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San Francisco Archive
So the first Launch conference wrapped up yesterday and after watching the entire conference on Ustream, I wanted to share some thoughts on the startup conference. Overall I thought the conference was very well run and Tyler did yet another awesome job coordinating everything — I sure hope Jason pays him well and not just in Mahalo stock :)
My first very positive comment was that every single startup that presented had a useful concept. I didn’t see one Twitter fart app, not one social media ninja rockstar app, or anything built completely on Twitter. It was frankly a breath of fresh air. If you are a regular reader of CN, you know how I feel about the usefulness of a startup (heck I started one myself!).
Next, the live stream worked great and was free. I certainly hope DEMO will be streamed live and for free this season unlike their $250 fee to watch last season. If Launch, which gave away tons of free tickets, allowed the startups to present for free, charged up to $1,000 for a ticket could provide a free live stream, then how could DEMO not provide the same when they charge up to $2,995 per attendee ticket and charge the startups $20k to present? Why do I continuously push on how important it is that the livestream be available and free? Because people want to talk about the startups when they are presenting – the compounding of comments and chatter is critical – posting a video a day or two later kills the momentum completely.
Do you remember the scene in the movie The Rock (no, not that jabroni Rock) where Sean Connery pushed agent Womack over the penthouse balcony? How would you like to stay in the same penthouse suite for 50% off (actually the deal appears to be only 20% off but whatever)?
LivingSocial is running a deal they call “affordable” for the next week for $10,000. If you are located in San Francisco or planning to visit, you could purchase a one-night stay in the penthouse suite at the Fairmont hotel. But you don’t just get a night in the hotel that is up a hill that you will die walking up, you also get to take home the Tiffany forks and knives used with your four-course, private chef prepared meal. The penthouse suite features three bedrooms, a billiards room and a dining room table that seats 60.
You can also drive the Penthouse Maserati Quattroporte for the day. Imagine how awesome you would look driving up to the next tech conference to present your startup in a Maserati! What’s the best part about this deal? They include free Wi-Fi!
In case you are wondering, at the time of this post, 47 packages have been purchased. This does not mean that everyone paid full price because you can use LivingSocial deal bucks on this deal and you can refer others to the deal which would make your deal free.
When I tell my friends that the thing I miss most about NYC are my subways and buses, they think I have lost my marbles. They can’t understand why anyone would miss a subway system that has rats that jump on people while they sleep on trains. Even today, I am 5,000 miles from NYC yet I am monitoring the snow situation on both the rails and buses.
If you are like me (proudly raise your hand!) or if you want to help the earth deal with all of the toxic crap that more cars bring, check out the upcoming TransportationCamp. OpenPlans is producing the event and they describe why now is the perfect time for the unconference, “Transportation is a major metropolitan issue, with direct impacts on economic strength, environmental sustainability, and social equity. Recent advances in technology (“web 2.0”, mobile computing, open source software, open data and APIs, and spatial analysis) present an opportunity to improve mobility more immediately and at a lower cost than has ever been possible in the past.”
There have been transit events in the past but this event will open to all types of transportation – from bike to rail.
The event organizers note, “major themes of discussion will include: open data — best practices and technical challenges, ways to lower the cost of technology for transportation agencies, and creative new approaches to addressing transportation issues.”
After a short delay in transit, I’ve arrived in San Francisco for the Salesforce Dreamforce conference. As I noted last week, I am here to meet potential partners and current customers of CloudContacts. I will also be working on event coverage so stay tuned!
Salesforce says 20,000 people will attend the conference this week and from the look of the crowd inside the Moscone Center – the 20,000 have already arrived!
As I walked from building to building to figure out where to get my pass (everyone sent me in the wrong direction), I noticed a number of Segway vehicles around the Moscone Center. The Segways are all promoting Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The promotion reads, “I didn’t get Forced! I got a cloud-based CRM solution that works the way I do.”
I am not sure if the people on the Segways were just supposed to drive the vehicles or if they are supposed to engage people on the street but I didn’t see any engagement. Some of the people walking down the street (which was very crowded) said that the vehicles were just in the way.
The sides of the moving billboard feature a Microsoft Tag which you can snap with your mobile to get news on Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
It’s been too long since I’ve been to the town of tech! I will be making the trip to San Francisco next week for the Salesforce Dreamforce conference. Earlier today CloudContacts launched our integration with Salesforce just in time for the conference (thanks to NextWeb for writing about the launch!).
I will be in town all week and am looking to meet with startups in the contact management, social media and CRM space. I will be at the Dreamforce conference during the week as well — a perfect place to meet and chat. If you are interested in meeting, send me an email with the best days/times for you next week.
I am also looking for good recommendations on the best burger in San Francisco – leave your picks in the comments.
And don’t worry Twitter…I won’t be delivering any cupcakes to your office this trip.
NY-based CB Insights (previously known as ChubbyBrain) has released their CB Insights Venture Capital Activity Report for Q1 2010. If you are new to Chubby Brain and their CB Insights service, checkout our video overview. The ChubbyBrain team describes their service as, “Bloomberg for high value private companies”. The report is 32 pages in length and features lots of charts and graphs. If you are in the VC area or looking to raise funding, the report is a must read.
ChubbyBrain says the news overall is generally good with the number of total deals rising from 687 to 731. From the report, “Q1 ‘10 saw $5.9B invested across 731 deals, and the quarter’s performance was a marked increase over the year ago quarter which saw $3.9B invested across 483 deals. As we talked about in our Q4 ’09 report, the psychology and sentiment of entrepreneurs and venture capital investors continues to improve, albeit cautiously. While $5.9B remains far below quarterly levels seen before the ’08-’09 recession, there is some belief that the VC asset class has perhaps reset at a lower but ultimately more sustainable and healthier level.”
They also note that while the total number of angel deals remained pretty close to the prior quarter, total dollars raised dropped 21%. The report provides an overview and a look at several specific states including New York and California. NY-based firms raised $310 million in venture capital funding.
Here’s the total venture capital investment and deal volume by month:
Earlier today, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom proclaimed that today is “Digg Day”. Apparently what this means is that it is now a law that each resident of San Francisco digg at least one story today. Failure to do so will result in loss of 20 Twitter followers.
Our team of investigative journalists in the bay area have been running around town investigating this story and found the following results of the investigation. Beginning on January 1, 2010, San Francisco will no longer use the Gregorian calendar. That’s the one that we learn as little kids the rhyme, ”30 days has november, april, june and september”. Going forward San Francisco will use the “Startups Calendar”. This might sound new to some of you and I can confirm after speaking with the people at Gregorian that it is indeed new. They are worried that there might be issues with the new calendar but I explained that San Francisco is always ahead of the curve and is always innovating!
Some of the dates in 2010 have already been booked. For example, our investigation revealed that Facebook has January 10th, Google is bidding on two dates using Google CalendarWords and Twitter has the month of August. Twitter got the full month after adding the Mayor to the suggested user list.
After speaking with the city “calendaring task force for calendars”, we have learned that from December 15-21, there will be an open nomination process for other dates.
The nomination process is simple. Startup founders may nominate their startup for a day. The startup must have less than $72.13 billion in revenue (this is per the nomination rules for that startup awards thing), at least 300 Twitter followers and 152.1 Facebook Friends. We also learned that if the startup is using MySpace, they are disqualified. Now you might be wondering what happens if say Seesmic and Kyte pick the same day. That’s simple – article 12, paragraph 1 states that the startup with the most Twitter followers receive the date.
If you would like to nominate your startup or find out more about the rules, go here for complete details.