Jason Fried from 37 Signals is speaking first...

Lots of small advice tidbits on how to design products in the new world. For example, protoype the app quickly. Don't build a ton of features, build a few really great deep features and then move on from there. Don't worry about up-front functional specs and fully documented requirements. Faster development and better products are the result. Say no by default. New features must beg to be added. Make sure there's a real demand for 'em. It's an agile development model.

The hidden costs of "new." When you add a feature, it's re-training, updating docs, howto, training, maybe the terms of serivce, and so on.

Release a major update 30 days after launch. Have stuff planned for this, just keep in your pocked for the 30 day update. Builds momentum and good will with your users. Use it while you build it. Eat your own dog food as soon as possible. You'll learn (and fix) a lot.

Iterate in the wild. Put beta features on the real product and turn them on for users selectively. Don't have a separate beta site. Who'd go there? But how big should that group be? 5-10, Jason recommends. Plus the team. What about the power users. Be careful with then. Some may outgrow the product, so you need to expect and recognize that. Don't deal with novice users (huh?).

Listen to the usage data (logs) as much as the users themselves. But don't focus on it too much (of course). Hype features that have vocal communities (RSS, iCal (Mac freaks)) etc).

Marc is up now...

Flickr is good. Open Source means open APIs so that services become open [source] infrastructure. Smart email, blogging, aggregators, moblogging, location based services, etc. They're all new battlegrounds. Things are changing and evolving. John Battelle is a great example of this himself. From old media to new. Enterprise tech moving into home. People are also bringing tech into work, going around the IT folks. Why did Comdex die?

Apple, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL are still the same. Haven't evolved yet. The new stuff doesn't necessarily need VC funding. Open standards change things. Blogging is the first kind of microcontent.

Quick overview of blogging (does anyone here not know this?). The future is new kinds of microcontent. "If you think blogs are big... wait until we have standards for meetings, people (friends), reviews, etc. We can build multiple ecosystems on top of this stuff. But the aggregators need to grok it. FOAF. Need a digital ID wrapper so we can build social networks around them. Sxip Networks may help this. They want to build the Digital ID infrastructure and make it ultra cheap. It's close to open source digital identity.

Now we see a network, where the center or "hub" is the DLA (digital lifestyle aggregator). It's based on open standards. Ourmedia is an outgrowth of this. It's a giant registry of Creative Commons licensed media. They're building APIs and schemas for open source jukeboxes, image albums, directories, and more.

OpenEvents is APIs and schemas for events, calendars, etc (ticketing, iCal, etc). Reviews too. OpenReivews.

So where's the business model? (It's about time someone asked!)

The business is in mining the data that's in the open. Build "compelling experiences on top of it", whatever that means.

There will be aggregator businesses and content or specific service businesses. (Or something like that.)

Hmm, I think Marc just dodged my question about sucking down all of Flickr's data. He switched to job listings and craigslist. I asked if Flickr (which he just used as an exmaple) is a service in this new model or one that's going to get all their data scraped (well, not scraped, but you can use their API) so that someone else can build one--and if that's an OK thing? Should Flickr allow it and/or be pissed if it happens?

OpenTrust? Doesn't exist yet.

Marc thinks the RSS wars are waste of time and effort.

Rich is using the Open Directory as an example of openness destroying a business. dmoz is rotting?

Someone just said: Jason is here to create value while Marc is here to destroy it! :-)

Got a question in about Sxip Networks. They're cheap. Marc says that for Yahoo it'd be $500/year. And for smaller operations, $50/year. Interesting.

Lots of discussion of making money vs. being open. This tension is not going away. Marc argues that there are many ways to make the money.

See Also: My Web 2.0 post archive for coverage of all the other sessions I attended.

Posted by jzawodn at October 05, 2004 12:04 PM

Reader Comments
# Rebecca said:

There are some great tips in your blog about starting up a web 2.0 site. I like where you've said "don't build a tonne of features, build a few really deep ones". I think many people starting out will try and put as much features as they can. I like how you've also adivsed "New features must beg to be added" and "listen to your data". That's gold!

on May 9, 2010 02:32 AM
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