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Top 10 Startup Soul Searching

In what's become a regular exercise, we're taking another look at the startups from previous Byte and Switch Top 10 lists. Today, we've focused on the list published in March 2007.

The big picture hasn't changed all that much in six months: File-moving software, data reduction technologies, database archiving, and 10-Gbit/s Ethernet blade switches -- all issues treated by our Top 10 -- remain hot topics.

At the same time, revisiting the list turns up the difficulties of tracking startups, especially some in stealth mode. In hindsight, we've awarded our overall job on the March list a grade of 3.7, based on averaging individual self-grades for each pick, according to the following scale: 5 = outstanding choice; 4 = good choice; 3 = not a bad choice overall; 2 = what were we thinking?; 1 = egg facial.

We've scored ourselves lowest for choosing secretive storage-grid specialist Grid-X for our Top 10 list, which is said to be readying a major deal with NASA.

While Grid-X already counts Argonne National Lab as a partner, the mysterious firm's long-term strategy remains shrouded in secrecy. All will apparently be revealed when the NASA deal is announced, as will Grid-X's enterprise story.

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