This was definitely drinking-from-the-fire-hydrant week in California for high tech startups. Three days of TC50 demos, parties with Scoble-Mooregate verifying the echo chamber effect is alive and well in both Silicon Valley and Hollywood (if you believe Valleywag, that is) and Jason Calacanis venting steam while still miked up for all on uStream to hear.
As I tweeted yesterday, while the event may have been marred with a few second year mishaps, all in all kudos to the organisers (aka Tyler and his team) for providing an excellent tech showcase.
Two questions emerge – firstly, what will the landscape look like next year. Can Chris Shipley and Calacarrington kiss and make up in time for the first DEMOCrunch event. Or will a professional competitor come in from left field and clean up the space?
Secondly, what was the final set of take outs from the three days. I’m sure we all filtered the event in different ways but for me here are the salient points:
* Product placement as an up and coming business trend ran through the conference as a theme — highlighted by a comment from prolific angel investor, Ron Conway: “it’s a multi billion dollar business emerging right before our eyes”;
* Yossi Vardi once and for all categorized business plans: “as a great sub genre in the science fiction section”;
* Collaborative venture capitalist Peter Thiel defined the holy grail of creating business value: maximizing optionality. He felt that Facebook’s $15bn valuation is justified through the company’s extensible optionality. This is a theme to explore more in the coming months;
* And lastly fellow South African and Sequioa venture guy, Roelof Botha urged startups to “trim down their aperture and focus on key user pain points”.
The rally cry for the event though had to be one startup founder’s response to the question of whether he would sell to Google: “Never!”