abhor having to ask for directions when they’re on unfamiliar ground. Fortunately, help may soon be at hand with new, Google-equipped gas pumps that can tell you which way to go. Announced earlier this month—and already […]

Never forget to send a birthday card

Add / Remove While there are plenty of reminder services online that help people remember anniversaries and birthdays, few connect to the physical world. Which is where Boston-based Jack Cards comes in: a company that delivers pre-scheduled, ready-to-go greeting cards to the card sender, just in time for them to add a personal message and […]

Australians launch world’s first online political party

Add / Remove The internet, which has succeeded in democratizing so many other parts of life, has now set its sights on one of society’s most stalwart professions: democratic lawmakers. A recently launched Australian political party called Senator On-Line promises to let its members vote on every bill that comes before the nation’s parliament. The […]

Thumb-sized floatation device lifts up to one kilo

Add / Remove As featured on BBC’s Dragons’ Den last night, young entrepreneur James Halliburton is bringing an innovative solution to market for boaters who are worried about losing valuable items overboard. Waterbuoy is a tiny device that combines a miniature gas tank with a trigger mechanism, a balloon and a light. Once the Waterbuoy […]

Doctor 2.0 uses IM & sticks to house calls

Add / Remove In most of the medical community, house calls disappeared years ago, scheduling can be a nightmare and fees are mysterious things that typically get revealed only after a service has been performed. Not so with Dr. Jay Parkinson, a Williamsburg, Brooklyn doctor who aims to turn traditional doctoring on its ear. Dr. […]

Arabian Lords targets Middle Eastern gamers

Add / Remove One of the first lessons in Entrepreneurship 101 is to find an underserved market and serve it, and that’s just what BreakAway Games and Quirkat have done with their Arabian Lords PC video game. Inspired by the rise of Islam between the 7th and 13th centuries, Arabian Lords is a bilingual strategy […]

Payout time for SellaBand fans

Add / Remove We’ve featured music industry innovators SellaBand several times over the past year and a half (1, 2 and 3), so we were pleased to hear that they’ve just reached a new milestone. To recap: fans sponsor unknown bands and artists by buying one of the band’s shares, or parts. Once a band […]

Manicures on the go

Add / Remove In this perpetually time-crunched era, it’s no secret that finding time for personal grooming services like haircuts and manicures can be a challenge. We’ve already covered a few examples of the quick haircut solutions that have emerged—HairPODs are the most recent one—and now there’s :10 Minute Manicure for those whose nails need […]

Facilitating niche video channels

Add / Remove Now that the YouTube era of internet content is well under way, with video playing an ever-increasing role in everything from social networking to political elections, it’s time for verticalization to usher in the next stage. Right on cue, Magnify has launched a service that helps web publishers bring subject-specific video channels […]

Phone-controlled gaming on a jumbotron

Add / Remove Megaphone has devised a novel way to make mega-screen advertisements draw crowds. Anyone within view of a large video display managed by Megaphone can join in a simple video game by calling in with their cell phones, with their phones serving as makeshift game controllers. As a video on Megaphone’s website demonstrates, […]

Shopping by invitation only

Add / Remove It appears there are no limits on consumers’ desire for exclusivity, and Claseo is making the most of that trend with an invitation-only line of clothing. Launched earlier this year, Claseo bills itself as the world’s first closed shopping community, where purchases can be made on the site only by those who […]