Last week I had the opportunity to attend Web2.0 Summit – The Data Frame. Its a benefit of John Battelle being my new boss’s boss that I get the chance to attend these things. Since the Lijit/FM merger my time has been scarce, so I only was able to attend a handful of the sessions. I really enjoyed the things I saw and heard. John puts on a hell of a show and I’d reccommend anyone interested in current thinking and top level networking to attend future summit events.
Stuff I learned:
1. Sean Parker is a smart mo-fo. He even looks a little like Justin Timberlake. I thought Sean’s session being interviewed by Battelle was fantastic. That guy has a pragmatic and insightful grasp on social networks, the music industry and what motivates the younger generation’s content consumption. His analysis of the uphill battle faced by Google+ in the battle for social networking vs. Facebook was both simple and to the point. Punchline: it would take BOTH a colassal fuck up by Facebook AND brilliant product development/marketing execution by Google to unseat me, my friends, my friends friends, etc. in order for me to move from Facebook to Google+.
2. Steve Ballmer still has it. He’s a crazy, loud, passionate son of a bitch and its that personal conviction that keeps MSFT rockin their numbers. Shortly after the conference MSFT announced quarterly earnings – up across the board with 10% or better growth in several divisions. I aslo learned the windows phone is for dweebs (not Adnroid loving dweebs – that is still reserved for linux types). I learned to hang onto my MSFT stock for a bit longer and see how all this plays out.
3. Lots of big name execs, iconic founders, and established CEOs were milling around and none of them seemed overly pretentious. Mostly they were there to listen, network and participate. Refreshing. And it turns out they do put their pants on one leg at a time.
4. Everyone loves Mary Meeker. She gives a hell of a data presentation and people love that. She doesn’t take sides, but she does present the data in order to make a point. I learned that the data is interesting and helpful, but not the entire story. The trends are real and substantial, but in and of themselves the trends don’t predict success or failure – execution and good management still do. I leared to take even the best data presentations with a grain of salt.
5. MC Hammer is a really nice guy.