it@cork Web2.0 Conference – Q&A and final comment
Event type: Conference
The Q&A session didn’t last very long but did throw up some interesting points.
To kick off, there were various tech questions for Rob. Then Fergus was asked how long it took to launch Nooked, He replied that it was about a year after 3 different models. Walter was asked how he was hiring. He isn’t. There was a question about to get the right right developer expertise. It was pointed out that there was tons of help out there.
Fergus made a very important point – he wishes that more developers blogged in Ireland. The low level of uptake in blogging amongst young Irish developers and 3rd level students is frankly ridiculous. I have often brought the topic up when interviewing graduate developers and often get blanked. I’m far far more likely to hire someone who at least shows some appreciation of blogging than someone with a 1.1 who has had their head stuck in the sand for four years of college.
One person asked about whether it is preferable to have a high volume web-site or a very useful one. Salim said he likes consumer because it proves scalability. In the consumer world sucess can mean huge success. Shel on the other hand thought that all those consumer focused companies are wrong because they are all hoping to be bought rather than having a real business model. Shel is writing a new book and one of the main questions in it is how is anyone going to make money?
Salim agreed that acquisition is the only real exit route in the consumer space or having a hugely viral app like Skype. In the consumer space, barrier to entry is low, but barrrier to exit is high. Salim pointed out that some Web 2.0 companies are heading into the enterprise space away from consumer as a result.
Salim has had lots of people wanting to licence PubSub but always turned it down. His fear is that they would end up as a services business and you can then never return to products model. He has been in 4 services companies that tried to build products and all of them failed.
And that was it. A great 4 hours, I think everyone got something from it.
The most useful thing I got from the conference actually came from the night before. Myself and Fergus were talking about Techcrunch and I was complaining that Arrington’s post about PubSub was horrendous – he was obviously more concerned with being first than being right. At this, Donncha O’Caoimh asked “who?”. I didn’t understand him, what did he mean by “who”? Donncha clarified – “Who is Michael Arrington?” he said!!
The creator of WordPress MU, a lead developer of WordPress.org and WordPress.com, an employee of Automattic, has no idea who Michael Arrington is or what Techcruch is. That really stopped me in my tracks and has had me thinking since. Whilst I waste time reading what some lawyer and his BBQ buddies think of what other people are doing, Donncha is too busy building the future to care. An important lesson.