SxSW Day 1.1 – Everything New is Old Again

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.






2 responses to “SxSW Day 1.1 – Everything New is Old Again”

  1. BJ Fogg Avatar

    I think some of your critiques of my SXSW presentation are on target.

    You’re right: The presentation was an ad of sorts — showing YackPack. That’s the reason I spent the time and money to be there. I had a task to do, but even I thought it was too promotional. This wasn’t clear to me until after the event, unfortunately.

    The monster ad was not planned; it’s just how the service works: you get ads in the free version. I don’t like the ads in YackPack. I hope we figure out a better way.

    Despite your critiques, I appreciate your coverage. In the future I will try to take on the perspective of the audience more.

    –BJ Fogg

  2. Administrator Avatar

    Thanks BJ for responding. I think I was having virulent reaction to some earlier conversations with a few Google-aire wannabees.

    That said, your presentation was titled “What’s Hot in Web Applications”, not “Let’s Do a Product Demo for a Captive Audience.”

    You have a neat app – worth sharing with the wider world. Maybe I’m too old school (I started back in the mid ’70s – when folk crafted cool hacks for the coolness factor alone).

    By the time of your forum, I’d already met a slew of punks that had: one, developed something cool; two, attracted a community; three, the community help refine, develop, manage said “cool thing”; four, the punks either had or were racing to commoditize their community and sell them out.

    What distinguishes a punk from other folk that sell their apps upward? A punk doesn’t appreciate or care about his user community – they’re just clicks to him. I found it somewhat relieving that other folk conditionalized the sale of their app on maintaining proper respect for their user-community.

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