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This Week’s Best In Beta: Solved and Distill

This Week’s Best In Beta

Which startup is going to be the next big thing? Investors, bloggers, job seekers, and inspiring entrepreneurs everywhere are dying to know. Hundreds of startups enter private beta each month, and that’s far too many for any one person to keep up with. Fret not! Each week, I share some of the hottest new beta startups in this column, Best In Beta. Let’s discover the next big thing together!



1. Solved

Can I blame my family? I belong to the stubborn crowd that will wander around lost for hours trying to find my own way before pulling out the map or asking for help. I figure, if the choice is to spend my time waiting for help to arrive – providing uncertain results – versus trying to figure things out on my own, I’d rather give it a go.






This clearly isn’t an efficient way to work online, which is why Solved is a much better way to approach help. Solved is a desktop app that lets you connect with experts to help you with any software problems instantly. Click on the software you need help with inside the app, and an expert arrives on the scene. Then you have the option of chatting, talking, even sharing your screen with the expert as you’re guided through your problem.


So, with Solved, you don’t have to patiently wait for help to arrive. You don’t have to bug your colleagues for help. And you don’t have to bother with navigating help menus/ tutorial videos/Google searches or answer forums for each software issue. One place to turn for all your questions, answered quickly and painlessly by pros. Smart.





We’ll see what this kind of on-demand assistance costs, but the service is certainly attractive in theory. Want to score live, expertise training with any software? Or make your wisdom and skills available to others? Request early access at


2. Distill

How long before static pages online become a thing of the past?


I see a lot of web pages on any given day, and, more and more, I’m seeing home pages that feature constantly running stock video, looping video, or scroll-over video. I find this trend problematic at the moment – too many pieces in motion seems to slow down the show or create glitches on my MacBook Pro. (Google – when you going to clean up Chrome Helper?)






Not that any passing bugginess will slow down the adoption of videos. And when stock videos become the rage, Distill will already have been around, leading the way. Distill offers free, 10 to 30 second HD videos. They fall under creative commons licensing, so videos can be used personally or commercially. Sweet resource for agencies looking for stock videos and great platform for videographers to share their work. The Flickr of videos in the making?


Look at the image of a coffee cup and then the video of fresh coffee being poured (by Robert Cole). You tell me which one makes you want a fresh cup of coffee, now!


Goodbye, static pages. Video is going to to carry you away, starting with the running river on Distill’s website. Head over to if you’d like to subscribe for 10 free HD videos delivered to your inbox every 10 days.


Photo and Video Credits

Solved | Distill

Author : Keith Liles

Keith Liles is a freelance writer who loves travel, music, wine, hiking, poetry, and just about everything. He practices saying "yes" to life vigorously, rehearsing for the phone call when he's asked to tour with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Follow Keith on Twitter @KPLiles.

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