The little speeches by the panel were alright, although not broadly on the topic but more a potted elevator pitch from each one’s dot.com.
Mike Butcher was suprisingly nervous but great during the actual question and answer bit. He started out reading opening remarks – a little potted article that included some funny reminiscences from the last time round and the craziness of the late 90s.
Dave Nicholson from Zopa gives good elevator pitch but his enterprise isn’t really a bubble candidate since it’s in banking and a genuinely good idea.
Ryan Carson (silly hat) co-director (and presumably global executive president) of Carson System, had a very funny argument that .coms need to be financially viable before explaining that his wasn’t, and funnily enough then complaining that the was having trouble selling it at a 12:1 P/E ratio.
At least they all agreed that .coms needed immediate strategies to be profitable.
The best by miles however was Andrew Orlowski from the register who was fantastically acerbic making the following three observations that I wrote down:
- A lot of web 2.0 is people trying to solve general or technology problems with front end solutions (he actually said presentation layer solutions)
- A lot of .coms try solve problems that don’t exist (e..g. DocMartens reinventing MySpace, all those websites to store your friends birthdays and stuff). This certainly has an impact on brand-utility questions.
- His finest point. People assume that the connectivity improvements that are possible using the internet expand the field of human expression, contact and discourse. He questions this. His example is that he can go to a party and end up in a discussion with someone who disagrees with him on a range of points but they end up getting on and continuing his discussion. This, he points out, will never happen online. So we do need to make sure we don’t reduce the debate through the consensus-filtering that blogs so often apply.