Archive for December, 2006

Loic LeMeur (Six apart) attacks TechCrunch

admin 13th of December 2006 by admin

My motivation for writing this post is to support TechCrunch and its independent / impartial opinion piece on Le Web 3 and to highlight how Loic has probably ruined his (and Six apart’s) reputation with the following retort to it:

Loic LeMeur – “Sam. There is no word to qualify you and this post. You are just an asshole.”

TechCrunch’s opinion piece highlights the obvious, political ambitions of Loic LeMeur’s (aka Six apart) during the (last?) Le Web 3 conference in Paris.

In my view, Loic has done a “Gerald Ratner” on it.

Doing a Ratner is a British business phrase referring to a Chief Executive or a senior person of a company who criticises the company’s products or disparages the customers, frequently with disastrous results for both the person and the company.

Sam Sethi wrote a well crafted independent and balanced article where he articulated what EVERYONE at the conference was already thinking and some were already blogging. Every person I came into contact with felt that the conference was completely ruined due to Loic’s (Six apart’s) political ambitions. The entire schedule for day 2 was shuffled to allow no fewer than 3 politicians to broadcast their political agendas to a mass of journalists – which clearly had absolutely nothing to do with the Web!

My first response when I read Loic’s retort was ‘huh’? This isn’t a professional response, never mind an apology for changing the conference schedule without telling anyone in advance. This will go down in history as an important milestone in the downfall of Six apart’s brand reputation amongst the blogsphere.

If Loic was working for me, his ass wouldn’t have touched the ground on the way out… Loic’s ‘personal attack’ and unprofessional retort on ‘Sam’ is not only damaging to Six apart’s brand, it’s likely to be commented on more than the conference screw up itself! Doh!

My advice to Loic and Six apart is to publicly apologise for the huge screw up – only then will they have a small chance to gain a little respect. They might also wish to apologise for attacking Sam for exercising his right to *blog his opinion*.

http://uk.techcrunch.com/2006/12/11/le-web3-the-good-bad-and-ugly/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doing_a_Ratner

Ireland falls off Le Web 3 map

admin 13th of December 2006 by admin

So, I’ll start with an explanation for my title. During the first day at Le Web 3 the audience was encouraged to take part in a poll. The conference attracted people from approximately 38 countries but yet, only 8 countries were represented in the question – It would appear that the world is divided into 8 and Ireland isn’t part of it! Perhaps it was the sponsors that were being represented subconsciously.

I must admit, this is one conference I’m sorry I didn’t sponsor – I felt brainwashed watching the rotating logos throughout the entire conference. Come to think of it, the rotating sponsors’ logos were probably the only technical element that worked without a hiccup. In fact, there must have been someone coordinating their timing, as the logos popped in and out of presentations as if they were Google Adwords driven by contextual sales techniques.

Live blogging was almost disabled as Tom Raftery puts it. Wi-Fi was pretty much non-existent – OK, so technical problems occur. Hell, I’ve attended W3C meetings where Web access wasn’t available. However, what really bugged me (I can’t stress this enough!) was the fact that the organiser, Loic LeMeur’s, didn’t seem to care and in fact, looked as annoying on stage as he does (now) on his blog! He just laughed it off. Then again, why would he care, he was there for a political party broadcast to set the foundation for his own political ambitions – more about this in my next post as it deserves it’s own parking space!!

It’s just as well I attended as an invited guest thanks to Sam Sethi from TechCrunch UKIRL, or I would have asked for 1/3 of my money back. Day 1 was ‘ok’. Most of the speakers were out of touch with the audience, or at least most of the audience – they didn’t tell us anything new. It was another ‘back clapping’ exercise talking about ‘me’, ‘me’ and ‘me’.

My favourite sound bite comes from one of the VCs (name escapes me right now) – “E-commerce is growing and will be particularly busy at Christmas”. This guy obviously has his finger on the pulse! Ok, I know the audience included non-techie people, but I’m sure my granny would have assumed Christmas was going to be a busy period. Or am I making a silly assumption?

All that said, it was a great trip for me personally. These conferences aren’t about the speakers anyway (whether I’m speaking or listening), it’s more about meeting people in the hall and deepening relationships with people you already know. I’ve made some great contacts and connected a few people. Meeting other likeminded Irish folk was brilliant also – I think we should meet up more often!

Hostelworld.com launches its social networking too

admin 8th of December 2006 by admin

Just spotted Hostelworld.com launches its social networking tool

“By registering on the network, hailed the My Space for the backpacker set, users have a variety of travel planning tools and social networking options at their fingertips. Through the personalised web pages, users can track their upcoming hostel reservations, plan future trips, review cities and hostels, connect with travel buddies, keep an online blog, upload photos and more. In the beta phase alone over 10,000 users registered to use the service,” stated the company.

See previous post for more details on Hostelworld

BarCampIreland SouthEast to be held in Waterford in January

admin 7th of December 2006 by admin

According to Tom Corcoran, BarCampIreland SouthEast is aiming to run a barcamp in Waterford on Saturday, January 20, 2006. This follows the success of the first BarCamp this year. More details are available at http://barcamp.pbwiki.com/Barcamp%20Ireland%20-%20SouthEast. 35 attendees have already said that they will attend and there are 18 signed up speakers.

For those of you in the dark about BarCamp, think of it as a conference where you get to make up the venue, give a presentation, be part of the organization. The idea is to share information in a free and open way. More about BarCamp at http://barcamp.pbwiki.com/.

Web2.0 Funding – a possible scenario

admin 6th of December 2006 by admin

On the heels of today’s budget and the extension of the BES Scheme

- €2million cap
- Indivdual investment limit of €150,000

Scenario
1.Entrepreneur has idea….
2.Goes on EI EDP programme – €35k+ for year1. Office space, etc
3.Starts company
4.Invests some of his/her own money – and claims back under SCS scheme – up to 100k per annum
5.Builds out product with an EI feasibility study grant
6.Launches product
7.Raises €2m angel monies under BES scheme
8.Builds a global business
9.Cashes out
10.Repeat

and then the bad news – where are the Angels with the 150k to invest – they are all too busy off in Poland/Bulgaria buying property. With this increase we will see even more “asset backed” BES schemes [anyone for hostels or nursing homes]

We do need a Ron Conway in Ireland

Sidenote: Ron Conway made his initial millions when he sold his company Personal Training Systems to CBT [Smartforce/Skillsoft] in November 1995.

Funding Landscape – Ireland

admin 5th of December 2006 by admin

Conor from Loudervoice has a great post on his recent experiences with “funding” in Ireland.

I can imagine Conor spent the majority of the day travelling from Cork to Dublin and back again… for a wasted 30 minutes.

Conor:
“I did my little pitch and the immediate response was that they were not interested at all in any kind of investment. This was no problem, I’ve been around long enough not to take such things personally.”

Check this post from Mark Suster on raising funding in the US.

Does anybody know of any online venture that an Irish VC backed since 1995 ? [comments welcome]

Panthius.com

admin 4th of December 2006 by admin

Panthius.com is a Dublin-based software developer. The Panthius e-Business Suite is a web-based, fully integrated, business solution built on proven technologies designed to support entire business enterprises with the automation of all key business processes.

Investors are looking for audiences, not revenues from Guardian Unlimited: Organ Grinder

admin 1st of December 2006 by admin

Commentary from event in the UK yesterday.

Investors are looking for audiences, not revenues from Guardian Unlimited: Organ Grinder

Quote:
“Yahoo is focused on identifying start-up companies that can create products with a large number of users with just a small amount of capital.”

Nic at Espirit has a follow up note