Some of the most innovative consumer technologies to emerge recently in the last year or two, as acknowledged specifically at the Crunchie Awards, have come from these companies:
GroupMe: put your best friends on a group texting, mailing-list kinda thing (but cooler, and more convenient)
Uber: book a car in San Fransisco from your mobile, with ease
Square: accept credit card payments on-the-go with your iPhone (and a cool little hardware add-on)

In this video some of the good people at TechCrunch discuss whether these companies will sink our swim with their new tech… I think there are some good point in there…

To bit.ly the video with the highlights, the commentators think the end game for these startups will either bring a purchase of the startup by a larger company or the realization by people that the startup’s a simple fad…
Well, if we’re playing the game of putting the companies into one of those two catagories (sink or swim), this is my guess:

  • GroupMe: Swim (with help. Think: Delicious, News.Me, LinkedIn, or Ning)
  • Uber: Sink (without adding a taxi locating and call service, in addition to a parking garage deal finder)
  • Square: Swim (because everyone’s selling something, and boy, do people love conveniece while they use cash less and less everyday).

Now, if the three of these mobile technologies all came together to present a service in which you could:

  • text “get” to “CAB” and have the nearest available cab call you and give you an estimated wait time until arrival.
  • Create an account on your mobile to send and recieve secure payments via text-messaging via an ultra-encrypted channel
  • Pay for your cab from your mobile

… now that wouldn’t be a fad… just pretty nice to have.
I know, I know… niche is in…
but so is consumer convenience.

What do you think?