Wednesday, March 14, 2007

After Bust 2.0: Ten Years Later, Where Will We Be?

Lane Becker Satisfaction Inc
Michael Sippey VP Prod, Six Apart Ltd
Gina Bianchini CEO, Ning Inc
Eric Hellweg Sr Editor, Harvard Business Review
David Hornik General Partner, August Capital
Narendra Rocherolle Co-Founder/Principal, 30 Boxes

On top of hearing about cool things like Ning, a place where you can start your own social network (of which I have now started one for all my former students) and more about Twitter, this panel had a good perspective on the direction for the future. While they didn't all completely agree, it was obvious that the situation is much different now than during the original tech bust. 1)There's more private equity as opposed to IPO or market money; 2) there are more users now; 3) there are more ad dollars now; 4) Lots of free software out there now for people to try things out before they seek investment.

The main thing discussed throughout this conference is that there has to be substance for online endeavors to be successful. There has to be a reason for the community to develop. And, users are more savvy, they don't like being marketed to. Create a layer of play around your offering. The audience was able to ask lots of questions, which made this a great panel.

And check out Hornik's kid's video on YouTube at