While I've been busy attending local events and working with startups, I finally got a minute to blog about some of the events that stood out. Last night's VLAB EVENT - Lifestreaming: The Real-time Web event had quite interesting and colorful set of panelist. Panelists included Bret Taylor, Co-founder of FriendFeed, Loic Le Meur, Founder of Seesmic, Jeff Clavier, Founder of Softtech VC, Leah Culver, Co-founder of Pownce. Kara Swisher, Wall Street Journal editor, did a great job moderating the event. She was entertaining and quite provocative. Here is her capture of the event if you're interested in watching the entire panel discussion.
Some of the questions and topics were popular and you hear them all the time, such as what's the success criteria for a startup and how do you define your business model. There was a hot debate over whether we continue to see proliferation of the chat sites, video streaming sites, and other similar sites, or whether there will be consolidation of similar ones and major industry players will win over the smaller ones, and there will be just a handful of sites, same as we see with search engines today. Kara was of the opinion, and I tend to agree, that the latter paradigm wins. But Leah brought up the point that every site has its own flavor and depending on user preferences and interests, many of them can co-exist.
Last thing I want to mention is an interesting thought Bret shared with the audience around how to turn your application into a killer app, or what should people consider when building open a social application. The key success factor, highlighted by Bret, lays in ability to measure a product feature in a quantitative or other way, e.g. Google AdWords. I think this is a fundamental criteria that doesn't implicitly come to mind when rolling out an open social app - being able to implement an application feature in such a way that you can go back at any given time obtain a quantitative statistics on it, a very interesting concept, and sure makes a lot of sense.