Here are a few interesting notes from the opening sessions:

  • Jeff Bezos
  • a better question than “what’s changing in the next five years” is “what is going to be the SAME over the next five or ten years?” because that allows them to build a sturdy business.
  • he talked about the current services: message queuing, storage, computing and fulfillment. They can take inbound data jobs, store your data, store your physical goods, and provide computing cycles. So what would they build next? He wouldn’t say but he did say: “when you build a house, you build from the ground up.”
  • So what would they build next? I think that one of the next services they will offer is a billing platform for all of that so you can turn around and bill your customers for their usage of those services. But that’s just my opinion.
  • Battelle interviewing Mena Trott, Joe Krause, and Jay Adelson (Digg)
    • Krause: It’s relatively easy to find buyers who you can sell it to for $5M. Having a $10M business means having fewer buyers. Having a $50M business means that there are really only one or two potential buyers. This impacts whether or not you want to take VC money. Because if you are taking VC money, you need to go for much higher multiples (see below.)
    • Joe Krause made an interesting point: You might want to sell and get a 5x or 6x return on the money which is good for you, and good for your employees. But your VC is thinking, “These guys might be the 100x opportunity.” So they’re not excited about your 5x return and can fight it. Interesting dynamic.
    • Biggest mistakes: “What was your biggest mistake”?
    • ****Krause: Not launching our business model at the same time as we launched our product. We launched the product and learned a lot about it for six months. But then we launched our business model six months later and had lost those six months – we didn’t learn anything about how people valued our application. Because you can’t have those conversations with people about value…until you are charging!
  • Apollo / Kevin Lynch:
    • COOL demo from Salescorce.com’s Apollo desktop. VERY nice. Same with the eBay Desktop application.
    • WOW. Awesome word processor that is online/offline called Buzzword from Virtual Ubiquity. It does TABLES properly! For an HTML type text editor, that is unbelievable!