Tales from Startup Alley: Openspace

I was in the middle of getting a demo of Openspace’s app finder technology when the CEO and co-founder Robert Reich cruised up to the booth on his skateboard like he was some whiz developer.

Actually he is! He was also the founder and developer of a  mobile advertising network called OneRiot. And with his new startup, he’s continuing his mission to help the developer community.

Essentially, his company (and others in this space) see the applification of the web: sure web sites are important, but everyone really wants an app.

With the OpenSpace’s slickly designed HTML5 plugin (FireFox and Chrome), a gentle pop-up notification appears in the top right corner of the browser informing you of apps related to the site you’re visiting.

OpenSpace CEO Robert Reich, with skateboard.

Where does he find the apps? They come from another idea of his called the Developer’s Cooperative, an alternative app store that is “designed by developers, for developers to better reflect the interests and ideas of people like us.”

His concept is that apps won’t get buried or blocked as in the typical online store setting—that would be you, Apple—because they will show up on a relevant web site.

Say you just developed a travel app, wouldn’t WanderFly (a TC Disrupt Startup Alley neighbor and travel planning web site) be a great place to both advertise and gain new customers?

The monetary arrangement is straightforward: developers in the Cooperative guild get 70%, and OpenSpace pulls out the remainder.

My immediate plans: I’ve just installed the OpenSpace plugin in my FireFox browser, and will write more about this app finding tool and applification in general for next week.

Enhanced by Zemanta