Day Three at LeWeb began with rain and the usual transport chaos, even for newly-initiated Uber cab enthusiasts in Paris, and some legendary hangovers courtesy of the Deezer party with the Ting Tings on the Thursday night. Record long queues for the complementary Nespresso aside, the morning was full of great content – one of the first speakers Yossi Vardi, Pioneer, Investor & Entrepreneur – talking about business models, and full of wit and wisdom.
Who thinks we’re in a bubble right now? Worth a watch:
The day also featured the Startup Competition Finals
Congrats to @Beintoo, based in San Francisco, who have developed a mobile gamification layer, “incentivizing competition and collaboration across the social graph”. You can watch their pitch here, plus an interview with the CEO. Second place went to iPhone app @HeyCrowd, allowing users poll the crowd in real time. Designed for those “who are curious about what people think” they enable you ask the question on HeyCrowd. They’ve collected 8,000 questions and so far have a community of users in US, France and Brazil. They’re addressing “the problem of opinion polls” and claim that their users find it “more addictive than cocaine”. Whoosh. What do you think? Is it better than SurveyMonkey? Watch their pitch on day one to a panel of judges including Sherry Coutu, our very own Dan’l Lewin, with Rodrigo Sepulveda.
We heard from the ‘over-caffeinated’ Ben Parr talking about entrepreneurship and changing the world, making an impact (rather than making money) and building something that lasts: “Don’t plant a flower. Plant a sequoia”. Ben reckons “most ideas suck” and less than 15% of what he sees “will turn into successful startups”. Ben also emphasized that “the space is getting crowded” and there’s “only so many ways to go about solving the problem” – so don’t bother inventing another photo sharing app or a daily deals service. Rather, better concentrate on something “that might change the world by incrementally improving on something”. Lesson #2 – Be adaptable. Lastly, Ben said –
“Don’t build a company; build a cause. Don’t chase the money; but build something that matters”.
The World Is A Startup
Much of this ethos was echoed in the comments by Shrevin during the interview by Alexia from TechCrunch: watch her interviewing Sean Parker (Spotify) and Shrevin Pishevar (Menlo Ventures) which of course drew a big crowd. Loic commented in the early hours on the quality of the Tequila that Sean gave him to drink the night before. Wonder if that aided the interview? Sean thinks that “right now, there’s too much capital chasing too few great ideas” and talked about Gowalla’s recent acquisition. Shrevin is always an inspiration, and I love listening to him:
“The most successful entrepreneurs build value for people, not extract value from people”.. and
“Fear is finite. Hope is infinite”.
If you missed Chris Capposela from Microsoft on day two, take a look at his comments on Xbox and Windows 8. This morning I found Carlos from Seedcamp’s observations (in brief) published in VentureBeat, and another good round-up from Bill Gross who published “The Best of LeWeb” always insightful.
So until next time, au revoir. That’s us back at base in Silicon Valley.