April, so far, has been a very inspiring month. I had the chance to spend the first week in San Francisco attending the Web 2.0 Expo. The event, organized by O’REILLY and techweb, attracted over 8,000 visitors. It has been said that this time the expo, due to the “financial crisis” spreading across the continent, attracted as much as 25% less people compared to last year.
Nonetheless what was lacking in quantity was compensated in quality. The message that the expo was propounding this year was “The Power of Less”. Also, as much on the hall floor as throughout the conferences, the underlying feeling was that in 2009, entrepreneurs should focus on building solid and profitable businesses, quickly.
For those who did not have the chance to be in the valley, you can catch up on most of the conference sessions, where speakers were generous enough to make their slide shows available.
There was clear guidance provided in terms of the creation of better web services with more concise data measurement tools. Quantitative analysis will be the answer for many web startups, in order to survive harsher markets and move fast when new opportunities arise. From the financial perspective, the bottom line is that the VC’s are getting their feet wet again, though the game has somewhat changed. Prospective startups will need to put down some good data on growing usage rates, or upward sloping revenue curves. And they will probably have to expect to raise less money, for more equity. Furthermore, presenting a viable solution to become profitable quickly, will be highly appreciated, since you shouldn’t count on a subsequent Investment round.