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SXSWi Panel: After Bust 2.0


Bianchini (Ning) / Hornik () / Hellweg (Harvard Business Review) / Rocherolle () / Sippey (VP product Six Apart) / Becker

Q: When is it going to fall apart and why?

Bianchini:  I don’t think it’s all going to fall apart.  We have 1.2 billion online.  Lots of opportunity to make money and make a living.  Much better than when building a company only for the future.  Like anything, some will make it, some won’t.  Fundamentally different than seven or eight years ago.

Hellweg:  Kind of agree, but kind of disagree.  Costs are much smaller than they used to be.  Still headed towards a shakup, not a catastrophic one.  Private equity rather than IPOs.

Sippey:  If your’e building a real business with real customers with private equity, that’s a different dynamic than 2000.

Bianchini:  If you can start up something for a couple hunder a month rather than 500 million, you don’t need to make that much to make money.

Sippey:  There is a risk with the number of people spending money on advertising.  If that doesn’t grow, people who’s business is based on advertising may not work.

People now understand that you have to run a metrics-driven busienss and know where the money comes from.  And now hardware is cheaper , software is free, etc.  It’s a different time.

Becker:  One of the best ways to do something today is to go back to 98 or 99, find someting that didn’t work, and do it again.

Bianchini: People are building companies to be good to their customers not to look good to VCs.

Q:  Are big companies going to have a bust when smaller companies steal resources and talent?  How do you see big companies reacting, or overreaching?

Q:  But isn’t the market going to mature and then something else will come along to shake others out of the market?

Bianchini:  There will always be survival of the fittest.

Becker:  Also in the Internet market failure isn’t rewarded, but it’s not necessarily looked down upon either.  People understand it’s a dynamic environment.  Flickr, dogster, and others happened during the bust in 2002 and 03.

Q:  Human resources are getting expensive again.  Are there ways to avoid this cycle better this time around?  Offshore options?

Rocherolle:  Whenever salaries go up, think about value of investing in that salary?  Hold off on hiring, look at offshoring, etc.

Hornik:  Talks to a lot of boards about oursourcing.  But when building and figuring out a company, the worst thing you could do is create a huge distance between you and those doing the work.  Focus has to be on building the best service you can.

Sippey:  look up the “ask the wizard” blog and look for posts on hiring decisions.  Really good series of posts.

Q:  How is the advertisign shift going to go over the next five years around consumer-driven media.

Rocherolle:  Very difficult to monetize.  Google makes money because of search, not content.  (CNET is one of the few that have gotten good at that.)

Side note:  AJAX screwing up page view metrics.

Q:  How long are people willing to wait during online experiences (can’t watch lost on if the ads don’t load.)

Hornik:  Media needs to answer markets where people have more money than time, and those with more time and money, and figure out how to respond to both.

Becker:  If you look at DVDs, Tivo and online, with ABC you have the least control online….  Where you usually have the most control.  ABC is fighting the medium.


usatoday doing some web 2.0 stuff.  panel wondering if it’s going to work.  very interesting to see how it plays out.


Q:  People talk about outsourcing in a very abstract manner.  But if you spend any time in India or China or Russia, you find creative and talented people.  Is all this outsourcing going to come around and kick us?

Hornik:  Didn’t mean to question skill of those overseas…  Really a communication question.  The realy question is the US going to cease to be the creative engine (as it is now).  I think over time there will be increased pressure from groups overseas.

[look at srishti school of art, design and technology]

Sippey on Tuesdays has an 8am videoconference in europe and a 6pm one with japan.

Hellwig:  You’re already starting to see value-based pricing from overseas…  In 10 years, who’s going to be left to do things cheap?

Q: Any specific induststry or company you think will go bust?

Posted in SXSW,SXSW Panels at 1:01 pm

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