Visit to San Francisco and Silicon Valley

30 08 2010

My August visit to San Francisco had 3 main purposes, a wedding party, partner deal with Plug and Play tech center, and preparing a second business mission for Belgian companies. And of course some vacation in between.

As it is really hard to get in touch with startup companies n San Francisco I decided to contacted Parisoma, Parisoma is an innovationloft, with a concept as the studios that I’m running in Belgium. We will work together on an event where we invite several new fresh companies, to meet up with our Belgian companies. The List is pretty long, and the highlights are Twitter, Flowtown, Klout, Crowdklout, Kyte, blurb and airbnb, myTown, some other geo location concept companies. Because location based services and entertainment is getting really big. Mind you that we already discussed this in 2003, but I guess it was to early then 😉

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We also met with Cassie Phillips, webwallflower, who is highly connected in the young startup scene in the Bay area, we most probably will also do some event with her as well. A welcome party or something in that style.

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During this period, the Belgian Government (IBBT) signed a contract with Plug and Play tech Center in Silicon Valley, Sunnyvale. This contract gives a lot of opportunities to Belgian companies, who are interested to explore the US market. In addition Plug and Play, is now also a gate to venture capital, we will organize a big event there, with junior and senior entrepreneurs, Belgians who already made the leap forward. And have round table discussions with local venture capitalist who work together with Plug and Play.

In addition we will also have some meet ups there, which are really big in Silicon Valley of course, so the companies who join us, will have a good view on what is happening, how it is happening and how they can proceed to make things happen, I’m pretty excited about the program. And we might also have an opportunity to talk with the Mayor Gavin Newsom, who has great ideas about the city, and changed already quite a lot and is apparently very ambitious.

While in San Francisco, I also spent some time with BJ Fogg to prepare our conference Design for persuasion, which was great! On my ride to there with Neal Burns, I had an interesting talk about digital media and advertising. Neal worked together with some colleagues on an Ebook on that specific topic, which Im keen to buy and read. It just came out. The lunch and 2 hour ride with him was definitely no waste of time. He also had some intteresting projects he wanted to discuss with BJ, concerning young people to change their eating behavior in schools and attitudes towards safe sex in the East Palo Alto area (some schocking news there). Being in these meetings was really stimulating for me, and made me think to start these services in Howesttowards the Digital media space. So many things to do.

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How small the world can be, on Tuesday I had a meeting with Martha Russell, from Stanford University, who works on global entrepreneurship, and doing a lot of research in that area, and also guiding Media X lab, which organizes a lot of workshops and seminars on social media and personal media. After talking 1 hour with each other, we realized that we met at BJ Fogg his Persuasive technology lab, and that Neal Burns is her husband, I mean really 😉

It was as always, an inspiring trip, and full of new stimulation.

And this will be our super guide during the business mission!



Looking back (2008) and forward (2012)

6 08 2010

While I was going trough some archives this week, and came across a video I did on MipTV 2008, it was interesting how fast things can change. That edition of that MipTV conference was all about social networks and broadcasting/tv industry, connecting it together, the other hot thing was Mobile entertainment and development especially in Asian markets and development countries. At that time Bebo got acquired by AOL Time Warner, and mySpace hooked up with Fox/News Corporation. Both of these networks lost a lot of market share these days. Bebo lost it because AOL didn’t pay any attention to the local aspect of the network, which was mainly popular in the UK. And mySpace just lost his sexy image. Bebo is a perfect example of what happens quite a lot with acquirements. If you read the press releases about these acquirements, wheter it is a company or a platform, it always says ‘there will be a lot of synergy’ (which is really a joke), and the other thing ‘nothing will change’, well everything changes, so if you plan on selling your business or platform, you better not get to attached to it! 

In 2008, Facebook was not yet in the picture (not in Europe), but if you look at now, it is the 3rd population if it would be a country, that is really amazing, the growth it goes trough right now. Facebook is the perfect broadcast model for the everyday user.  It connects very easily, and the reach can be professional or leisure. Which makes it very powerful. Together with Google they practically dominate the world.

Remember Open ID, Open ID should allow you to login with one username and password, to all the different networks and social media platforms, I don’t know if you noticed, but nowadays, you can login with your facebook account specs (facebook connect), right substituting Open ID. Another aspect that makes Facebook an added value.

Just yesterday we had this little micro conversation on Iphone versus Google Android. While Google Android is an OS, it slowely takes its market place, and who will win the battle. If we look into the past, being open and transparent always made it versus the closed environments (if this is better or not, that is a different discussion), and then there is also the price issue of course. Will the Iphone become like an Apple Macintosh (in the 80’s the cost was 5000 euro) versus a PC Windows (1500 euro). This was one of the reasons that Apple stayed in an elite and did n’t make it big in the ’80’s early 90’s.

Curious how it will evolve in 2012! 

Still got one at home 🙂

All team mates need to be Franks and Scotts

4 08 2010

All team mates need to be Franks and Scotts.