Groupon common shares are available on Groupon in a group deal!

October 25, 2011

This one is too good to pass. The common shares of Groupon (to be sold during the incoming IPO) are available at 60% discount on a group purchase deal here! Do not click unless you want to become an internet millionaire! Just 9 days are left…


MobileNoter SE for Android Tablets released

October 22, 2011

Another addition to our MobileNoter family – this time it is MobileNoter SE for Android tablets. This release is so fresh that it is not even covered on our site, so I give a link to the app in the Android market. BTW, great job of the developers for releasing the application on Saturday! Not so great job of the marketing…

Onenote is a great application to use on the tablets, except that Onenote doesn’t exist for iPads nor for various Android tablets. That’s why people use MobileNoter – it is essentially Onenote ported to the mobile platforms.

It is worth noting that our sales for the Android platform have recently grown to 40% of the gross sales of MobileNoter. I believe the sales for Android will match the iOS sales with this release pretty soon. Still, there are more releases and updates of MobileNoter planned for this year.

 


Glavstart funds a project in the Novosibirsk startup weekend

October 18, 2011

It turns out that Glavstart did fund a project during the last startup weekend in Novosibirsk. The winner received an angel round of investment of about $100K. The winner startup’s name is “GoOffline”. The idea is to give people tools to organize and manage their activities, like when a group of people want to go out on a picnic or paintball shootings and they need to schedule it, decide who brings what, etc. The best part however is that the service will offer coupons and discounts to these people for group purchases. In other words, it’s a coupon/discount service dedicated to the outdoor entertainment market segment, with a simple planning tool as an additional bait to lure the people into using the service. The principal founder of the startup is Alena Fedoseeva, whom I used to work in one company some years ago. Congratulations for getting the funding! The startup doesn’t have any site that I could link to at this moment, but I will do another post once they have anything to show to the public.


Beware patent trolls

October 9, 2011

Remember that notorious Lodsys company that threatened to sue small iOS developers in order to have them pay license fees for the in-app purchase button? There is a new twist to that story. It turns out that Apple filed a patent for the in-app purchases more than a year and a half ago. If Apple is successful and is granted rights to the patent, something interesting can happen. The patent can be used to extort license fees from the Android and Windows Phone eco-systems. Given the crazy patent war between Apple and Samsung, which by the way Apple started, we can expect anything.

Here is some really fascinating reading about patent trolls, which sheds some light on Lodsys and its siblings.


Catch tries a different strategy

October 6, 2011

I used to say that Catch (a note-taking application) repeats everything after Evernote, but turns out that’s not true anymore. First, I noticed that Catch under Android is much better than Catch for iPhone. Despite a recent update of Catch for iOS, it is still pretty basic. Nothing has changed much since I reviewed it in March 2011. It’s a totally different story for Android. Not only Catch for Android is better looking and has a bit more features. It comes in several flavors too!

In addition to the main Catch Notes application, the guys released I Journal and AK Notepad. These are simply downgraded and differently skinned clones of Catch. While this approach is nothing new, it is mostly used in the game space. For example, most of the Alawar’s games are re-skinned time management and 3-in-a-row games. It is quite innovative to see this in the productivity application genre. I’m quite interested in seeing more Catch offsprings and whether or not this strategy leads to more paying customers in the future.

 

 


Another Startup Weekend in Novosibirsk

October 2, 2011

Another Startup Weekend was held in Novosibirsk last weekend, organized by Glavstart as usual. There were fewer participants than during the spring Startup Weekend. This time however I was involved as an expert, giving advice to the aspiring teams.

Overall, the event became somewhat smaller: fewer startup teams, fewer experts, fewer solid ideas, and fewer crazy ideas. Many experts that were working during the spring Weekend didn’t show up this time, meaning they probably didn’t like it enough. The overall level of ideas was pretty good. Only one idea (out of about 50) was to create a new social network, one to create a 3D game for social networks, and one to create a copy of Ning (which is a factory for social networks).

The most solid idea was a clone of gild – which would be a success on a local market, if properly done. Another cool idea was a widget for online gadget catalogs – the widget would display detailed information about a gadget, with specs, photos, reviews, etc. Every site that sells computers and gadgets has its own presentation engine for this, and many times the information is not accurate or poorly presented. The widget would solve this problem. I am sure this is also a clone of someone’s idea, since it is pretty obvious.

I spent a lot of time with Vasiliy Gnuchev talking about his startup – Team Plan. The logo (or theme picture) for Team Plan is at the top of this post. It is trying to create a collaboration tool for architects (the real ones – not the IT ones). It is a clone from Construction Online. Team Plan definitely has some promise if the guys can handle the development.

Here is a picture from the event. The guy with the money is Arkady Moreinis.