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Live: Brave New Web: Connecting the dots – includes a Web 1.0 vs. 2.0 discussion
This next discussion at the Brave New Web conference is about connecting the dots and discussion about Boston's web scene. What I got from this session is that Boston is very strong for technology and that companies should use the best of everywhere to build their companies.
The panel is top notch including: Adam Bain, EVP Fox Interactive, Richard Levandov, Masthead Venture Partners, Michael Skok, North Bridge Venture Partners and Jeff Taylor, CEO Eons (also started Monster), David Weinberger, Harvard Berkman Center. Moderator is Joseph Lassiter, Harvard Business School
Moderator: First off let's discuss the difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0:
Adam: My background was in sports so everything relates to sports. In 2003, the MLB changed the format of the allstar game. The winning league gets homefield for world series. they said "this time it counts". Web 1.0 was the who, what, where, when and why and was overall the what can we do on the Internet to change our behaviour with companies like eBay, Amazon. Web 2.0 is about the who. We start to think about the other W's. We see mobile the next step forward.
Richard: I have never really bought into the Web 1/2, I just think of it as the Web. It's one continuium. Tim O'Reilly is suing someone for using Web 2.0 conference name and sent a C&D letter.
Michael: We think of it in 3 distinct changes. One is a technology change, social change and business model change.
From a technology change: If you thought of Web 1.0, we had 1.3 trillion pots users, now today, its open and free.
From a social change: You will see today 4 million users swapping files, 3 million generating user generated content.
From a business model change: There wasn't a broad enough reach for Web 1.0 companies. Today it is an international business.
David: Three characteristics of Web 2.0 –
1. companies are sharing their ideas and resources
2. people are discussing more than ever and it's easier
3. growth of metadata and standards that allow the infrastructure to come together
Moderator: Where does Boston have unique advantages to build distinct companies? Or has Boston lost it's advantage.
Richard: It's a great concentration of young, passionate people. There is capital here in Boston. I think it is quite an interesting time to be an entrep. here. It's the second largest outside of SV.
Michael: There are 5-6x more deals on the west coast. To really go out there and hit a homer, we need to build a basis for Boston for users to come back. I pick Boston in a heartbeat as people here are so loyal and are driven by the results and rewards follow. It's important to think about how to partner, etc. There are partners all over the world as well.
Jeff: There is a challenge that big ideas coming out of Boston get snapped up quick. Talent is a dual edge sword as it is very expensive. I have been lucky to find people that really believe in my idea.
David: It is the best college town in the world, you would think it would be great at solving problems.
Attendee: What are the things we can do as an etrep here in Boston to succeed?
Adam: There was a survey that ranked America's top smartest cities and Boston was #4. There is an incredible environment here in Boston and there is a good set of alumni. We are not play sensitive. We have picked up companies in the midwest, we have a 10 person company in Atlanta, etc. It's a shame that it's so cold here.
Richard: We are seeing 30-40 new opps a month at my small vc firm in Cambridge. Boston is known for it's deep technology. This next discussion at the Brave New Web conference is about connecting the dots and discussion about Boston's web scene.
Attendee: It seems Boston is about hitting consistent singles, whereas out there they are looking for only the home runs. Let's look at beating the west coast at their game.
Michael: Great. You have to be willing to go for it.
Adam: My perspective is the goal is to start swinging for the fences you will have a high strikeout percentage. We are looking for high on base percentage.
Jeff: A round is proof of a buyer and seller market, B round is proof of muscle. If you have a good idea, get out there and talk about it.
Perfect example of my TOP 10 TIPS for presenters – a woman in the audience asked, "what does RBI mean" – so when will people get what I am saying!?!?!?
session has concluded.