Note: CNET's judges for this article were Dan Farber, Josh Lowensohn, Elinor Mills, Rafe Needleman, and Daniel Terdiman.
Correction at 7:30 a.m. PDT: The current name for the GPS-based ride-sharing product is Mapflow's Avego.
As usual with conferences like this, many of the products were either derivative or best described as cool, new features that will be commonplace in a year. But there were some breakouts--companies showing unique technology, or standout thinking.
CNET covered the two events extensively. After their conclusions, we gathered to compare notes and select our top products from both shows, the products that we thought differentiated from the pack through innovation, consumer need, business model, or some combination. These are our top 10 products, the CNET Best of Shows:
FitbitSmall, wearable activity monitor and pedometer. Transmits your data to the Web, where you can track your activity and bring in friends to encourage you along. Fitbit was a runner-up for the top product launch at TechCrunch50.
Why we like it: We agree with Josh Kopelman: "Buying this is more of an IQ test than a financial decision."
Chances for success: High. Great idea, great design, great online component. And people need it.
Fotonauts Beautiful and thoughtful photo sharing site. Being called a Wikipedia for photos, or a more modern Flickr.
Why we like it: Better sharing and management tools than we are accustomed to online; balances presentation controls with the social angle.
Chances for success: Decent. CEO has solid experience (former CTO of NeXT and Apple's application division), and cost of developing is not too high. Potential for viral growth is good.
GoodGuide Online guide to buying healthy, green, and humane products.
Why we like it: Has great product data presented in a compelling and simple interface. And the timing is right; people care about this information.
Chances for success: Very good. Looks addictive and useful. Great business model. (Site has buying links to products.)