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FitBit

I've Officially Pre-ordered my Fitbit

Today I officially placed my pre-order for the Fitbit - my favorite product launch from TechCrunch 50. I figured that I had promoted Fitbit enough (with no affiliation to the company) that I had to go ahead and buy the product. It supposedly ships in December and it looks like they use Yahoo Stores to sell / track the orders. This marks the first time in years (seriously) that I have placed an order from something running a Yahoo Store... I am hoping the Fitbit ships before Christmas or makes a commitment to do so; and if so, this would make a perfect holiday gift.

FitBit Order Confirmation

TechCrunch 50 Winner: FitBit is my Prediction

I spent the last few days at TechCrunch 50 and, while I won't be present at the 'award ceremony', I'd like to predict the winner... both of which are not traditional Web 2.0 companies. In fact, the highlights of the conference for me were around mobile and off-.com where innovation appears to be happening faster and more interestingly. There were great presentations and launches for .com sites (ie Hangout, VideoSurf) - but top to bottom, the mobile space was really impressive... and this will be a continuing trend as the mobile web becomes more efficient, more widespread and more usable thanks to new mediums and devices. FitBit, Swype, MyTopia and others were all standouts.

With that out of the way, my TechCrunch 50 winner was FitBit. Outstanding little device with amazing form factor: it can be worn anywhere and at any point (unlike the Nike Plus gadgets). It's also available at an unbeatable price point: $99. Better yet, it syncs wirelessly and has a full web interface to track your progress, health and friends. Awesome. This will be *the* holiday gift of 2008 (assuming it ships on time). It's also an important product for a serious issue: health.

My only critique: the website offers relatively little information about the product despite offering pre-orders.... I assume this is a consequence of remaining quiet until their TC50 launch. It's tough to ask for $99 without any meaty information. Also, this image is clearly photoshopped... badly:

TechCrunch 50 Mobile Session: FitBit and Tonchidot Steal Show

Best session of TechCrunch 50 so far... tons of innovation in the mobile space and it would have made sense to expand this 'vertical' with more companies.

MyTopia: Helping the mobile web play together. They are running a single game being played natively on all phone systems: Blackberry, iPhone, Symbian, Palm, Android, etc. This is Widgetbox for Mobile. Wow. This is amazing.

Tim OReilly: what is performance of the apps? Benchmarking? Josh Kopelman: Do you see yourself as a tool provider or a content provider? Answers: tool. Tim: Who pays you? I didn't hear the full answer... Tim says they need to figure out which angle to take quickly as it determines the product path. Evan: solves a need but there is a focus problem.

The demo for MyTopia was amazing... the Q/A session is quite confusing and dampened the excitment.

Tonchidot / Sekai Camera: bizarre presentation but freaking awesome product that I would use immediately but would kill the iPhone in about 15 minutes of usage (less their problem / technology than Apple's need to fix). It's a tag / social alerting system based on the iPhone and GPS.

Josh and Tim ask about where the current tagging data is coming from: internal and/or user-generated?

The founder has said loudly that he rejects a Google acquisition and the crowd went wild. He is hilarious.

Tim: wonderful concept but, "can you build it and are you building it the right way?' Also wonders how much of what they built is in aggregating what is done elsewhere so that they don't have to build it entirely themselves.

They are the clear fan favorites... this session is hysterical. Standing ovation.

MobClix: analytics and logging for mobile applications. Big need for mobile developers and the UI looks powerful. Think Google Analytics for your mobile apps (primarily iPhone Apps... exclusively? I cannot tell). They also have an ad system built in to help monetize apps.

Tim: Who pays you? What's the rev-split on the ad system? Where's the growth? The iPhone is great - but its not big enough to sustain a large enough audience. Tim: You need widespread adoption... why do developers choose you? You need developers with winning apps to make money. Josh: an investor in Pinch Media and therefore cannot comment. He says its critical to be cross platform / carrier.

FitBit: think Nike Fit on steroids.... a little device that clips on to your pocket, shorts, etc and monitors your activity. It's wireless and it uploads data to the bay station. Will sell for $99 and hit stores in December. Preorder available starting today. I am in.

Why not a subscription model? Answer: we plan on having premium subscriptions over time.

Tim and Evan: love it and want one. Josh: Form factor is slick. How do you differentiate from Nike? Answer: form factor is the solve. Tim: Do you make money at $99? Answer: yes.

It is not using GPS so it will not give pace. It is not the ideal running solution - but for general health it is ideal.