Take Home Lessons from LeWeb 2011


Aside from all the people we met, gadgets we demo’ed, and N’espressos we downed- we also took home some lessons from LeWeb this year. Perhaps best characterized by the cartoonists taking live sketches of all the performances, LeWeb 2011 brought some of our favorite characters (along a host of heated opinions) to the stage. Here’s what’s still making us think, a weekend later. From the dreamy (grumpy) Sean Parker, to Berlin’s own Jens Begemann, to the German team and LeWeb rookies Hojoki, to the start-up competition winners and runners-up, check out what sparked fires at Europe’s biggest tech conference this year.

Sean Parker and Shervin Pishevar Real Talk

We love the opportunity to hear Sean Parker and Shervin Pishevar real talk. In this video (we were kneeling in front of the first row), the two game-changers discuss whether the venture capital surplus distracts from the aggregation of talent, the importance of a team (and why a bad team can prove more fatal than litigation), music (Napster), politics, and why Facebook’s new acquisition Gowalla failed to distinguish itself from Foursquare. Parker served up his signature sulk, noticeably irritated when a member of the crowd interrupted to claim he was Parker’s “long lost child of the future.”

Jens Begemann of Wooga on a panel about social media

Berlin-based Wooga founder Jens Begemann joins a panel at LeWeb to discuss the role that Facebook has played as a platform for the gaming community this year. Jens explains how his mission at Wooga has been to bring gaming to everybody, not just hard core gamers and reveals he was staggered by the popularity of the results. Three cheers to global expansion: The service will be available in 12 languages and 13 currencies and will be offered in partnership with local telecoms providers.

Martin Bohringer talks copycats (in music)

After launching a Web app at LeWeb (a cloud-based enterprise app in the style of FriendFeed) and turning out the conference’s most tweeted tweet, German-based Hojoki CEO and founder Martin Bohringer took to stage to review copycats in the history of music (and what it means for the start-up scene now). To top it off, he brought a musical (and bravely vocal) interlude of his own.

The Start-Up Competition Award Goes to Beintoo

Beintoo ( www.beintoo.com ) brought home the gold at LeWeb’s Start-Up Competition this year, offering a gamification platform that any app could easily imbed. Runners-up were HeyCrowd ( www.heycrowd.com ), and the Babelverse (www.babelverse.com) (the last of which has since addicted our iPhone screens.

[Featured image: JESS3 and LiveSketching.com’s Illustration of Day 1 at LeWeb 2011]