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Reason To Be Thankful: Being Named A Fast-Growing Tech Company

By   /  November 27, 2013  /  No Comments

rsz_thankful_imageby Jennifer Zaino

It’s got to be a happy Thanksgiving for a number of tech companies that made their way to Deloitte’s recently-released Technology Fast 500. The 2013 ranking of the fastest-growing tech companies based in North America also has something to show for anyone who’s doubted that there’s money to be made taking advantage of semantic and other Web 3.0 concepts, a look at the list should show it’s time for the doubting to stop.

Have a look at some of the winners with their overall rankings:

#2 Acquia. Drupal claims the title of being the first mainstream content management system to support semantic web technology in its core. The Drupal-powered project Acquia was co-founded by Drupal creator Dries Buytaert to provide cloud, SaaS, and other services to organizations building websites on Drupal – and has on staff software engineer Stéphane Corlosquet, who had a big hand in bringing those semantic capabilities to Drupal’s core. In fact, Corlosquet spoke at the most recent SemTechBiz about Acquia as an example of a Drupal-powered project managing its content as Linked Data.

#95: Pandora Media Inc.: The Music Genome Project company has leveraged its taxonomy of musical information that analyzes songs by 450 musical characteristics to raise the personalization bar for users’ music-listening experiences. But stay tuned to see how things go by Christmas: Billboard reported earlier this month that, even after iTunes Radio hit in the States, Pandora’s listener hours grew 8 percent from September to 1.47 billion; that said, it noted that active listeners dropped to 70.9 million listeners in October from 72.7 million in September, only the second time since February 2011 that Pandora’s active users had declined from the previous month. (See our story about whether Pandora had cause for concern here).

#162 Trulia Inc. and #398 OpenTable: We learned the other week from Google’s R.V. Guha that 5 million sites are now using Schema.org. So it shouldn’t be surprising to see a candidate or two turn up on this list – like restaurant reservation site OpenTable and Trulia, one of the two largest real estate and online listing sites. There are likely more lurking in the list for anyone who’d care to go through all 500 names. 

#127 DataSphere Technologies: Hyperlocal digital marketing for media companies and SMBs is the mission of this company, and to perform it, it claims customer services including multi-level taxonomies and semantic search with automatic statement completion (suggestions) and “did you mean” functionality. With Ex-Microsoft, Amazon, and Google employees behind its patented technologies, it’s little wonder there’s a semantic infusion in its solution set.

#154 TRUECar: Zooming into smarter data – or at least that was the plan when last we checked in with TrueCar’s CTO Mike Dunn at SemTechBiz. At the time, he told us that he saw lots of possibilities around how adding meaning via sentiment-enhancement and context would be helpful for providing new services in the car sales arena, and that a ton of semantically-enabled applications for driving new user services were possible. Fingers crossed we’ll see those ideas come racing down the road for the company, which just sold its one millionth vehicle, and reported that $31 billion in sales have gone through its network to date.

#97 Facebook: Doesn’t appear as if the talk going around about the younger generation gravitating to other social media platforms has hurt this one yet. Just this month, the social network giant reported that its Like and Share buttons are viewed over 22 billion times daily across more than 7.5 million websites, and introduced a new design for them. Action types like Like serve as the verbs in its Open Graph stories, and build the social web of connections among objects, actions and users. Facebook also has noted that its Open Graph protocol for turning web pages into social graph objects is being published by IMDb, Microsoft, NHL, Posterous, Rotten Tomatoes, TIME, Yelp, and many many others as well as consumer by itself, Google, and mixi.

#58 Dstillery: The mobile marketing campaigns Dstillery runs for ad agencies, ad networks and trading desks are powered by a little bit of everything Web 3.0: Proprietary algorithms and classifiers discover relevant new audiences, using basic and enriched metadata (local geography, carrier, demographics, IAB categories and consumer behaviors) to create what it calls “geo-social cohorts” for finding users with similar likes and dislikes. And machine learning does its part to continuously update and improve results. If we may get a bit ahead of our holidays, “Yes, Virginia, data science will rule the world.”

Feel free to troll the list yourself to see what other companies could make this list. And have a Happy Thanksgiving, too!



About the author

Jennifer Zaino is a New York-based freelance writer specializing in business and technology journalism. She has been an executive editor at leading technology publications, including InformationWeek, where she spearheaded an award-winning news section, and Network Computing, where she helped develop online content strategies including review exclusives and analyst reports. Her freelance credentials include being a regular contributor of original content to The Semantic Web Blog; acting as a contributing writer to RFID Journal; and serving as executive editor at the Smart Architect Smart Enterprise Exchange group. Her work also has appeared in publications and on web sites including EdTech (K-12 and Higher Ed), Ingram Micro Channel Advisor, The CMO Site, and Federal Computer Week.

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