I continue to be amazed at the pace of innovation and interest around gadgets in general, and Google Gadgets in particular. With thousands of Google Gadgets in the directory and the top gadgets getting tens of millions of pageviews per week, something is clearly working :)

So much so that yesterday we announced Google Gadget Ventures, a new pilot program designed to fund 3rd party gadget developers. This is a great way to help developers pursue the growing opportunities around gadgets.

Speaking of opportunity, to date, the majority of gadget development has focused on consumer or individual productivity use cases. We're seeing increasing interest in gadgets that access password protected information, often pulled from line of business applications behind a firewall.

Interest here is particularly strong amongst Google Apps users, since the Google Apps Start Page effectively gives organizations iGoogle on their own password protected domain.

For example, we're showcasing some of these "enterprise" gadgets in the Start Page category of the Enterprise Solutions Gallery. Entries include Appirio's gadgets for Salesforce.com and LimitNone's gadgets for corporate directories or internal RSS feeds.

If you're interested in developing gadgets, check out the gadget developer pages.

If you'd prefer to have someone create an enterprise gadget for you, there's a growing list of 3rd parties specializing in this type of development in the professional services category of the Enterprise Solutions Gallery.