I just got out of the Brad Feld Session here at VC in the Rockies. OK, that wasn’t its official name, but Brad was an early backer of all three presenting companies: Lijit Networks, NewsGator Technologies and Me.dium.
Lijit is a vertical search startup and NewsGator is an established RSS company — but it’s Me.dium I want to briefly touch on before going back inside (no good WiFi here at the otherwise fantastic Ritz).
Me.dium is a Boulder, Colo.-based company in private beta with a browser add-on that “reveals the hidden world of people and activity behind your browser.” It basically takes up the left third of your screen (just for FireFox so far, as it hasn’t yet mastered Explorer), and lets users view other users who are currently viewing the same website. In other words, you right now would be able to view other peHUB users in real-time, and also begin a conversation with them. You also can track where they go next, etc. As CEO Kimbal Musk said: “You’ve been alone online for too long.”
Interesting idea, depending on whether or not people actually want to sacrifice their online anonymity. The larger issue to me, however, is when online users will have reached the multitasking saturation point. Can we really have a desktop active with email, Firefox, Me.dium, IM, RSS reader, iTunes and perhaps a Word or Excel document. Not to mention our phone and that bugaboo of physical interaction (even if that’s just you mother coming down to the basement to serve you lunch).
I don’t have an answer as to when we hit the saturation point, but also don’t know if it’s something that VCs and their entrepreneurs are considering. It’s not a knock on Me.dium or its investors, but rather a more general question.
Oh, for the record: Me.dium raised $5.3 million in Series A funding last June from Spark Capital and Appian Ventures. It is planning to raise a Series B round this spring or summer.