Monday, July 30, 2007

When a "true" New Yorker visits Silicon Valley

After 5 years in New York City I dare to consider myself a "true" New Yorker - or at least a long term guest of this exciting city. I know a few people in the startup scene here and considered it pretty exciting until a recent business trip to San Francisco and the Silicon Valley. While there I had the opportunity to meet with/ talk to at least 15 entrepreneurs and discuss our company goals and their company goals, passions and dreams. The companies ranged from established players like Nokia and Microsoft to tiny startups like Heysan and Lightpole. What made me most excited was the fantastic openness of the entrepreneurs, their willingness to share ideas, discuss opportunities and make introductions to other entrepeneurs. I enjoyed the buzzing atmosphere of the second San Francisco tech boom and am hoping to come back soon. Thanks to all the people who gave me an opportunity to experience that wonderful startup culture.

San Francisco is still the capital of the tech world

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend a week on a business trip in San Francisco. I attended the Ypulse Mashup conference organized by the friendly and cheerful Anastasia Goodstein and her colleagues at Ypulse. It was a well put-together conference focusing on Teen Marketing. It covered the topic from an academic, an entrepreneurial as well as a user (albeit teen entrepreneur user) point of view and had a bunch of interesting take-outs:

1)Supposedly, teens do not use email anymore but instead rely on facebook/myspace messaging (a thesis i don't subscribe to as these networks still rely on email/sms notifications)

2)Social Networks are starting to monetize their traffic in ways ranging from classic CPM sales (ineffective) to widget programs to "integrated experiences" - the most impressive ones being presented by Gaia and Myyearbook.

3)Although I'm not a fan of the taste of its organic teas and lemonades, Jones Soda CEO Peter van Stolk's presentation about their low-budget marketing plans that rely on truly out of the box measures such as customized labels ("we don't do porn") was a great closing speech. Very remarkable company and I'd be highly surprised if JSDA wasn't picked up by Pepsi or Coca Cola at some point.

What I really enjoyed about the conference was the quality of the attendees and the general openness of the people. I had lots of interesting conversations during the breaks and the two performances after the show days. I even had the brief pleasure to meet Guy Kawasaki at the end of day 2 who told me he was having a lot of fun with trumors (how couldn't he...).
I definitely recommend the conference for anyone interested in web2.0, teen marketing and the bright new world of social networks.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The different uses for social networks

I just read an interesting thread on the NextNY discussion board about why and how people use social networks. The original question was posted by Dan Lewis who confesses to be on the brink of being too old to get "it." Here's my synthesis of the potential uses - feel free to add in the comment section:

* Light communication (Poke, Wall, GlitterText, etc)
* Self-expression: Slideshows, profile, "online identity"
* Dating (browsing profiles and possibly contacting people)
* Finding/ forming your identity, interests, friends, contacts
* Voyeurism
* Sharing photos, videos, text, experiences - with friends and/or strangers
* Bragging
* Playing together (I think this will become a lot bigger in the future)

To me the first two points are really at the core of the social networking experience - that's what seems to be driving most usage. Appreciate any comments.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Munich: The highest quality of living in the world!

The International Herald Tribune in cooperation with Tyler Brule's Monocle magazine has selected my hometown Munich as the most liveable city in the world. Enjoy the slideshow here.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Ratatouille is the most charming Pixar movie so far

Last night I went down to Union Square to see Ratatouille with some friends. It was one of the most charming movies I've seen in the last year. The creativity the Pixar folks come up with is just unbelievable. Definitely go see it (and check out the trailer here)

My Personal DNA

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