Paul Kedrosky broke the story: Vancouver’s own Dabble DB has taken some investment money and are open for business. I get pitched by a lot of startups, and Dabble DB is the best I’ve seen in years. It’s Software as a Service; an online personal database. Millions of of people in businesses large and small around the world do this kind of thing via Excel kludges, sometimes with some Access and Outlook in the mix. Only Dabble doesn’t need any software on the desktop and still has a better user interface than anything Microsoft ships. In fact, one smart person told me it didn’t matter that much what Dabble did, because its authors Avi Bryant and Andrew Catton are such great UI designers they could make a cemetery scheduler interesting. But it does matter, because Dabble is in that magic category where it does something that you realize you need after you’ve tried it, and there’s nothing else that does it. Go check it out; but if you like it, you’ll have to pay (not much) to use it; what a concept! Disclosure: Avi and Andrew and I have bought each other lots of lunches. I advised them, repeatedly, not to take VC money, arguing that there’s a deep disconnect between venture investing as it’s currently done, and the realities of Web-based businesses. Paul Kedrosky and Ventures West are making a determined attempt to prove me wrong; I can’t talk about the details but I’m really impressed at the creativity they’ve brought to the table. I couldn’t in good conscience advise the guys to pass on the deal; but I did ask if I could take a piece of it.