I am not in Austin. I could have went on my own or somehow maybe made a work trip out of it but then it would be like going to Mass but not actually being a Catholic. It appears to me that everything that comes out of SXSW is mostly US focused and continues the silicon valley reality distortion field.
I am trying to focus my product expertise on emerging markets and apart from the global phenoms that take over the world there is still a lot of action in the area of things built and bred for iBRIC. Maybe I am all wet but that is where my passion lies.
Bumped into this article today: http://gigaom.com/2011/03/10/dispatch-from-sxsw-have-startups-become-a-fetish/
The thousands of startups today that are pitching themselves at app competitions or in industry conferences all seem to think being a startup is enough. That daring to come up with some idea, any idea, and build a beta site is enough. That the users will come and then the business model will come and then the money will come. Google, Facebook and Twitter are their icons. Somehow the act of creating a startup has become the goal instead of the building of a business. As this post in The Awl points out, there are now startups built to merely create launch pages for your startup. (The Awl highlights LaunchRock, but Prefinery is another. I can’t believe there is a me-too startup even trying to build a market for startup launch pages.)
Tend to agree with that for the most part.
We talked a bit about this on TWIA #86 last night. Nice work @mikefoong on all the formats. There is an idea that around SEA startups start just so founders don’t take normal jobs since not having a startup means u might not be cool. These people that start these startups are running around using SV products all day long and then they wonder why their startups never go anywhere.
I can’t agree with all of it but I think he has a point here:
The Passion Gap is evident when you see a founder or product manager so deeply engaged in their product that they can’t help but think about it all the time, and, as a result, they see all the fine details that are required to make a product that exactly matches what the market needs. This is true even when the market hasn’t yet realized the need.
Most people lack that passion – that commitment – a sense of conviction. They just want to do a “startup”.
This is a good one too: http://scripting.com/stories/2011/03/09/theLimitsOfTwitterAndFaceb.html
Are we in a bubble? Yes, this is a bubble. All the frenzied startup activity and still the VCs raise more money to invest. Not enough inventory. We need more young people to play the role of entrepreneur. It’s so analogous to the real estate bubble where the only bad bet was to own the actual real estate because that was so real. The money was being made off the lies. In this bubble the people who are going to get hurt are the legions of young people. Most of them aren’t entrepreneurs. As a percentage of the population, the people who really have the drive and fortitude to stick it out is infinitesmal. But that isn’t the myth — it’s also like the housing boom where everyone could be a home owner. In 2011 every young person can be an entrepreneur, esp if he or she knows how to code. That’s the bubble, right there.
We live in truly interesting times…