Jarlath O’Carroll - lean product management & technology product innovation
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  • Web2.0 in review …

    Posted on April 9th, 2009 jarlath No comments

    Some of you I’m sure went to the Web2.0 conference last week. As usual it was hosted in the Moscone center downtown San Francisco and as usual it was a very well run, organized event (except for some problems with the wireless but isn’t that always the way - hopefully someone will actually solve the problem with spikes in wireless traffic at these types of events). Anyways back to the topic at hand - Web2.0, was it a success?

    Well for me it was - your mileage may vary. However, it was very obvious that things have changed and certainly there was much less buzz at this year’s event than the last few years. I have heard some people say that we’ve have moved on from Web2.0 so perhaps the conference needs to be re-named? It seemed like there were far less crowds than in previous years - perhaps a sign of the times. It also seemed like there were far fewer companies in the Expo hall demoing there latest Web2.0 wares - far different than the TechCrunch conference only 6 months earlier.

    But like I said I enjoyed the conference, not only for the overview of what is going on in the market but also the networking that I did there and the learning that I came away with. I met some great people and had some fun - isn’t that the point! There were a few topics of particular interest to me this year and they were: building vibrant lasting online communities; how to run a lean startup, and startonomics or a metrics driven way to build and monitor your startup product. I am relatively new to the latter two but they seem like they are gaining momentum as ways to efficiently build your startup and they work nicely with the Customer Development Methodology as defined by Steve Blank in his book: Four Steps to the Epiphany. Here is my summary and a link to the slides for each:

    - Tara Hunt and her Making Whuffie presentation was an extremely well presented, well positioned hour on how to build your business by building social capital
    - Eric Ries and his presentation on Lean Startups was very popular and very enlightening on how to build the systems and philosophy in the development side on your startup to constantly iterate and measure product features or enhancements.
    - Dave McClure, Dan Olsen & Ted Rheingold talk about being a Web2.0 Jedi how to build your startup efficiently by concentrating on a limited number of metrics that help you understand your business and where it’s going.

    The learning that I have so far picked up from these presentations and others can be encapsulated into 3 words:

    1. Authentic
    - Be real in your conversations, no spin - your users will respect you for it
    2. Iterate
    - Quickly, efficiently turn around changes based on input you get from users and usage
    3. Reciprocity
    - In a positive way, what goes around comes around - help enough people out, it will come back to you

    Based on my experience at the conference - love to hear your thoughts!

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