Yammer won the TechCrunch50?! What were the judges smoking?

Hey readers!

This is my fist on a good number of posts coming out of the TechCrunch50, a truely amazing conference.  Before I start posting my thoughts on many of the other companies that were at the conference, I figured I should start with the winner, Yammer.

For those of you that weren’t at the conference, watching it on Ustream or reading the many blog posts from it, Yammer is basically a threaded Twitter clone for the enterprise environment (speaking of which, you can follow me on Twitter!).  The creators apparently decided to steal the threaded conversations idea from Friendfeed, throw it into their Twitter clone and make it enterprise exclusive in the way that Facebook was exclusive in the early days where only people with university email addresses could join.  In this case, its only for people with a company email address.

If you attended or followed the coverage of the conference, you would most likely agree that this was far from the most deserving company.  They didn’t even bother to change the Twitter look to something unique.  Like many things that presented there, I would consider this more of a feature than a company.  It would not take much for Twitter to do the same thing, plus they already know the micro-blogging space and have a good bit of experience under their belt.  There were a number of truly revolutionary products unveiled at the event, but this was not one of them.  Adgregate Markets and Swype were just two of the truly industry changing products that were far more deserving of the honor than a Twitter knockoff.  I will of course be writing about those companies and many more in the next few days.

With over a thousand applicants to the conference, this makes me wonder just how bad the applicants were that didn’t make the cut.  I don’t understand how this could have even been a finalist unless there were some kind of kickbacks to the judges or if the judges were too drunk from the parties to make a logical decision.  I am completely baffled by this decision.  They came up with a business model for Twitter, good for them.  Sell the idea to Twitter, don’t try to create a company out of a feature, especially when the same job can be accomplished in a more organized fashion with a simple message board.

Anyway, this is the first of many blog posts on my thoughts about what was presented at the conference.  Over the next couple of days, I will be covering my favorite companies and companies that made me ask myself why how they got got past 1,000 other companies to get into the conference.  I will also be doing a Global Geek News podcast in the next week also with more of my thoughts as well as on many of the other big topics, so stay tuned for that!