The first session, “What’s Hot in Web Applications” is turning out to be product demos for the large captive audience. On tap Meebo, Zimbra, AdaptivePath and YackPack.YackPack – BJ Fogg brings up his app on screen dominated by prominent ads for Monster/FlowersAcrossAmerica. Product placement on their demo – quite tacky to hit us with an ad within an ad. Screw them. If you want more info on their simple web-based voicemail app, Google it 😉

Meebo – Seth Sternberg introduces their web-based IM aggregator – “trust your users” is key to their strategy. They’ve moved support responsibilities to their user-base. Their users monitor forums – detect/report network issues. Advice: “leverage OSS community to increase innovation”

Zimbra – Scott Dietzen – AJAX-based calendaring/messaging/collaboration application. Best thing? “Preventing you from having to cut-n-paste email”. Zimlets allow end-users/developers to extend Zimbra’s capabilities.

The best comment came from Sternberg who said he did better in college when he “concentrated on learning – it was more fun”. Suggests entrepreneurs concentrate “on what causes pain and fix it” instead of worrying about cranking out the highest return you can from your customer.

BJ Fogg – YackPack – “If you concentrate on a pain point you’ll find a way to monetize it”.

Hey BJ, your bragging about your AARP deal is causing me pain. How do you plan to monetize that?

I’ve reached my “pain point” with what’s fallen (again) into product pimping – on to Sink or Swim: The Five Most Important Startup Decisions, which is at least honest in its business focus.

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