A friend of mine in London met some people selling Viagra over the â€˜net last week. Last year they claim to have made Â£750,000 clear profit with a team of three people, and all through deft manipulation of their meta-data to get them up the Google rankings. And there we all are worrying about business models. When I hear stories like this, I do wonder whether I am making my business life more complicated than it needs to be, but in the spirit of openness, hereâ€™s what weâ€™re doing so you can judge for yourself:
Whatever happened to Tablane? Some of you may remember the browser we released a couple of years ago and our aspiration to make Internet research more productive. It’s still the only browser with a five star user rating on Download.com, but, weâ€™ve taken in just â‚¬100 in revenue from our TClipper tool and decided to go in a different direction. We are now collaborating with the Digital Enterprise Research Institute of NUI Galway using some of their semantic smarts to build a new type of document search platform. Itâ€™s all very buggy and alpha at the moment, but itâ€™s interesting. Hats off to the Border Midlands and West Assembly for helping to fund this through their voucher scheme.
InTimeMedia, our mobile technology business, has been doing steady work for the BBC and is looking for investment and new customers. We got Innovation Partnership funding with Enterprise Ireland back in April which was handy. Weâ€™ve created an excellent framework for application development and can literally script new applications in minutes, plus our ability to synchronise apps with broadcast programmes has big wow factor. But the broadcasting industry in the UK has been in a flap over dodgy phone-ins, and corporate restructuring which slowed things. It looks like weâ€™re coming out of that now, and weâ€™ve started approaching the Irish market too, so fingers crossed.
Meanwhile, have you been to Foretal.com? This exciting venture has had its technology developed in Ireland, funded by angels, but licensed its IP to an operational company in Malta. Why? Because Malta has the best on-line gaming regulatory framework, and boy, is it rigorous. Foretal — a portal, foretelling the future — is a social site for people with an interest in the future. You can make predictions, and vote on the predictions of others. You can do this for free or for cash. We opened it up after two years of development last week. Your registrations and comments would be much appreciated. Itâ€™s very exciting, and potentially a customer for the platform weâ€™re developing with DERI. Check it out.
Lastly, weâ€™ve just completed a left field project for Somerset House in London in conjunction with two artists Langlands and Bell. Itâ€™s called Superactivei2i and involves a 3D model of the courtyard of Somerset House, links to flash movies, avatars, chat features and â€˜see what I seeâ€™ functionality whereby someone can control what someone else is seeing in their browser. We used Westport based AMT3D to laser scan the courtyard and build the model, while Norwegian company myVR supplied the cutting edge 3D streaming technology. Best to use IE7.0 with pop-ups turned on for best effect (and doesnâ€™t work on the Mac yet).
Probably be easier to sell Viagra wouldn’t it!?