This year’s TechCrunch50 winner RedBeacon is a service I’m sure everybody has been wishing for for quite a while now. A refreshingly original idea and very useful service, RedBeacon matches consumers needing virtually any service to qualified local businesses and professionals who can do the job at the time and place you need. When you request a service, the most qualified (and close by) providers of that service are notified to submit their quotes, you compare the prices and profiles and from there select a provider and schedule the job, all online.
RedBeacon is not live yet. Gives some “we’re coming to San Francisco in October” message (why do they all start in CA?). It’ll probably spread to the whole Europe, Asia and other America’s in a few years. With internet access getting increasingly common, wouldn’t be surprised to see a Zimbabwe RedBeacon or an equivalent in 4 years. It’s one of those ideas that make you think “why didn’t anybody think of this before now?”
TC50 2009 runners up were: AnyClip, a clever but kind of useless service in my opinion unless it’s expanded beyond just movies; Threadsy, an integrated communication client combining email, Facebook, Twitter, IM and other social networking services into one web interface in a seemingly Wavish style; then finally Citysourced, a real time mobile civic engagement tool providing a means for citizens to identify civil issues (potholes, graffiti, trash, snow removal, etc.) and report them to the city authorities. With the experience from where I live I’m probably biased on this, but Citysourced appealed most to me for its usefulness.
All of the services are not live yet, but watch this space for invites.