Since the beginning, Python has always been strongly associated with startups and entrepreneurs. Ever since Paul Graham wrote The Python Paradox, people have noted that Python programmers tend to build interesting and useful things in Python just because they love it. Python makes programming fun and agile - and that results in a lot of good ideas being implemented and brought to market in Python.
As a result, a number of well-known products out on the market today use significant amounts of Python in production. It is already well known that Youtube was built using Python, but others may not know that the popular filesharing service Dropbox uses Python, or that the new flight search service Hipmunk runs on Python.
This has been going on for years. Back in 1996 when companies were really starting to get on the web, Microsoft even shipped Python as part of its Merchant Server product.
For Startup Row, we wanted to look toward the future - companies that are just starting today, but may become household names in the future. To do this, we are working with Y Combinator and Startup Riot to highlight some of the most promising new companies that are using Python to build their businesses.
We haven't filled out all of Startup Row yet. Some of the spots won't be filled until after Startup Riot in mid-February, where the highest-rated Python-using startups will win a spot on Startup Row. From Y Combinator, though, we are proud to announce the following companies will be participating:
- Mixpanel: Mixpanel is a startup focusing on web analytics. Where most analytics packages focus on tracking page views, Mixpanel focuses on event tracking, allowing you to understand what your users are doing on the page to make your website more effective.
- Greplin: More and more of our data is on outside websites. Greplin is "the search bar for your life," allowing you to search your personal Gmail, Calendar, Twitter, Facebook, Dropbox, and a host of other services.
- DotCloud: DotCloud takes Platform-as-a-Service to the next level by allowing you to choose your /own/ platform that will be supported by DotCloud. DotCloud allows developers to be developers and not system administrators.
- Mailgun: Email is an essential part of doing business today - but building proper email interfaces can be tricky and error-prone. Mailgun provides an email interface for your app, allowing you to integrate email into your existing processes in a simple and easy way.
- Olark: One of the most frustrating things for any business is having people come into your store, put items in their carts, and then... leave. Olark helps businesses engage with customers before they leave the site, increasing the numbers of visitors that become customers.
- DrChrono: Healthcare is historically behind the times when it comes to providing doctors with clear, easy-to-use technology. DrChrono is attacking the problem head-on, giving doctors and nurses beautiful and elegant medical records software that works on iPads, iPhones, and Android devices.
- CrowdBooster: Everything is social these days - and Twitter is the fastest-moving social platform of all. Crowdbooster gives you twitter analytics that let you understand who is talking about you in real time.
As Alan Kay said, the best way to predict the future is to invent it. These are just the first few startups we will highlight on Startup Row - we will be including more new companies that are building and inventing new and interesting things with Python.
Edit: A number of people are asking about participating in Startup Row. A few details:
- This is seed stage only. We are looking for Python-hacking founders generally.
- We are also limited on space - 16 total slots right now. Seven are filled, and 4-5 will be filled based upon people's performances at Startup Riot.
- Our purpose in holding Startup Row is to give these startups some attention and publicity, without overloading their time. Accordingly, our current plan is to have 8 small booths on Startup Row in the Expo Hall. There will be 2*X startups, so they will be there during Expo Hall hours (about 10-4) for one day only.
- During the time on Startup Row, startups will be able to buy, sell, hire, demo, network, or whatever they would like in their booths. We are also trying to provide a few extras for them to make PyCon fun.
- We will be evaluating any other startups that come to our attention and awarding the last few spots from there. I emphasize, though, that we are limited on space; right now the easiest way to get in is to 1) win at Startup Riot, or 2) be so incredible that we can't avoid including you.