Attracting a second sold-out crowd of Seattle coders, developers, inventors and innovators, the 2006 edition of Seattle’s MindCamp stirred the campfires of entrepreneurial zeal last weekend with its round-the-clock shop talk of Web 2.0 concepts, constructs and strategems, propelled by its unique brand of improvised workshops and its eclectic talent pool.
One session on Community /Social Bill Paying featuring BillMonk founders Gaurav Oberoi and Chuck Groom lent insight on starting a Web 2.0 company from the technical underpinnings to the financial undertow, inciting impromptu comments from Pluggd’s Alex Castro who is launching podcasts for the masses next month, and veteran visionary AskMe founder Udai Shekawat. Keep the passion fires burning bright advised Udai who is growing several new companies from inside AskMe. “I love the energy and the ideas that come pouring out of these gatherings,” Udai beamed. MindCamp may just become Seattle’s own Burning Man. [24×7]
Blog Unveils Internet Bubble Meter
Is the Seattle Post Intelligencer playing harbinger of doom or paying homage to an era of Internet fervor and expansion? The P-I’s Venture Captal Blog-ger John Cook has posted Six Signs that remind him of the heady days of Internet expansion and aggressive, high stakes investiture.
Sign # 1: aQuantive is promoting a new Jobs site by wheeling a flatbed truck around town. The trailer includes the replica of a physical office where employees spread the word about the company. Sign # 2: The cover story of this month’s issue of Business 2.0 headlined “The Next Job Boom” while (Signs 3 & 4) mainstream magazines, such as Newsweek and Fortune, also are showing cover stories about the consumer Internet craze.
Cook also cites a surge in E-mail volume from entrepreneurs asking him how to contact venture capitalists and the fact that venture capitalists tripled their investments in Washington companies in the first quarter of he year, with some valuations scaring off more conservative investors.
The blog points out that this bubble is very different from what occured in the late 90s. “Still, there are warning signs out there.” [24×7] Microsoft Taking Ebb & Flow In Stride
Microsoft’s steady ebb-and-flow of events will flow again with the start the MSN Strategic Account soiree Tuesday.
The usual suspects—Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates, Robbie Bach—will be there. More interestingly will be some of the imported talent. Google’s VP of advertising sales Tim Armstrong, Vice President of Advertising Sales, CNBC’s Donny Deutsch, former rapper and current rap impresario Jay-Z of Roc-a-fella Records are all expected. Oh yeah and advertising heavyweights WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell, and Internet Advertising Bureau CEO Greg Stuart.
Maybe this assembled multitude can reassure skittish Wall Streeters that the dough Microsoft is pouring into MSN and other consumer efforts will pay off for shareholders.
There was almost an audible gasp (a neat trick with muted out phones) when Microsoft CFO Chris Liddell went through financial guidance on last Thursday’s earnings call. The message was loud and clear that Microsoft this year (and probably thereafter) will sacrifice profits for market share, especially in its Xbox and MSN efforts. Oh yeah, and on its anti-Google/Yahoo crusade. [24×7]