Early insights from the Top 100 Australian Web 2.0 Applications list


[UPDATE:] The complete Top 100 list is now up.

The compilation of the Top 100 Australian Web 2.0 Applications list has now been completed. It will be made public on 19 June, when it will be the cover story on BRW magazine, accompanied by feature stories on some of the leading applications. It will be released the same morning on the Future Exploration Network website and this blog.

The Top 100 Australian Web 2.0 Applications Launch Event at KPMG will include a panel discussion by Australian online notables, a showcase of five leading Australian Web 2.0 applications (3eep, BookingAngel, Engagd, Plugger, RedBubble) (Note that the showcased applications are NOT the top five on the top 100 list, but have been selected to demonstrate the diversity of successful Australian Web 2.0 ventures; companies that were showcased in last year’s Web 2.0 in Australia event won’t be duplicated in this year’s showcase), a panel of the founders of these applications, and one-hour of semi-structured roundtables for participants to discuss current issues in Web 2.0 in Australia. IBM, Adobe, and Starfish Ventures are sponsors. We are getting close to fully booked, so register soon if you’d like to attend.

No information about who is on the list or rankings will be released until 19 June, so don’t ask! :-) However it’s probably worth clarifying the scope and criteria for the list.


To be eligible for the list, applications needed to be:

• Applications (not content only)

• Rich web-based interface (not mobile only)

• Create value from participation

• Represent genuine innovation

• Significantly Australian


Each application was assessed on the following criteria, with a weighted points system determining the final ranking.

• Revenue and viability

• Users

• International success

• Business value

• Innovation

• Web 2.0 features

There are a few early high-level insights to share from the compliation of the list. I’ll supplement these with more detailed commentary at the time of the launch.

* We have come a long way. From a top 60 list last year, which covered close to everything we were aware of, we have well over 100 applications that fit a strict interpretation of the criteria, plus over 40 applications that do not fit the criteria (e.g. no significant Web 2.0 characteristics, mobile-only, content publishers etc.). This a vibrant scene.

* There are some major success stories. There are now a range of significant Australian successes in this space, showing that it is possible, and the sector can be a real source of wealth creation for the nation.

* Many initiatives are not surviving. Some applications have been bought (e.g. Faces.com), others have disappeared (e.g. StudentFace, Babbello), while others are on the verge of dropping out given lack of success. As I told the Australian Financial Review last year, it is a sign of a healthy entrepreneurial environment that many start up, and quite a few fail or morph into something else. In addition, true entrepreneurs learn from their lessons and try again and again. Especially in the Web 2.0 space, the most promising path to success is through failure.

* There is a strong movement overseas. Many of the leading companies in the space have moved overseas, have an overseas presence – often in the form of the CEO or a senior executive moving to Silicon Valley for an initial 3-6 months – or are preparing to move. Silicon Valley is certainly where most are heading, though there is also activity in East Asia, India, and Europe.

* There are many me-too applications. Doing this deep survey of applications within one country is very instructive in gaining insights into the likely profile of the top 5,000 (or so) apps globally. There are many very common themes across many apps (as well as some many highly innovative ideas). This isn’t bad per se, but many of these will struggle without exceptional execution. I’ll comment more on this point after the list is released.

6 replies
  1. Mark
    Mark says:

    A friend just sent me the link to this list and i thought for sure that the people that do our footy stuff would be on there. I play footy in the Eastern Football League in Melbourne. The EFL reported the other day that http://www.sportingpulse.com (they also do our league and club websites) is now the second biggest sports portal in Australia – Foxsports is number one from memory. mySport is a facebook type app that i use a lot that links back to my club website and community. Looking at their main site they certainly have a sh.tload of activity. I know i’m biased about footy :-) but it seems weird to me that sportingpulse isn’t on the list when it has become so massive and has great web2.0 apps.

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