7 Things I Learned From The TechCrunch Party
(and I wasn’t even there)
1. Silicon Valley and Seattle are *nothing* alike from a cultural standpoint. Sure they both have thriving tech industries, but that’s where the similarities end. There is SO much more of the shmooze factor in San Francisco, and it’s becoming more and more obvious with each passing Foo Camp, Bar Camp, TechCrunch Party, and <insert catchy name here> Conference. Shmoozing is great, and I’m not disparaging events like this at all, but it really puts into perspective how much of a stage Silicon Valley is on. In Seattle, we seem to go about our work with much less showmanship, marketing, and social presence. Anybody else from either Seattle or S.F. notice this?
2. Michael Arrington is definitely the fastest rising market maker in the tech world right now. Think Mossberg with a younger target audience. He is also not a racist… just ask Scrivs. :)
4. I admire a man who feels comfortable inviting hundreds of people, a lot of which he doesn’t even know, to party at his house. I’ve had parties of 30 which got out of control. I can’t imagine the potential liability if the wrong sorts of people were to show up.
5. It would seem to me that Robert Scoble and Shel Israel definitely got their money’s worth of publicity for this event. Heck, I’m not even sure if they actually paid a penny for it given the other sponsors who jumped on board. In exchange for perhaps only their presence, they were able to get their new book “Naked Conversations” in front of just about every shmoozer in Silicon Valley… plus all of Michael’s numerous readers. Now *that’s* a great PR effort.
6. I hate to say it, especially given my position as CEO of a news startup, but the tech world in another bubble. Over the last several months, some have made similar assessments only to temper them with the observation that much less money is going in so much less money will be lost, but I’ve seen some flat-out ridiculous companies getting flat-out ridiculous rounds of financing lately. I’m not one to publicly disparage the efforts of others so I won’t name any names, but DAMN things are getting frothy! I’m really not speaking about any investments under a few million dollars, because let’s face it, that sort of money can and should be thrown into speculative investments from time to time, but I’m talking more in the high seven to eight figure range, and hell, even the mid nine figure range (see: MySpace). Seeing expectations build up to these levels scares me a bit because I’ve always seen the internet as creating *more* efficient markets, and not *less* efficient ones. More efficient markets mean less cost to consumers and less margins to producers. The only way for producers to make up for this is in increased quantity and alternative monetization models. I’m just not sure there is as big of a net gain for most producers as some people would have you believe. I do believe the little guy gets a lot more power in this model, but I’m skeptical that the big guy even gets better at all.
7. Stowe Boyd always seemed like a cool guy to me and I was happy to find out that he passed out on the couch after the party (with the hat on of course). Hard partying always leads to a good night’s sleep.