Let’s get one thing straight - advertising sucks. Not because it is bad on a moral level or because it is annoying. It is bad because it is just boring and outdated. The little innovation that did happen in the industry mostly revolved around better ways of tricking you into seeing ads. But then we saw this video:
Aalto University's Entrepreneurship Society is throwing a Founders' Week: a week of talks, workshops and encounters with the aim to bolster the entrepreneurial spirit and startup culture in Finland's growing ecosystem. The events run from June 4th to June 8th, starting with a talk by Finnish Foreign Minister Alex Stubb, and cumulating with the Startup Sauna Demo Day.
Flown over from the Valley are a handful of well known names who will participate in the week's events:
Russian economy must be recovering from the economic crisis judging by the number of start-ups that are raising funding. Another service that recently got funded is a peer review site Tulp. Quintura reported that the company received unattributed $3M funding. The site was created in 2009 by Taisiya Kydashkina first as a blog about city events. After a visit to the Silicon Valley in 2010, Taisiya got inspired by Yelp and their success and decided to implement the lessons learned in the Russian context. As a result, Tulp became a social network where anyone can add and rank reviews of various places: from cafes to sportsclubs, theaters and shops. The website is heavily oriented towards women (they make up about 60% of all users) and Internet newcomers, whose number is constantly growing.
Eat.fi is hands down one the best designed Finnish webservices, if not the best. I love it and use it weekly, but can't keep thinking it could be so much more.
Facebook just yesterday released its new API in its developer conference f8. This is really big news for everybody. Much bigger than we can yet grasp. With their new really(!) big vision, Facebook will now compete with Google in being the one who parses the web together for the rest of us. Google does it with hyperlinks. Facebook will try to do better job with the meta data from our social relationships. That aside for a moment, let's look at what this announcement could mean for Eat.fi in the short term.
Just as with Yelp, who was Facebook's partner at the f8 launch and have integrated their service to Facebook API, Eat.fi could gain similar benefits by simply integrating its service with the Facebook API. This would surely channel more traffic to Eat.fi as it would let people see who else likes the same restaurants (or even meals) that they do and let the users share the restaurant reviews more easily to their activity feed on their Facebook profile. The Facebook integration would help Eat.fi to get more traffic, but I believe they could do much more.
Eat.fi, a Finnish website that focuses on restaurant search and reviews, finally rolls out its business model after building the high quality site and community for three years. The company, quite predictably, has chosen to let the restaurant owners advertise their lunch time specials and other offers.
Even though you could argue that is has taken way too long for the founder Tina Aspiala to monetize the site, it might have been worth the wait. Eat.fi is one of the only Finnish sites that I use regularly when checking out new restaurants and especially while making lunch and dinner meetings. To get an idea of the popularity of the site, Eat.fi iPhone app topped the Finnish App Store and boasts currently about 12,000 downloads (and 2,000 Ovi Store downloads).