The (Vicarious) Web 2.0 Conference Experience
For those of us unable to attend the Web 2.0 conference in SF last week, bloggers' debriefings are the next best thing. So feel good about the $2800 you saved, and instead read a roundup of the highlights, as seen by one non-attending observer:
- Products with short, uniformly weird names (Squidoo, Zimbra, Rollyo, Joyent, Flock, ...)
- Company presentations that came off (to some) as mere "feature demos for ideas [...] to incorporate into future products"
- Feverish "innovation, enthusiasm and optimism" that felt like 1995-1996
- The "triumphant" (or ominous) return of Mary Meeker and Henry Blodget
- Rumblings of Bubble 2.0 (deja vu all over again?)
- What Fred Wilson has labeled second derivatives (e.g., "Google Maps meets delicious," "Skype meets MySpace")
- As with any conference, much was learned outside of the panels (Steve Hall saw a few interesting things on people's laptop screens)
Where does this leave us? Certainly the hype is building to a troubling level, particularly in cases where business models are de-emphasized (again). Some people are already mourning the death of Web 2.0, but I'm inclined to be a little more optimistic. The rapid technology growth is compelling, but investors need to remember the lessons of Bubble 1.0. I'm heartened to read VCs like Fred Wilson (who sits on the board of del.icio.us) expressing caution:
It doesn't mean we are going to stop investing. But it does mean we are going to be more careful. We have to raise our hurdles when others are lowering them.
If other investors share this cautious optimism, funding only companies that have a chance of actually making money, Web 2.0 may yet prove naysayers wrong. If not, we'll look back incredulously at Bubble 2.0 someday. We're still getting over the hangover of Web 1.0; there's no need to bring the punch bowl back just yet.
- Infectious Greed: Web 2.0 Conf as Feature Demo
- Northwest VC: YAW20CP - "Yet another Web 2.0 conference post."
- A VC: Web 2.0 Reactions
- Fractals of Change: Bubble 2.0 – Introduction
- Om Malik’s Broadband Blog - And 5 More Things About Web 2.0 conference
- Feld Thoughts: Web 2.0 - Building Features or Value?
- Laughing Squid - Web 1.0 Summit