A few weeks ago, I reported on the Portland Start-up Index, a ranking of Portland-area startups compiled by Techvibes, based on the average of Alexa and Compete rankings for each Web site. At that time, there were fewer than 30 sites listed on the index. And I noted it was a bit “apples and oranges,” but interesting nonetheless.
Well, apparently, things change quickly around here.
Techvibes has released their first update to the index. And some interesting things have happened.
Not only has the index grown to 40 sites, but now, the top position—formerly held by Portland-based media-widget-wonders SplashCast (#2)—has been soundly claimed by Discogs (#1), a community-built discography engine that is working to categorize artists, labels, and their recordings. Perhaps most interesting about this change is that Discogs’ combined average (4,648) is nearly 50,000 points higher than SplashCast’s (53,642).
Other new entries I noticed (when the index updated, the original list became inaccessible) include Grabb.it (#10), fmyi (#18), Goboz (#20), and Free Range (#27).
And because it has become clear that—without a snapshot of the list today—we’ll be unable to compare the next rev to the previous one, the entire list is included, below. (For actual Alexa and Compete numbers associated with the rankings, please visit Techvibes. They did the research and rightly deserve the traffic. I’m simply republishing to save the information.)
- Earth Class Mail
- Gone Raw
- Walker Tracker
- Art Face Off
- Box Populi
- Jama Software
- IDP Solutions
Being the astute reader you are, you’ll likely notice a few missing.
For the second time around, Portland’s wiki-based Web-site-information site, AboutUs, remains conspicuously absent from the list. As does the highly recognized, funded, and awarded Jive Software.
It will be interesting to see the shuffling that occurs once those sites are added.
And, again, the arguments will likely surface about this being a rather superficial means of assessing impact in the market. And how it is an unfair comparison among widget-based tools and Web-site-based tools.
That’s true. But it is an available—and somewhat objective—metric. And it does provide a reasonable indicator of Web traffic from the user population that has download either of the tracking toolbars.
Uh oh. You see it coming don’t you? Oh, all right. I can’t keep anything from you.
If you think that the Alexa and Compete rankings are misleading metrics, what metrics would you propose we use to rank the Portland-area startups? (And perhaps, more importantly: Do rankings even matter?)
If we can answer those questions, then maybe, just maybe, the Silicon Florist could publish an index that provides a clearer picture. Maybe. If you want.
Rick, in the spirit of meaningless and fun competition, I would challenge the Discogs to a “metrics-off” competition with you as judge. Losing team (should it be winning?) hosts the other to beer and pizza. Any excuse to meet some good people and, well, drink beer and eat pizza!
Oh, no matter what metric is used it will be unfair to somebody.
Revenue is probably a popular metric. But that discounts a startup with a rabid user base that is still searching for a revenue model.
Number of users is good, but it’s hard to get reliable numbers publicly. Plus, user numbers often end up being apples and oranges comparisons. Different companies will have different types of users and count users in different ways.
Pageviews, which would roughly equate to the traffic, have all sorts of problems, including those mentioned above.
BUT, I wouldn’t want this ranking to disappear. Without it, I’d have never heard of Discogs, and I love discovering new and cool companies from Portland (or The Beav’ in this case, but we’ll take ’em).
Not my list. But you’re absolutely right.
As I mentioned the last time they published this list, it’s really apples and oranges. My favorite examples are Stikkit and I Want Sandy which are listed as separate “companies,” even though they’re both from one company, Values of n.
I’m curious, did you mean to list JanRain and not Pibb itself, since Pibb is simply a product and not a stand-alone company? Not a big deal, just thought I’d ask. 🙂
Thanks for the updated list!
However, considering the exclusion of AboutUs and Jive, can we even trust the source? I say no. How you one be informed enough to put together a list and not know about Jive or AboutUs?
Using Alexa and Compete only works for web based companies! So even if Jive were listed, they’d probably fall down near Kriptiq. Both are great companies that should probably be #1 and #2 on the list.
I think there is an opportunity here to put together a more trusted list and become the ‘BCS’ of Oregon/Portland startups.
I would personaly like to see the rankings include at least some of the following components: angel/venture investment, years in business, founder experience, annual sales, etc.
It has got to be more than Compete/Alexa and there is probably no other single metric that works. Thats why you need a BCS list calculation.
Exactly. And part of the reasoning behind my caveat.
I see a number of products on the list that suffer from a similar “undercounting” based on these results. Cliq, for example, is a widget, too. Attensa is an installed app. And, I’m willing to bet that I Want Sandy gets the bulk of its traffic through its SMTP port, not its Web port.
This is more of a “popularity of product promotional offerings” than use of the products, themselves.
And I’m still wondering if there is value in compiling another Portland startup index, based on a wider variety of metrics.
Hope that helps,
Thanks for tracking and reporting this, Rick! Congrats to Discogs! Also, I believe that AboutUs.org would take 2nd place, bumping us to 3rd place in these rankings.
One important note about SplashCast: we are not a destination web site, we are a distributed widget network. SplashCast widgets are embedded on over half a million web pages currently and get over a million views per day. None of this widget traffic is accounted for by Alexa or Compete; they rank sites solely based on desintation site traffic (which is a tiny. tiny subset of our overall traffic).
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