It has been quiet an exciting time ever since we started our first iteration in February this year. We have been covered in global press, got selected into one of the most prestigious tech accelerators, moved our office to NY, launched a brand new service (both on the web and iOS) and connected with the leaders in technology to just name a few. Apart from that we have been attending many conferences, of which TheNextWeb Conference and Techcrunch Disrupt are the biggest names.
Conferences are expensive, far away, the outcomes are hard to predict and often you can follow everything live through a stream online.
Is it therefor really worth your time, and money, to attend these events? I am sure many people will feel like a couple of thousands of dollars is slightly over-prized for 3 days of partying and collecting swag with fellow tech entrepreneurs.
This May we attended Techcrunch Disrupt in NY, an event which traditionally is recognized as one of the most important anual tech events. As a co-sponsor our investors had the possibility to let us have a table for the entire three day event, right next to the entrance to the main speaker room. Convinced that this was a golden spot we started out by addressing everybody who was passing by. Even though the response from the people we actually spoke with was good we came to find out that there weren’t many people interested in a chat. There weren’t actually so many people moving around at all.
Techcrunch Disrupt was packed with vendors, and therefor the amount of attendees was limited. Vendors felt obliged to continue hosting their own table and therefor the event (in my eyes) was lacking the necessary amount of interaction. Without taking action this would influence the outcomes of this conference in a very bad way. So how do you make the best out of an event like this?
- First of all, depending on the available wifi, it allows you to get some work done.
- Second of all, if you are with more, it is a great opportunity to go and find out what else is happening in the industry. Wander around and start conversations with likeminded people.
- Attend relevant lectures and ask as much intelligent questions as possible while mentioning your company name clearly. As many people watch the live streams and the room is filled with journalists this is a great way to get their attention.
- Have open discussions with fellow vendors in order to find partnerships or introductions.
- Try to, somehow, get your hands on the attendee and press list of the event.
- Get feedback. Many of the people who are there know the industry and the problems you are facing, make them believe in your product and let them help you make it better. Many of the people we have met are still talking about us, these are valuable ambassadors of your brand.
But not every event is like this, for a conference organizer the hard task is to find a perfect mix between vendors, attendees, press and investors to attend the event. TheNextWeb Conference in Amsterdam earlier this year really succeeded in that. We have been able to do all of the above and apart from that demo our product to many attendees, talk with investors who came to our table and as an additional bonus the press knew where to find us.
Attending conferences is good for many reasons, it allows you to stay up to date, get your name out there and if you can present or have a table it’ll help your enormously with building credibility and exposure. However make sure that you have done your homework, know who is coming and who you want to meet, who you want to listen to and what you will do when not many people will come to see you. Connect with people through Twitter before going and follow closely what is going on during the event.
In the end the success is often determined by how engaged, curious and interesting the crowd is!
And of course, after a long day of work, a beer is always a good idea …. we sure enjoyed it!
For the past 3 months we have been working out of the Dreamit Ventures offices in Midtown New York, an organized chaos which perfectly shows the priority of all the companies involved in this year’s class. It literally screams “who cares about where you build, care about what you build!” And we love that, this place really embodies the true nature of the tech startup industry.
Nevertheless I need to get myself out of the day to day routines at Dreamit every once in a while and get my shot of fresh energy at different places, good thing there are plenty of those in NYC.
It has been a while since I last was here but as I had been visiting my community colleagues at Tumblr, who are located right around the corner, I decided to spend some time in the lobby of the ACE Hotel again. Last time I was here me and Pete had been searching the place for two available seats after lunch; Mission Impossible 5!
We have been following this place ever since they first opened in 2010 and knew that this place would become the hotspot it currently is in no-time. For good reason, the trendy yet stylish decor in the lobby now houses young and starting entrepreneurs around the clock. Catered by live music, a raw oyster bar, curated DJ-sets and the in-house Stumptown coffee people here use every available spot they can possibly find to sit on as a place to have their meetings, throw around ideas and to get inspired. Since much has been happening in the past few months I almost forgot about how energetic this place is and was stoked to be back.
Unlike many other cities that I have visited and worked from, I have never experienced this much support and cooperation from likeminded people around me. This is one of the core reasons why places like the ACE Hotel lobby are so popular in this city, and very valuable to companies (like Tripl) who are building a product and are always after feedback. I naturally feels like you have a handful of consultants at your disposal.. for free! New York has a great tech community and mayor Bloomberg has done a great job in letting the local tech community flourish. He is a personal fan of places like this and therefor I will try to find as many of these places as possible before flying out to Europe again.
Get here early if you can though, because a good spot in the lobby of the ACE Hotel is considered a valuable piece of real estate these days. Even if you are not an early bird (almost nobody is in the tech community) it is worth it, the energy which you’ll get will keep you going guaranteed …. that and the coffee of course. I am surely coming back here in the next few days to get inspired and meet likeminded people.
What creates a good work environment for you? If you know a place similar to the ACE hotel in NYC we would love to hear about it.
Three months is not a long time, but we made it our goal to meet as much people in three months in New York as we would have otherwise met back in Sweden in a year.
The good thing about New York is that for tech related startups literally everybody is around the corner, and even better.. everybody around the corner is willing to share his or her take on things in order to let you make progress (except for if you are a direct competitor that is).
The hard thing however is to convince these exact same people that it is you who deserves some time of them in their extremely packed agenda. In the elevators you often hear people speak about the 300+ emails they process every day, just imagine all the other time consuming communications they have going on.
This being said you can probably figure out that all of our efforts through mail and Twitter got lost in the crowded inboxes of the impressive list of companies we tried to get in.
We figured that in order to get the attention we needed to do something different than the mass, we needed to get more personal. We made a list of 6 companies that we would love to meet up with and learn from their way of doing things, each of these companies had done something really well and had already been an inspiration to us. We bought fresh cinnamon buns at a Swedish bakery in New York and wrote personalized cards for every single person we wanted to meet in which we explained why we were here and what the reason is for this gesture.
We hand delivered all the packages personally to everybody at the different companies, Foursquare, Tumblr, Etsy, Kickstarter, Charity: Water and Vaynermedia. The response was amazing, apart from one of the companies everybody got back to us within 24 hours and by now we have met almost all of these companies within the week.
I guess surviving in an Urban Jungle like New York really forces you to think in a different way, and if you are able to do just that this city is the perfect place for you to make things happen.
The next challenge is on so check back again soon.
This is a question many are trying to answer. But how? Everybody with a great idea thinks it is as simple as hiring a great developer who can code the same great idea into a functional service to then eventually make boat loads of money, receive global recognition and end up on the cover of big publications. Unfortunately this is not the reality (please note that there are exceptions). Why, one might wonder! Probably because it is in fact hard understand what users are after in your service. Meaning that apart from the initial idea, which might be loved on huge scale, it only has chance to succeed when the idea’s actual execution is perfect as well.
We know, by now, that people love the aspect of traveling more social. Since we decided to iterate in February we have spend a lot of time in delivering you the new Tripl. It is live now for already a few weeks and we would love to learn more from people’s, your, experience. I hear you thinking; ‘don’t you have incredible tools to measure this in this era of technology?’. Very true, but truth be told .. people’s online behavior doesn’t always reflect one’s actual needs or desires; the difference between thinking and doing!
The way people do and execute things is possibly an extra additional skill on top of the first genius idea one had. But this requires anticipation and cannot simply be based on assumptions. Remember the difference between the Winklevoss twins and Mark Zuckerberg, idea vs execution.
As well have a look at our Fan Page where we share the daily, hilarious, productive and from time to time shameful actions off the team!
Summer has finally reached Sweden and the beach is calling, but we’re all stuck in Stockholm making a shiny new travel app for you. So here are some top travel destinations from the team:
New York City, USA. One of the most amazing cities. So much energy, so much going on. A great place just to take everything in. - David
Istanbul, Turkey. Great city and everybody you meet is so nice. I also have friends in the city. - Nicolas
China. This country is developing at high speed. It’s amazing to see. And I love their food. - Fredrik
Ibiza, Spain. Sun, happy people and beach parties. Need I say more? - Moose
Dubai, UAE. My son really wants to visit Dubai because of the dinosaurs and crazy stuff. - Erik