Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Startup energy and entrepreneurship in local geek events - check techcocktail and startupriot

Its been my dream see all local entrepreneurs, angels and startup geeks all over the country connected without losing their local flavors to demystify the startup process for new entrepreneurs!

I came across the Atlanta yenta when I connected with Sanjay Parekh who started Startup Drinks as a world-wide phenomenon from Atlanta, an energetic entrepreneur and fellow angel investor. Sanjay is head down focused on organizing StartupRiot, a cool one day event with 70 entrepreneurs presenting in Altanta on May 19th 2008.

Today I located the Chicago Yenta, and the search process made my day!

During the search I learned that we in the valley tend to rely on for our events, events seem to find me on Facebook, and from my east coast past and as an organizer of the Bay Area Facebook Meetup, I tend to lookup for every special interest group.

Chicago is ahead of everyone in sharing events. Techcocktail is on twitter. Techcocktail is the first to bring total transparency and sharing the excitement of the conference planning live on twitter, not just during the event for live micro-blogging.

I found Jason Rexilius from an old ChicagoBarcamp wiki and he led me to find out about Techcocktail conference and follow up mixer event. There is a huge Techcocktail conference coming up on May 29th in Chicago, I am sure its worth the drive or flying to get to it if you can make it.

Techcocktail is a mixer event started by Chicago locals Frank Gruber of SOMEWHAT FRANK blog and SOMEWHAT FRANK TV and Eric Olson, founder of Feedburner and blogger at Olson’s Observations.

All of you in Boston, DC, Chicago and Denver, look for Techcocktail in your local area Its amazing startup energy! Tom Sherman maintains a calendar of events in Chicago at Windy Bits ha, local thinking in the name of the windy city!

Footnote: I cannot shake this thought out of my head after Web2.0 Expo, after hearing AOL, Y! and everyone announce open APIs.

Are we getting ready for the next phase of the Web and like Open source movement changed the face of software development, the barcamps, and techcocktails and startup dinners are scaling up the existing SuperHappyDevhouses, developer garages and Code-a-thons to build a huge wave of localized developer and geek networks to create an interwoven web with a new layer of product and services not even imaginable today!

Anyone there who shares the same vision, I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Web2.0 Expo Roundup -my own video interview collection

I have covered the keynotes with blogging here ! The main theme was opening of their platforms from Y! Mozilla Firefox for mobile and AOL opening up AIM. AOL is no the most open platform on the web and if you are a developer or entrepreneur you cannot miss it.

Sun's Jonathan shared his vision for Sun and Marc Andresson for Ning. Dan Lyons, aka Fake Steve Jobs was the most entertaining funny session buried with smart insights in his keynote.

Here is a roundup I did talking to people as I walked the Expo hall. Of course, I carried my Dash Express GPS and people shared their excitement for it!

Watch this to hear web2.0 feedback from Dan Lyons, aka Fake Steve jobs, Naveed Anwar, Director AOL Developers Platform and many more users.

Friday, April 25, 2008

At web2.0 Expo SF Keynote Jonathan Schwartz of Sun in conversation with Tim O'Reilly

I am blogging live from Web2.0 Expo SF today!

Its interesting how we can see how many people are registered for each event on crowdwine, ahead of the actual event. Think of connecting with like-minded people at a conference!

Jennifer Pahlka (CMP) and Brady Forrest (O'Reilly Media, Inc.) are setting the stage with details on where we can provide feedback libe on twitter etc.

A Conversation with Jonathan Schwartz (Sun Microsystems), Tim O'Reilly (O'Reilly Media, Inc.) is happening now!
294 attendees signed up ahead of time, 1000+ are in the room.

I am taking video of part of the presentation, will upload and youtube and link here, I can do better justice to this conversation.

They are talking about Sun using blogs, MySQL purchase, Greening of Data infrastructure (eg Niagara platform which went to $1B run rate in 18mo) .... Jonathan is smart and knows where is taking Sun and has a clear pulse of where the market is going and is confident to influence it by blogging and creating a context where other people can think the way he wants the world to be.

Tim wants us to twitter @timoreilly your questions right now!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Yahoo CTO Ari Balogh talks about opening Yahoo at Web2.0 Expo SF

It was a good vision and a good presentation. Yahoo announced opening up Search Monkey for Developers as the first step.

I had blogged last Oct about my dream for the Social Email Graph (SEG) and particularly how its a low hanging fruit for Yahoo!

Wow! Yahoo can lead the market to open up search and email, won't that be cool!

What MySpace Knows by Steve Pearman (MySpace)

Web 2.0 Expo has these 5 minute segments on "What a company knows". I am live blogging the Myspace 5 min segment.

Steve Pearman started as a Product Manager then head of Products and now SVP of Product Strategy at Myspace. He shared stats on scale of Myspace.

Steve was personable and very sincere and did justice to his 5 minutes. Looks like Myspace is serious about listening to users and managing spam, we need to watch out!

Privacy, Spam controlled from developers and users are the major user concerns.
On what lessons learned from community building on myspace:
  • Vibrant communities allow for self expression
  • Operating community is difficult and more difficult by scale
  • Live and die by goodwill and participation of community, never as good as them.
  • Listen to community. How?
  • Community tells you indirectly - 10Bil structured public data, millions of comments, directly users tell Tom.
  • Major changes, Tom posts blog and gets user feedback.
  • Check your ego at the door.

Web2.0 Keynote A Conversation with Marc Andreessen

I am blogging live from Web2.0 Expo SF.

I caught some of Marc Andreessen's keynote structured as a conversation with John Battelle .

Marc was pitching for Ning here are some highlights of his conversation:
  • He summarized it as a platform, open with interoperable data, part of Opensocial
  • Growth of 1 Million users/day and 1000s of networks added/day.
  • He compared with Facebook and made it sound like a past on how they built social networks and Ning was the future. It sure helps justify Ning's valuation to be built upon Facebook model
  • Ning has been validated Valley style by their recent round of funding.
  • Marc seems to have made a comment that Ning's funding was for an upcoming economic downtime. He explained this very articulately.
He explained how Silicon valley does not operate on Debt but on equity and the current economic trouble is because of debt but it can cause a slowdown.

Questions: Audience had questions about Bill Gates, Browsers today , role of academian in innovation and transitioning to industry etc all bringing back nostalgia of Marc and how he was responsible for Netscape and creating the Web evolution.

This is the first time I got to see Marc live and he was smart and articulate but was clearly media trained and focused on promoting Ning.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Are you in SF city for Web 2.0 Expo, here is the party list

I cannot believe its Web.20 time of the year! It is Web2.0 Expo in San Francisco 22-25, 2008.

Last year I was relatively new in the valley and went to Web2.0 and spent bulk of my time at Web2Open, the barcamp event inside Web2.0 (see business week's mention of my talk here). I honestly believe Tara Hunt who organized this barcamp segment deserves more credit but missed the business week reporter!

Robert Scoble at Web2.0 Expo SFO from sujam on Vimeo.

I was in the valley and was excited to meet Arrington, Scoble and Om Malik and blogged their panels live and did mini live videocasts.

We've seen a whole bunch of web2.0 companies last year. Next week, we will be hearing from a lot more new ones we cannot live without!

Dash, the first Internet connected GPS is going to be there this year, at a keynote to tell you "What Dash Knows". It will be a great place to come see a real Dash Express if you are thinking about getting one or compare notes with other Dash drivers if you used your Dash to beat the traffic to the city and to get to the various parties on time.

The real fun is the endless list of parties which Juhani has graciously compiled for us to choose from!

Another fun site to check is this one where you can schedule to connect with others at Web2.0

See you there!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Jason Calacanis Promotes a Dash Contest on twitter and

I am so thrilled to be part of the Dash team and everyone knows I am Social media fan.

Its exciting when a friend called now to say buzz has broken out online on Digg, twitter and ustream and as I write this Jason is asking for youtube video and ratings there too - all about an awesome product I help market - The Dash Express the new internet connected GPS

Its awesome when someone who is a fan of the product becomes an evangelist and starts marketing for you! Here is a real customer video of Dash I found on youtube!

Classic social media, now you know why I am so crazy about it.

read more | digg story

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bay Area Facebook Meetup Mar 2008 Event Blog

It's long due! Here is a summary of the Mar Meetup. See you at our next meetup @ AOL on Wed 4/16.

It was crazy fun with 200 people in a 150 people space, very interactive, lot of learning, good networking ...

Thanks to Nick for the pictures from the event!

I moderated a panel of experts about the 3 S' of success.
What is involved in Scaling, Social Graphing for Viral Play and Spreading to other platforms with similar success.
* Jia Shen, Rock You, the largest App network inside Facebook with 1/2 of Fb users served by Rock You.
* Siqi Chen, of Friends for Sale App which is the hottest viral play on facebook
* Nick Gerekines, of Y! Delicious and Author of "Building Facebook Applications" by O'Reilly Publications
* Kevin Chou, CEO of Water Cooler, the largest sports and entertainment community inside Facebook, Myspace
* Markus Weichselbaum was our surprise addition, of TheBroth, a top 10 App network with 26 Apps, visiting us from Australia.

Thanks to Vishy for the videos, he has more on qik.

(Does anyone have a good sound recording of the event, especially the part where Jia Shen discussed viral plays and A/B testing, please let me know.)

Thanks to Abbas Zaidi for excellent time management to MCed the Lightning Demos of Facebook entrepreneurs.
Demoes included: (pl feel free to post your App URL in the comment and I'll update it here when I get a chance)

1. Jing Chen, Richard and Charles - Developer Analytics (, a cool developer community and analytics site helping fb developers with virality and app engagement.
2. Waleed Abdulla of Weekend Apps showed his new "Blogs I Read" app.
3. Dan Carroll and Sara Buckwitz presented social recommendation API -- SoMR.
4. George Deglin "courses" app has been working with Fb since F8 launch. He shared his insights about his other education related Apps.
5. Yong Su Kim - Askpedia, an ebay like knowledge marketplace where users can pay for the best answer from the community. This is an example of an existing business launching a fb app, good example to see if fb is an additional outreach or user acquisition channel.
6. Pikipages by Tony Zuccarino (I love this one, its an amazing example of cool web technology + facebook
7. Patrick Boyle - My Home Thingi, has a nice easter hunt builtin :)
8. Holly Liu Watercooler ( an online entertainment and sports communities inside your favorite social networks: Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, and Friendster.
9. Derek Dukes demoed Dipity App which allows you to create a social timeline, wow, what imagination to create new apps fitting in the social graph.
10. Dave Nielsen demoed Bracketmadness, an online supplement game to NCAA mens basketball tournament.
12. Ryan Merket will showcase an SpinVox (, an example of integration of fb with other web2.0 sites using cell network.
13. Ann Shin will demo Mashed Life App.
14. Mark Slater will show Listage and his demo is focused on "friends list"

Live Event Streaming:, a a platform for the community side of the Silicon Valley and The Siliconstani sponsored live video streaming of the event.