SoCon08 – 5 Events That Changed Our Lives Since SoCon07

Jeff Haynie is kicking off the day at SoCon08 with a quick hit talk on the mega events that have transpired since the last SoCon

  • Facebook Platform  – the critical mass on Facebook and the explosion of apps on the Facebook platform have changed the internet dramatically.  As I mentioned before, I think this is more interesting as an idea than as a direct advantage for Facebook.  Facebook will struggle with democratization of social applications across the web, someone else will embrace this and out-innovate Facebook on the distributed social app and platform front.
  •  iPhone – The iPhone has taken the lead in the smartphone market at a remarkable pace.  I don’t fully understand the phenomenon, but that doesn’t mean I can’t observe it.  Much like the iPod, there are tons of pre-existing competing products that had a superior installed base last year, but the iPhone, like the iPod before it, has been the rock star that can attract peripherals and applications at a rate other, more “open” (install an app vs. Jailbreak), platforms have not.
  • Radiohead – released their album digitally on a “name your price” basis.  Thisis a potential tracer bullet in the modernization of the music industry.
  • Guitar Hero – Guitar Hero III was the largest game product launch ever.  The game industry is growing, the definition of who is a gamer is growing.  Wii is probably a big factor, possibly a bigger factor than Guitar Hero.  But Jeff’s folks play Guitar Hero on a Wii on Fridays anyhow, so it’s easy to mention both in the same breath.
  • MySQL – Sun bought MySQL for $1 billion.  To me, this is an ongoing validation of the open source business model.  The valuation is the big game-changer here.

A decent rundown, recognizing that not everyone in the room is neck-deep in technology every day.

Leonard Witt is following up with things he has learned in the passed year:

  • Pay attention to the frivolous – things like Twitter seem silly at first, but once they find their place, they can be tremendously powerful.  Given my recent adoption of Twitter, I totally understand this point.  So what’s frivolous right now?
  • “Free Revealing” – Give your ideas away. Len mentions that he blogged an idea he didn’t have time or money to pursue, and someone pursued him to give $50k to make the idea happen.

I’ll cut it off here – we’re about to get into some crowd-driven conversation about “what will be your big event for 2008”, and how far we’ve come from 2007?  I don’t think my blog fu will be able to keep up.