Under the Radar: The Business of Web Apps Recap

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events, skmurphy

Spent the day at Microsoft’s Silicon Valley campus attending Dealmaker Media‘s Under the Radar Conference on “The Business of Web Apps: Where the Web Goes to Work.” A company that would seem to have a lot to lose from the success of web-based applications with an Office 2.0 focus has taken Michael Corleone’s advice to “keep their friends close but their enemies closer.”

Some quick impressions:

  • I was delighted to be able to meet Dharmesh Shah in person after commenting on his writings both here on his blog. His Hubspot pitch on YouTube gives you an idea of his low key but compelling personal style.
  • I had a chance to meet Sam Shillace, one of team that developed Writely. He seemed at ease in his Director of Engineering role at Google, proof that some entrepreneurs can find a home in larger firms. He did share that he had worked in other large firms, but that Google was the first he felt really comfortable in. We talked about having him come to a Bootstrappers Breakfast later this year and share some lessons learned from his Writely experience.
  • I worked for Ridge Evers when we both wore younger men’s clothes. He had some of the best quotes of the day, and one of the most disappointing answers (if only because “Let Them Go Back” (to QuickBooks) seems like such an obvious requirement).
    • “…simple as possible and only as powerful as necessary…”
    • “true small business” owner-managed organic growth profitable (bootstrapping)
    • “don’t talk to small businesses about their size, it’s like talking about their hair color…speak to ownership and industry vertical”
    • [cloud based infrastructure for true small business] will enable business advisory services and transition to a bona fide dashboard/windshield instead of managing from the rear view mirror.
    • Q: You can import QuickBooks data but can you let a customer go back or are they stranded?
      A: Today they can’t go back but we are working on it.
  • Filtrbox looks interesting, I approached Ari Newman after his presentation and was able to get beta access: details as they unfold.
  • Yoics seemed well positioned as the secure DNS for the emerging Internet of Embedded Things (like cameras, printers, backup storage, …).
  • Most insightful quote: “In an always on world presence is meaningless. Of course you are on-line, who and what are you available for is the issue.” Yori Nelken, Founder and CEO Timebridge

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