Liveblogging at Web2.0 Expo in Berlin

09.00 The organization at the Web2.0 Expo is excellent, as well as public transportation in Berlin. I am sure there are a lot of people living here, but they don’t bother each other too much! It is easy to get around and arrive in time where you want to. Little big things like a functional infrastructure make everything else so much easier. Badge pickup was a breeze too, having pre-registered (even if the requirement of printing out the page with the barcode made me laugh: out of the computer, and back into the computer..).

09.35 Right on time Scott Hirsch of the Management Information Group is starting in the Strategy and Business Models track his presentation “Be Like the Ineternet: Collaborative, Disruptive, Networked”. The hall is not full yet, but people are streaming in constantly.

After googling the name of the track Slideshare brought quickly up a stack of slides, so without knowing whether they are identical, I am putting them here (I guess they will be 90% similar anyway!):

09.45 After presenting what MIG does, talks about the “Abandoning the waterfall for the washing machine” slide. Interacting with the audience fairly often. However there isn’t a clear direction to the presentation, really, feels a little rambling… aha, this was just the introduction for twenty minutes. Now he shows the agenda for the morning: Bottom Up Innovation, Group Interaction, Web2.0 Business Models…

10:05 Hmm also said he hates networking, and then asked us to come up to the mike and say what is on our mind in terms of Web2.0 business ideas and challenges, and a couple of us did. Mister Wong asked to help with getting the buzz about the service around, and I spoke about (don’t go there, it is empty now!) asking technical help on how to set it up…

Luca Conti on my web page

11:00 Finishing the presentation for Ignite (taking a pause in live blogging). Posted my slides for the Ignite presentation on Slideshare: Metasocial Web

11:30 What are business models, and how they compare. Nothing remarkable, I’d say ๐Ÿ™‚

12:00 Uploaded photos to Flickr from Web2.0 Expo Berlin

12.30 Recorded a new video response to Marc ‘What is Second Life for? – 2‘ this time about ‘Do you really have to pay for everything in Second Life?’

13.00 Panel discussion with startups from SeedCamp. Nothing earthshaking! ๐Ÿ™‚

14.00 Looked around the halls, at the other sessions, and recorded snippets of the presentations.

14.30 Panel discussion with Venture Capitalists, and Angel Investors about their activities.

There are interesting contradictions in the VC business, which as usual in the technology area, first reach the US, and later Europe. On one hand there is a lot of money that needs to be invested, with funds becoming larger and larger, and on the other hand startups in the web space especially now need less and less money, or they are even able to go from start to profitability with just a small Angel round. Also, when VCs actually manage, and put too much money in a company, that money tends to be spent badly, instead of smartly.

Asked a question to the panel about the changing nature of business plans, that not only show exponentially increasing revenues in three or five years’ time, as they have always, but also are more and more taking into account the exponentially decreasing contstraints. So if the money provided by VCs is going to be maybe one of these constraints, what is the value that VCs are going to provide in the future? The answers were the traditional networking, distribution, completing the team, etc. I find it appallingly weak as a value proposition for giving up 30% minimum of your company!

An other question was from Spain regarding distributed teams, when people, as in many parts of Europe are difficult to move, but can be accessed for working remotely. The answers were rather negative. I see this as a great opportunity! The Venture Capital community is not understanding the changes that are coming! Before asking my question I made a remark, being a Second Life specialist, that just as blogs were not common or people with notebooks during conferences five years ago, and now are almost universal, in the same way virtual teams will be common in five years’ time, and especially in online worlds like Second Life they will be universal, and almost the only acceptable way of organizing your startup’s workforce.

16:00 Going to the keynote session room for coordination with the Ignite people.

17:00 Tim O’Reilly’s keynote quotes Ray Kurzweill on his last slide! ๐Ÿ™‚

18:10 The Ignite sessions are starting.