I’m spending more time in the hallways and lest time in the lecture halls today, the second day of the Oreilly web 2.0 conference. The buzz around this space right now is heavy. Some concepts and ideas and theories that have come up in my hallway conversations, in no particular order…
1)There’s a wierd disconnect between the “Web 2.0” topic, which most people associate with scrappy San Francisco startups, and the syncophantic interviews with mega-CEOS (Barry Diller from IAC, Terry Semel from Yahoo).
2)The VC role is morphing into something more similar to being a real estate agent. Entrepreneurs don’t need capitol, because starting a company is dirt cheap now. They don’t need the expertise and leadership and connections to grow a company towards an IPO, because most exit plans involve acquisition, not IPOs. What they need is someone to shop their company around, hopefully starting a bidding war between two potential suitors. This gets the entrepreneur a smaller piece of a much larger pie.
3)The value of sf bay area web startups is based on the bay areas early adoption of blog and web culture. The assumption is that whatever trendy kids in SF are doing now will be widespread in the broader market within a year or three. The assumption is that SF and the bay area represent the “influencers” of the United States.
4)Open sourcing your IP and using open source technologies is no longer even trendy. It is becoming the decision you can’t get fired for. This is a techtonic shift that has been underway for several years. Proprietary software vendors that don’t adopt to this new world are road kill, pure and simple.