Montag, 27. Oktober 2008

how to turn-off investors and what business plans & sausages have in common: best of web2.0 expo belin 2008

the second incarnation of o‘ reillys web2.0 conference took place at the bcc - well placed at the center of berlin, next to alexanderplatz.

the new location was a welcomed change to last years 60ies-bunker style berliner messe facilites like a „community lounge“ promoted interaction between attendees and with last year‘s food problems solved people were happy to focus on the topics at hand.

besides the „big pictures“ keynotes for tim o‘ reilly, john lily (mozilla), martin varsavsky (fon) et al., the show brought a wide range of in depth topics , ranging from business to marketing and design to development.

the collective presentations of the show can be found on slideshare, respectively on the conference website . going through the (until now) uploaded 42 presentations on slideshare is too much noise, so let‘s setup up best of the show. start with the five best events of the show:

1) pitch camp
pitch camp was a driving event. 12 companies were selected to pitch for two minutes each, in front of a 200+ crowd and a grand jury (ranging from techcrunch and venturebeart to accel and index ventures, see here).

the short intro giving on the art of pitching can be reduced to 3 points:
1) clear view of business
this is necessary to be able to communicate the start.up (business objectives, market segments, problems solved)
2) understand your audience and what they care about
who are they, what do they want, why would they care about you.
3) build 3 month, 9-12 mont and long term business objective

there were book recommendations as well, crossing the chasm (again!) & blue ocean strategy, chan kim, renee mauborgne, understand the problems of your market.

also interesting to note were comments by the jury what turns them OFF, when the listen to pitches.

  • lack of ambition displayed
  • lack of character and leadership
  • homework not done (not knowing the background of people pitch to, not done the business metrics, not having market figures, competitor ignorance, lack of execution plan, ...)
  • lack of understanding potential customers, investors, partners
  • old stories
  • no potential to bring journalist on techmeme/digg for x weeks
  • clones of anything
  • no magic sauce begin
potential partners
  • telling the potential partner how cool the start.up is
  • not telling or not being able to tell what the partner will exactly (=cash) gain from partnership, when and how.
  • unfulfillable expectations from partners (like: just put my link on the google landing page...“)

how to get in contact?
  • through references
  • email (keep it short, send a compelling 2 sentence pitching email)
not just also judging on the at pitch camp but also discussing on stage was:

2) keynote speaker yossi vardi

being a serial entrepreneur himself and a rather successful venture capitalists, yossi vardi gave some interesting statements at the discussion with tim o‘ reilly.
that at the end of the days successful vc just have luck, is quite a open statement.
also that it is very important to check the vc a start.up is interested in. is he friendly? do entrepreneurs work repeatedly with him?
and that business plans and sausages have one thing in common: only people who do not know how they are made eat them.

this made the 2nd of the best web2.0expo berlin events. read more about moo, user interfaces and user action through design in the 2nd part of the upcoming web2.0expo roundup.
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