Kirsner2

NEW YORK — I was walking around an expo touted as the “world’s largest startup event” last month, when I started to have flashbacks to the late 1990s. At New York TechDay, there were so many booths staffed by so many eager entrepreneurs pitching so many ideas that only needed a few million bucks and a few million users to become a real business.

There were startups enabling women to summon a hair stylist to their apartment using a mobile app or rent designer clothing they don’t wear much to other women. An MIT Media Lab alumna was urging people to pre-order wirelessly-connected toys that would let distant parents send voice messages to kids at home.

I lost count of the companies offering new ways for consumers to accrue loyalty points when they buy stuff, or reinventing the cash register for merchants.

Read the rest of this week’s Innovation Economy column in The Boston Globe.

Scott Kirsner writes the Innovation Economy column and blog, which track entrepreneurship, investment, and big company activities around New England. Follow Scott on Twitter - Facebook - Google+

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