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First impressions by BBVA Open Talent’s correspondent at San Francisco’s Web 2.0 Expo

By Jose on 20.05.2010 // 1:20 pm in General
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The next posts will try to faithfully portray our experience in  San Francisco’s Web 2.0 Expo. It has been one of the most enriching experiences of our professional lives. Being in such a city as San Francisco and having the chance to attend a world event like this at the same time has been just wonderful.

We got to San Francisco one day before Web 2.0 Expo began, and we bumped into Spanish people when we hadn’t yet left the airport; an omen of the great amount of Spanish people we met during that week, and it’s always nice to meet fellow countrymen when you are abroad. We’ll talk about it later. After acting like tourists for the rest of the day, walking up and down the legendary San Francisco streets, we came back to the hotel to gain some strength for the week ahead of us.

We expected to find massive queues at the door of pavilion the first day, but big surprise, there wasn’t hardly anybody queuing. The reason: the event’s “check-in” system is one of the fastest and most effective we have ever seen. It consisted in a few stands where you could log-in and immediately print your ID. Fast, simple and practical. They gave us a guide to the Expo at the door and that’s when our problems began, since the conferences were so many and so attractive that it was absolutely impossible to attend even half of them (and at the time we did not know that most conferences were on youtube and that we could get the presentations for the rest).

There were 5 conferences average per room, and there were 8 different rooms each one of them focused on a different subject (design and user experience, development, strategy and business models, sponsorship, marketing, cell-phones and monetization were the main subjects). On Monday, the first day, we attended the “The lean startup”,  intensive led by Eric Ries, author of the book with the same name. According to Lean Startup philosophy, technology-based companies that try to find a successful business model before being left out of resources due to management changes, will succeed. The philosophy is based on the idea “Do a lot with very little”, that is, starting from a limited set of resources, try to get the most out of a product in as little time as possible. In this sense, “The lean startup” is mainly built on 4 principles:

- Lean manufacturing, focused on cutting down the production waste as much as possible (inventory, overproduction, waiting times, etc).

- Agile software development, based on short-time iterations to maximize results

- Experiment-driven development (http://www.infoq.com/news/2010/02/edd-post-agile), which bases the product’s development on user’s tests and behaviours.

- Customer development methodology, which is about developing a set of tests to determine if our product has potential clients even before it exists.

There is a lot of information on this respect and this methodology is currently at its peak, therefore we recommend everybody who might be interested to look into it. It was striking to see that many people already knew the method and truth is that these days, any methodology that helps minimizing expenses without compromising results is well-received.