Starup business plans in Silicon Valley are like scripts in southern California: Everyone's got one, filled with hopes and dreams. And even though most won't make, the latest hit just might arise. CNET's Webware editor Rafe Needleman was at Stanford's "Always On" summit and covers some of what he calls the most interesting among the 68 startups there. It's too early to say if any will be disruptive to media, but many of them -- predictably for a world in which info-tech and media are blending -- touch on the space.
One, Cleverset, is pitched as behavioral modeling for e-commerce, but I could also see it being used as behavioral targeting for editorial content. See that someone likes something? Give him/her more of it (and then serve targeted ads, of course). Maybe match that up with Michael Wolff and Patrick Spain's new newser.com. Use their aggregation of selected sources, selected news, a little human help mashed up with users' own usage patterns and you've got a powerful editorial and business model. Rafe, who has edited me on many occasions, separately covers chat + broadcast company PalTalk (how is it a startup?) and Retrevo, which is reviews combined with social networking.
In New York, Alan Brody on Aug. 15 will be running an Innovators Dinner as well. I bet it has a a very different feel from what you can watch on YouTube of Always On.