Over at Seattle 2.0, Marcello has announced the Seattle 2.0 web awards, though without "Most Likely to Eat at Salumi's" Athleon will probably have to wait until next year. Nominate your favorites here:
I was blown away by the companies...business model aside (it was a demo event...they didn't have to get into business nuts and bolts and instead simply were asked to make us go 'wow), people were building some really cool stuff.
Building software that allows you to input text using handwriting methods on a QWERTY keypad interface. Sounds weird, but the guy FLEW through the demo and only messed up once or twice...PLUS, what was the most important to me, was that even post mess-up the revision process was FAR better than anything I've ever used.
Next Step: Get 20 18 year old girls in a room, pay them each $20 for an hour and have them text all their friends using the interface. Chart the response. This could be big.
Beautiful thing happened today. Starbucks (thanks John Cook), announced that they were leaving their hot spot contact with T-Mobile and switching to a free/paid model with AT&T.
If you use a starbucks card, you get 2 free hours. An additional 2 hours is $3.99. Monthly plans are $20, and give you access at any AT&T hotspot.
Almost a year ago I was hoping for this. Many times I've been stuck in random parts of this city, random parts of the country, always able to find a starbucks but often unable to find another coffee shop. When you run a web business it's tough to be offline.
Our Favorites (in no discernible order) Trabant, 45th and the Ave (and new Pioneer Square location) University Zoka, behind U-Village University Bookstore Cafe, 43rd and the Ave (in the back, near the apparel) Cafe on the Ave 42nd and the Ave (big tables, my favorite spot in the summer for shady outdoor seating)
At some point I'm going to go around and take pictures of the places where Athleon's been built. Includes a lot of coffee shops, UW libraries, and kitchen tables.
List off the others top off my head at the moment: Starbucks: Both on the Ave, at Bell Square, 3 of the 5 (yes 5) in U Village, across from Nordstroms at Westlake, on Ballinger Way, Top of Queen Anne, Bremerton. Tullys: in Wallingford, UDistrict, Belltown, Woodinville, Alki Beach, Tacoma, Lincoln Square. Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park. Kahili Coffee in Kirkland. Brown Bag Cafe in Kirkland. Cherry St. in Belltown. Specialty's in the U-District. Yunnie on the Ave. Starlife on the Ave. Cafe Umbria in Pioneer Square, Elliot Bay Book Company Pioneer Square. Trabant in Pioneer Square.
Wow...that is a lot of tea/coffee or illegal use of the free Wifi. Also, basically all of those outside of the U-District equal meeting places....that's a lot of meetings.
The coffee shop is definitely the new garage (and probably cheaper than rent and heating of such a place anyways)
From the Seattle Times, adlibed by Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church:
"Seattle has unleashed this weird phenomenon on the world called the coffee shop. The coffee shop, thanks to Starbucks, is the place where socially isolated, lonely, needy people gather together to ignore one another. All these lonely people go to the coffee shop to open their laptop and drink their burnt coffee and put in their ears their iPod so they can ignore one another...in community,"
If you're in the greater Seattle area, the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Northwest is having a Startup Demo on December 13th, 2007, and we were lucky enough to get through the screening and be invited to demo what we're doing at Athleon.
It'll basically be a 5 minute round-up of how we started with a non-tech founder (who got hit in the head a lot), had
an idea, found a genius tech guy, and built a product on two college kids budgets.