The Next Web 2007

The Next Web Conference 2007Last Friday, The Next Web Conference 2007 was held in Amsterdam. A few quotes and one liners from my notes of this day.

We (Europeans) are educated as Employees, not Entrepreneurs
a remark from the audience in reaction to the keynote by Saul Klein of Index Ventures.

Startups are creating lots of value (multi billion ventures: Microsoft, Yahoo!, eBay etc) Currently these are all based in SiliconValley. What is the difference with Europe?
The only relevant difference seems to be a cultural one. We must take more risk, do some experiments. It’s OK to fail, just pick yourself up and start over again with enriched experience. And start networking, at the Open Coffee Meetup for example…

A bunch of me’s with Me in the middle
Angel investor Jeff Clavier of SoftTech VC talks about the trends of identity, personalization and general automation on the future web. He foresees a Multi personal instantiation modality, blurring online, offline and virtual worlds. So: “a bunch of me’s with Me in the middle”.
And: automation pushed to the edge, with more robots and sensors (like Roomba). Less focus on utility, more experience and entertainment.

Don’t shout, start Weaving
Deborah Schultz on networking and marketing as networking activity. Relationships are hard and subtle and messy (trust, accountability vs spam and scamming). Think of it as relationship bricolageChris Locke (a nice slide with a McGuyver picture…). You never know which social contact will help you. We weave between networks and within networks.

The Big Brother balance: don’t scare me with my own data
Tapan Bhat of Yahoo! about the Front Doors project: from directories to On Demand. The Next web is connected and pervasive. Predictive and reflective of you, proactive, information is presented Just In Time (before you know you want it). Here you have to strike a balance: don’t scare me with my own data. It was not entirely clear how this will be achieved, I guess I missed the point of this keynote somehow.

Forget your passwords
Dick Hardt on Identity 2.0. Dick’s presentations are always a pleasure to watch, full of energy and very compact statements. Otherwise, this keynote added very little to the excellent introduction to Identity 2.0 introduction, OSCON 2005. His core vision is still much ahead of the industry. In a few words: management of identity, credentials and reputation through agencies and delegation. Yes, this is far beyond passwords and single sign on…

And, SXIP announced a nifty plugin for Firefox, Sxipper, which promises to help you with all your on-line identity and passwords management. A couple of those visionary points translated into a real product.

Tragedy is the mother of invention
Rod Beckström – author of The Starfish and the Spider. Taking these animals as metaphors, the spider has a central nervous system, while the starfish is less hierarchical organized. Allegedly, if you cut off a starfish’s arm, it will regenerate a complete new animal, while the spider will be crippled after loosing a leg. The next web gives us analogous opportunities to organize in a non-hierarchical way. In this view, the world is flat indeed. A tragedy may result in new opportunities by acting locally, thus evading damage at the global scale.

Update: there are lots and lots of blogs about this event, amongst others Sjors Timmer, Read/Writeweb, Mashable, Techcrunch (Updates on Digg, Kevin Rose by video link), BlueAce (nice imagery), MarketingFacts (Dutch), Argolon, Upstream (Starfish and Spider in Dutch), DutchCowboys (Dutch), Marketing-podcast (Dutch) and Frankwatching (in Dutch again)…