Greetings from California

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Last year at TechCrunch PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel said that California was going to continue to be the center of the US economy for the next 10-20 years. And that’s not because of population density or large corporations or constant sunshine. That’s because of innovation. Last week I went with co-founder Jonathan Bednarsh to discuss our technology with some the most disruptive companies on the west coast and see how it might usher in the next phase of their growth.

In the five days we were there, we never stopped moving. We met with numerous companies all looking to change or improve on their respective industries in really creative, interesting ways.

The first thing we noticed is that a lot of these companies were using local information. Some, like Patch of Land, a peer-to-peer real estate lending platform, use this information to minimize risk for investors who utilized their site. So they take this data and create an algorithm that finds commonalities among properties and can assess what properties make the best investment.

Others, like WaterSmart, use local information like neighborhood habits, program participation, and climate to recommend water consumption savings strategies.

Even a company like Tripping.com (no – it has nothing to do with drugs), uses local information to help customers filter and search from over 100,000 vacation properties to find the best place for their next vacation.

These businesses all rely on local information and are using it to create tremendous value for their consumers. But what we heard again and again is that it’s a hassle. Especially as these companies start to expand outside a specific area or into other industries – wrangling in the data they need is cost prohibitive and eats away at their bottom line.

In order for companies like these to continue their success, there needs to be a technology that reduces the friction in obtaining a wide range of local information. That technology will be available next month.

During our trip, we discussed Onboard Simplicity, the local data distribution platform we’ve been developing over the past year. Coming next month, Simplicity takes information from different sources, we like to say the best of the best,and makes it standardized, relatable, and easily available.  We saw the need for this technology a year ago and since we started this project, the demand for local information has only increased. Meanwhile, access to getting it has become more and more convoluted. Our solution seems perfectly timed.

In California, we weren’t met with interest. We were met with euphoria. Now it’s up to us to deliver. We welcome the challenge, and are more than passionate about this opportunity

Simplicity is going to change the way innovative companies consume local information. In the purest sense, it’s going to make this information –that more and more businesses need to stay competitive – smarter, faster, and easier.

Give me a call if you’re interested in learning more. I love talking to people looking to create the next big thing. On this last trip we were met with such validation with what we’re creating, I can’t wait to get back on the road.

Image Credit: Giuseppe Milo on Flickr.com