Archive for the 'Silicon Valley' Category

How to RSVP on Zvents?

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

I’m a very happy user of Upcoming. Upcoming is a social calendar (now part of Yahoo!). It allows you to find, share, and follow events online. It is social to the point where I now get more than half of my events via my 80+ immediate contacts: I follow their “event stream” and pick out the things that I also like — works like a charm.

Today, I wanted to RSVP for the Lunch 2.0 meeting in Mountain View tomorrow. You can RSVP on their blog or on Zvents. So I thought I give Zvents a try.

Here’s the event on Zvents: Lunch 2.0

Two questions which I couldn’t get answered so far:

  • Where on the page can I RSVP?
  • Who else is going?

Either I’m totally blind, or maybe I’m missing the point and Zvents is not a social calendar?

Anyone have a clue please fill me in.

Tony Conrad on startups

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

A hybrid perspective: Tony Conrad, VC investor in Oddpost turned founder of Sphere

What lessons did you learn from Oddpost and other companies you have been involved that can be applied to any startup?


The lesson is: Always start with an interesting problem to solve. When you start, you don’t know if its a big market. The startup process allows you to better understand how big the problem is that you want to solve and to determine how big the market opportunity is if you solve the problem.


You have seen it as a VC and and entrepreneur, what are the top three factors that determine success of a startup?

I have worked with several startups as a VC and thinking back, I think some advice I got from Bill Draper early on, really works “Always bet on people, A-quality people won’t chase B-quality opportunities”.

StartupStories has more first-hand startup stories.

Via Thomas Gigold: StartupStories

Web Monday, January 2007: Bielefeld, Berlin, Kiel, Stuttgart, Vienna, Bremen, Cologne, Karlsruhe, Jena, Frankfurt, Silicon Valley

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

With a total of eleven Web Mondays, January is shaping up to be our busiest month yet.

You know what to do:

  • Mark your calendars, spread the word, bring your friends, bring your colleagues (heck, bring your boss)!
  • Share your insights, give a remarkable talk, or demo your hot, new, curve-jumping, paradigm-shifting, patent-pending, world-changing, revolutionary, first-mover app!!
  • Have fun inventing the future of the internet!

January 15:

January 22:

January 29:

One of my key goals for the development and further growth of Web Monday in 2007 is better sharing across what will soon be 20 different locations.

I would like to take the opportunity and encourage everyone to make sure their demos, presentations and talks at every event get recorded or otherwise properly documented (photos, podcasts, videos — you name it) so we can make them available online.

Yes, Web Monday is about to get its own blog shortly (and podcast, I assume).

Happy New Year!

Startup ingredients 2007

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007

Three good articles this morning:


So, if you’re just now starting up, don’t get blinded by the successes of the first people to realize a platform could be built and operated on the cheap. You already missed that wave. Now, unless you are extraordinarily lucky or well-connected, you aren’t going to succeed in publicizing your new service and getting up to a critical mass of content or subscribers or both unless you raise or have enough money to create initial awareness or value. There is too much clutter from which you must emerge.


The thing startups have to spend capital on is this: time. Nuance and pitch-perfect user experience are going to sort winners from losers. That takes time, community engagement, trial and error, a team.


Tom may be onto something. In a noisy market, it gets harder to stand out.

But the real issue is the lemming-like clustering of products. Who needs another clipping tool? Another “I like this product” list manager? Another social bookmarking solution? Another web-based multi-headed instant messaging proxy? Another start page app?

There is so much empty space out there. Where are the CRM tools? Where are the financial apps? Why do all the inventors cluster so tightly?

I am hoping for a migration out into the white space, where no apps are. That will lead to less noise, for sure.

This is what I like most about the blogosphere: there is so much free consulting for your startup out there — you just need to listen carefully!

Events around Macworld in San Francisco this week

Monday, January 8th, 2007

Chris has a lot, if not all of’em: MacWorld events and Citizen Central

Any transatlantic bridge builders in town (other than Raju and Carsten)? Let’s get together. I’ll be in the city tomorrow for NetTuesday (Upcoming).

Deadpool II

Monday, January 8th, 2007


As for Peerflix, there is a German startup that is trying to carve out its niche in the swapping business as well: Hitflip, who are expected to hit 100,000 users within the next few weeks.


Sunday, January 7th, 2007

Looks like 2007 may turn out to be a little bumpy for one web 2.0 startup or the other:

Mike Arrington takes a minute to examine whether or not we’re in a new Bubble, Bubble, Bubble:

In Web 1.0 companies didn’t fail (until the crash). They just raised more money, at a higher valuation, and gave it another shot. That isn’t happening today. VCs are letting their startups die, as they should. Things aren’t as exciting as they were in 1999, but it’s a whole lot saner.

So every time a startup dies, I don’t think it’s evidence of a bubble about to burst. I think it’s evidence of a market that is working exactly as it should. Most companies fail, but enough win to keep the whole ecosystem healthy.

There you have it.

It's official: Ze Germans dig ze barcamp

Saturday, December 30th, 2006

Remember earlier this year? Thanks to Google, we learned that Germans — for all we know — tend to take their work very seriously. They are best known for their brutal sense of order, their punctuality, their keen sense of logic, for being better dictators than listeners, for their formality, their stubbornness, and their imposing personalities. Not the best conditions for the unconference movement to flourish, you might think.


First of all, the aforementioned stereotypes are just that — bad, bad stereotypes, and so unfair (ok, they are partially accurate, I give you that).

Second, there seems to be a growing desire among people from the German web and startup scene to get together in informal settings to share, learn and collaborate.

After Barcamp Berlin in September and Barcamp Cologne in November, Barcamp Nuremberg took place the weekend before Christmas, December 16-17 — completing the round of three German barcamps in 2006.

For all three, feedback has been very positive. In fact, quite a few out of the 300 or so attendees seem eager to keep it up in 2007. A number of cities are being mentioned that may host future camps: Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin and Cologne.

My hope is that once people discover they can organize an entire conference, they may soon consider starting their own companies as well.

A big thank you to Sebastian, Raju, Franz, and Joerg, the main instigators and organizers, and the many who helped them. Very nicely done.

Pockets of resistance, indeed.

STIRR Winter Wonderland tonight

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

I’ll be at the STIRR Winter Wonderland party in San Francisco tonight.

At 450 people from 100+ companies, they are sold out.

Should be a lot of fun, especially since I get to bring my significant other. Time to dress up, baby! — Prediction Markets: Tapping the Wisdom of Crowds

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

I’ll be at Yahoo! in Sunnyvale tonight for their first ever event: “Prediction Markets: Tapping the Wisdom of Crowds” (Upcoming). is a free open microconference series. Join academic and industry experts from across the valley and the country as we discuss the latest technologies and their applications and see for yourself what’s next on the web. Attendance is free and open to the public.

James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of Crowds, will be moderating a panel of prominent prediction market experts.

Ah, collective wisdom…

Looks like it will be packed.