News from the conference room: this is a series of blog posts in which blogging experts briefly review key Tech4Africa 2010 talks and panels from Day 1 and 2.
Beyond growth pains: A Q & A session with some of the global movers of Web 2.0
The social media we have come to know and love has very few prominent players. For growth in that market and developing your platform to giant proportions – with users other than close relatives and distant cousins. Who, better than the whizzes themselves to tell us how?
I sat in on a Q & A session with panelists from Twitter, Yahoo!, Mozilla Foundation and Simplegeo. Boy won’t you be glad I did because below are some of the things they covered.
Q: “What has been your hardest challenge, in your career, and how did you overcome it?”
A: (Joe Stump – Simplegeo) “Finding people I can bounce ideas off of, who have similar challenges at the same level in their growth“
A: (John Resig – Clear Left) “Understanding that the startup life wasn’t for me. It became most rewarding with a community.”
Q: “Is moving away from a small company and going corporate, the death of creativity?”
A: (Dustin Diaz – Twitter) “Twitter is always flowing with ideas. We all have different ideas and the constant challenge is to ways to implement the thinking of different people.”
Aside: Joe Stump had something relevant to say, which was unrelated to the question but makes sense to put here. “My number one rule is to hire people on the assumption that they great and potentially smarter than me.”
Q: “Are we creating a digital divide through building products that highly sophisticated and require more and more bandwidth?”
A: (John Resig – Clear Left) “There is a mobile digital divide that I’m realizing, most things now being developed android phones and the iPhone.”
The panelists earlier noted that the computer as we now use it is moving away from the need of an Operating System. The panelists assert that they spend less time using some of the functionality they once needed Operating Systems for. More people with team members that work remotely use Google Docs and other web based equivalents.
Some questions also came from delegates and this one in particular by Toby Shapshak I found really worth sharing.
Q: “With the browser becoming bigger and essentially what the internet is becoming, how do you fit that into mobile phones for use on cellphone screens?”
A: (Jonathan Snook – Yahoo!) “Get to the core of what you are trying to build and deliver that to your user. Essentially, products developed for the web have to be delivered differently for mobile phones.”
The session was quite eye-opening considering that while developing a product you also have to think of the business element related to the product.