Saturday, March 15

BarCampyNY3 - Saturday morning sessions

[Ed Note: I can only attend some of the conference meetings, so I apologize if I do not get the ones you are interested in....]

Technical Development Practices

Greg@Meetup: Tailored to a particular team size - ten backend, six or seven UI, 4-5 product managers - 25 people. All local in NY.

DavidRose: he has been trying to figure out appropriate development team structures for 25 years.

Ricardo-IT Arch: something we do with our distributed team - web is nice - can see the impact of your changes as you launch it. Adjust and readjust as you go along - agile (clients sometimes thinks that agile means they can change an idea every day).

AJ: four to five week iterations – agile efforts Agile needs time, you can not do it too short (less than two weeks is a problem)

AJ: Two to three week iterations is not good. You MUST cut your iterations at a hard date. Point of agile is to get things done a short time frame, hard date. Ended up with two weeks (quite happy with it) Second thing: how do you enforce the process – code review portion as part of the check-in. Person who reviews the code is as important as the person checking it it. Two names on it demonstrates the build. Peer reinforcement to make sure you get things done.

AJ: My team do five weeks, then four, then three, then two. Much more effective. Pairing newbies with experienced programmers.

DavidRose: who is using Agile and how long?
Answers from crowd: 10 Agile development efforts – 5 do two weeks, 2 do three weeks, two do four weeks.

Continually switching – continual release? Greg from Meetup has multiple launches. Building SoftTV – continually shipping demos.

What are people’s expectatons on documentation T/C/E docus.
Product managers, support people and developers. See wild skews in the developers versus the PMs.

How have you included the business manager in the Agile development process? Code review, integration to unit testing – need to have four hours writing, 20-30 minutes code review is much more valuable.

Suggestion: Check out "Ten Faces of Innovation" for more information and I suggested looking into the Pivotal portal.

How to get Your Startup Funded

  • David Rose – Rose Tech Ventures
  • Justin Smithline – CEO – Predict Systems (searching media company)
  • Jason Schwartz – Product Manager at Angelsoft
How companies get funding – there are a couple of myths.
How many companies get started each year?
  • 600K each year
    • VC funding (1000) get funding from major VCs
    • Vast majority of companies (350K) funded from savings (own pocket)
    • Next group (200K) come from the bank of mom and dad and friends
    • ...and the rest (~50K) come from angels
VCs have to invest in later stage companies – if 10M in a minority stake, then your company (when you meet the VC) must already have a huge valuation - or the VCs end up owning the company, which is the last thing they want.

An angel is typically a former or current entrepreneur (done it at least 2-3 times), been working 15 years – 10 to 20 investments Smarter an angel gets – the more they look like VCs

NoNeckNoel: Do angels fund non-profits?
DavidRose: Double-bottom line is tough to optimize because you are sub-optimal for both. Justin: lots of money going into greentech

DavidRose: Ways to get cash:
  1. Get a grant – SBIR – small business innovation research - $50K but do not have to be paid back, not all that easy to get, more science and tech
  2. Loans – renting their money – with interest over time. Personal loans – not a business loan
  3. Equity investing – selling part of your company, the investor is sharing in the risk
Angels have started to join into angel groups – 20-250 angels – sharing deal flow – and then pitch to them as a group New York Angels – 70+ members – accredited investors – 300-400 plans a year. Of the ones screened – they then have a major presentation – two hour in-depth interviews

Angel investment round is usually between $250-750K. Individual angels will put in groups of $20-25K : each round of funding – give up 20% to 40% of the company.

Simple fact: a
ngels love to invest in serial entrepreneurs.

Justin's advice for new entrepreneurs:
  • Have a story to tell – show some story, traction – with very limited resources. Any tractions with an existing product, prototype – are you good at doing this with no money?
  • Practice, practice, practice – make your point VERY effectively. Understand what the angels need to hear. Find investor-type friends.
  • Lots of great resources:
    • - wonderful book
    • Pitch Coach –
    • Angelsoft – 325 groups in 26 countries
      Just announced called OpenDeals – apply in one place and put the company into the angel workflow (
  • Need to tell the story to as many people as possible at the same time – need to create demand / scarcity in terms of interest – allows you to negotiate better terms for the deal.
Question: How do I apportion for equity for the entire team?
DavidRose: Think about the “end of the game” and then think about how much to you give to your team.

Measuring Influence in Social Networks

How do you measure it?
Cost / influence – from Ross Mayfield – readership of Techcrunch is small compared to the entire world, but they are quite influential because of the audience
Can we talk about the “influential” is being called into question – you can get as much value as getting out there enmass versus communicating to the influencers – almost was without
Recent WIRED article that "Influencers are not necessary" - is it as powerful in an epidemic?

Influence – how to create mindshare – conversations we create – Charlie O’Donnell used his connections via the blog – to raise money and awareness.
Does influence always have to be tied to money? Do people have a chance to have their own CPM (like Technorati’s metric) – should be giving some form of rev share.
Monetizing your attention data – look at Legit – provides tags on your google results.
Barrier to entry on contributing is very low – the ease of publication.
Down and Out in the magic kingdom – wufi – measurement – get points – influence in this community.

Some form of OpenID? Isn't that a cell phone number?
Tara Hunt – writing a new book on the WUFI Factor – social capital stuff.
If you start playing the game for social capital – payperpost –
One of the fallacies is that there is a single scalar – it should be more than a number of factors?
How do we content “content” – why does it not have a way to evaluate the more “important” information up? Inbound and outbound links.
In social relationships – who is listeneing and who is writing to whom?
Any relationship is equal in PageRank – when you get bored, then
SocialRank – in content. Personalized ranking instead of global ranking is a much more valuable
“The more bribery, the more we trust them” – Rohit
What is the equation for “social capital”? Social influence?
Shilling is about getting brand awareness – that is what they are getting paid for,
When you get to maven status – then there is a different metric. The Kindle marketing – when you notice that the gaps are missing, then you can see that there is a balancing act. Making money by Astroturfing.

Takes time to build up a reputation, very easy to lose it. You should be above board.
Interactions – first level, second level, etcetera –
CafeMom – interesting things with advertisers – campaigns regarding sphere on influence.

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