Future of Web Apps Conference Notes (Day 2)


More: Day 1 Notes here

Techcrunch by Michael Arrington
Wow, lots of camera flashes going off, Mike has really risen in fame.

Dan Farber has a nice write up of winners and losers
Watch the Adobe Apollo project, web companies can be built on this platform

Winners: Writely, Grouper, Bloglines, MySpace, Weblongs, flickr, newroo, Truveo
kSolo, Delicious, userplane, skype, blogger

Myspace has grow 4-5 times it’s size since the acquisition by Fox.

Very Good Bets:
Digg, Facebook, YouTube, Stumbleupon, photobucket, zoho, popsugar, plentyoffish, netvibes
Digg has many page views as newyork times
85% of college users are facebook users
YouTube, worth 2 billion dollars, they spend a couple of million a month on bandwidth and hosting.
Photobucket: Images and video, you then display them on MySpace. They are about 2% of internet traffic
Zoho is web 20 online office competitor.
PopSugar: It’s celebrity gossip blog, there are 5 writers, 13million page views. Blogs are the new publishing platform
Plentyoffish: one man team, making 300k on google ads
Netvibes: Doing well

Ones to Watch
Jobster, Riya, Zillow, Flock, Sharpcast, Rocketboom, 1800Free411, oDesk, Secondlife, WordPress

What were they thinking?
Inform, gather, pubsub, browzar, jigsaw, Squidoo

Inform raised 55million dollars, for a news aggregator site. NY times raved it but everyone else slammed it.

Gather raised 8 million dollars.

Shared Attributes of Winners
-Passion for what they are doing
-Doing Something Extraordinary (Purple Cow)
-Removing Serious Friction
-Great Founder Dynamics (gotta get along)
-Never Raised Big Money, or Raised if after they won
-Perfect Revenue Model not Required
-Launched company via Techcrunch

Poor attributes of loser
-Poor founder/team choices
-Lifestyle/Ego Entrepreneurs
-Raised too much money
-Over Business-pLnned
-And launched company on techcrunch

What server platform
-PHP (most popular)
-Ruby on Rails (may have limitations)
-Java (for serious applications)

Client Platform
-Adobe Apollo (watch this, as it allows flash to play on desktop without IP)
-Desktop hybrid

Market Saturation
-Avoid: Social Networking
-Avoid: Social Bookmarks
-Video: Video (many are funded)
-Too many blogging and podcasting
-Portals (like netvibes)

Big Potential:
-Desktop Apps
-Office Efficieny
-Cloud Storage (office and google coming) box.net is, omnidrive.
-Developer Tools
-Market Destruction

LiveDocuments –Auto Synching

The State Future and Business of Passion Centric Online Communities, Ted Rheingold of Dogster.com

-Passion Centric online communities are spaces dedicated to a single particular interest.
-They usually include human profile sharing, psoting of passion specific imtes and offer member to member and member to group communication possibilities.

4 elements = Entertainment, Sociality, Information, Services

Sincerity Cannot be Faked

Most dogster blogs are written in the voice of the pet.

Communities will continue to grow, there will be tons for every type of community. Public Open ID systems will be used. The web is just the launching point. Think cell phones/MMS/

Dogster just raised 1 mil.

Ryan Carson -14 Things I wish I’d be known before Building a Web App

1) Work with people in the same timezone

2) One User Database

3) One Ecommerce System

4) Don’t have your coder to the XMTHL/CSS
Separate the backend developer from designer

5) Obsess about your website copy

6) Work with a top notch Hardware Partner. Brian works with BitPusher
1)Make a list of support resources
2)Make a plan for maintainence
3) Don’t be special (try to be like other HW setups)

7) Don’t cut corners

8) Measure, Measure, Measure more
What data will you need to make business decisions?

One funnel could be: Visitors > Signup Trial > Login > Active Users > Paying Users > Staying users

9) You’re not done when you launch
So many little things, have your developer on standby for two weeks. Your developer could hike up his rates, are you ready for this? What’s your agreement with him?

10) TeaSpoons
Lots of little things, spell check, write FAQ, Spell check error messages, this takes 3 weeks.

11) Quick Tips
Provide logos, screenshots and contact details for the press
use a monthly CSV file for invoices
Add an about us page
Make contact easy

12) Add tons of stuff to your FAQ/Support

13) Be nice to nasty customers

14) Tips from the pros

More: Day 1 Notes here