Start Conference: Marketing, Success & Wrap-up

Silicon Valley is an alternate universe, parallel to the real world but different. Peter noticed it first–people talk faster and don’t mince words. Get to the point, build it and flip it. I’ll let the Start Conference speakers get to the point of success in their own words…

“Be awesome and people will come to you.”Merlin Mann

“Customer service is the new marketing.” – Julie Davidson, 83 Degrees

“Do the idea that won’t leave you alone.” – Mark Hedland, Wesabe

“Ideas are just a multiplier of execution.”Merlin Mann, quoting Derek Silver

“Do something interesting and execute.”David Hornick

“A good idea is not a business; a great need is.” – Mark Hedland, Wesabe

“If you’re doing good stuff, people will notice.” – Om Malik, GigaOm

And finally, Matt Haughey of Metafilter, offers his four step plan to success and profit!

  1. Build something that solves a problem in your life
  2. Make it multiuser
  3. Do something social
  4. Profit!

Overall, the Start Conference wasn’t quite what I was expecting. In my mind, I was anticipating a bootcamp for prospective start-ups where seasoned entrepreneurs gave their hard-earned advice on the nuts and bolts of what to do and not to do. There was some of that, to be sure, especially in the session focusing on HR, legal and accounting.


More of the time was devoted to co-hosts Bryan and Jeff sitting on couches, shooting the breeze with their guests in front of a theater of attendees. The format was remarkably effective, simultaneously disarming and inspiring. They were normal people talking about their work and lives, not that different from the audience.

The next leap was logical: solve the right need, execute it well, and next time around it could be any of us sitting up there.

This post is the last in a series on our sponsorship of and participation in The Start Conference.

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