Noonhat and Immotion

I am such a naughty networker. Yet again tonight, I spent a few hours at a Biznik networking event, and yet again, I talked to all of about three people over that time.

In my defense, the folks I did manage to talk with had some of the best ideas/services of the many Bizniks I’ve met so far.

Best idea of the night/week/month (this is my blog, so best idea of the year will unsurprisingly be awarded to me) goes to Brian Dorsey. Brian is the creator of one of the least interesting personal web sites and most interesting utility web sites I’ve known. In a few weeks he will be releasing Noonhat, a service that connects people in the same geographic area to completely random lunch partners. The site is currently slated to be dirt-simple: just login and be matched to someone nearby that is interested in having lunch today. Looking in my crystal ball, I can already predict the first (second, third and fourth) request he is going to hear will be to create a Web 2.0-ey profiling mechanism to the site so people can match themselves up with those of similar interests. But Brian has astutely realized that what makes this idea so offbeat is precisely that you don’t know who you’ll be eating with when you sign up. It might be a new business partner, it might be the next great axe murderer, or it might be your grandma. I love this idea and hope that I’ll be able to help him usher it into existence with the imaginary time that I don’t currently and never will have.

Best up-and-coming business of the night goes to Kei Wakabayashi. Kei is looking for ways to grow his web design company, Immotion to the point of perpetual profitability. I predict he will succeed in doing this; his site’s aesthetic and portfolio, though sparse, is some of the better looking stuff I’ve seen amongst my web-wide travels. Kei had a number of great questions about starting a business, and between his curiosity and web talent, I wish I would have run into him earlier. I’m looking forward to watching his wildest entrepreneurial dreams come true.