Our Favorite Biz Apps, Summer Edition

Summer is here and the time is right for another Technoverse list of our favorite business apps.

Our files are stuffed with notes from the last few months of attending trade shows and meetups, quizzing CEOs, and testing software in our state-of-the-art lab. The focus of this list, as in our past enumerations, is on small-to-medium businesses.

The distribution of employers in the US is skewed towards small: most businesses—something like 98% — are considered small, with roughly under 25 employees. Even more astonishing: they hire 50% of the US workforce.

But unlike in the past, the cost of starting and running a small business doesn’t necessarily require emptying a bank account.

We have computing to thank for this, everything from cheap biz apps in the cloud, low-cost communications and collaboration, inexpensive social media marketing, the ability to crowdsource certain tasks, and on and on.

Herewith are a few apps that should help you kickstart and manage your business:Continue reading

TechCrunch Disrupt: The End

My gut told me that Getaround, the peer-to-peer car rental service, should be the Battlefield winner.

It was a crowd favorite and solved the age-old problem of finding temporary access to wheels without paying any up-front fees.

However, it seemed to me that the judges found this a messy proposition with possible regulatory issues, insurance issues, and potential customer satisfaction headaches—’the car I rented smells funny’, etc, etc.Continue reading

Tales from Startup Alley: invoiceASAP

I’ve been to many, many trade shows and conferences over the years. TechCrunch Disrupt is the first I’ve attended that’s devoted to startups.

You notice differences.

No security detail of marketing and PR staffers who hover around a sprawling booth that has its own zip code. No rock wall. No laser light shows. No roboticized, soulless pitches.

At Disrupt, the startups run lean: there’s a table, the product, and the CEO or CTO him- or her-self enthusiastically handling the foot traffic.

That was the case with invoiceASAP. They have a tablet app for the small business marketplace that I am completely charged up about.Continue reading