FOWA power

fowa_badge1[1].pngThe Future of Web Apps (FOWA) Expo took place last Wednesday to Friday in London, presenting online’s big names, big questions and attempts at big answers. FOWA is the largest expo for web apps in the world, and always draws in the internet’s star players: Facebook, Google, MySpace, Yahoo, Amazon, Twitter – the list goes on. And on.This FOWA was the biggest yet. (There have been six so far, with the event launching in London in 2006 and making visits to San Francisco and Miami in-between times.)If you know your online names, Tim Bray, Mark Zuckerberg, David Recordon, Blaine Cook, Kevin Rose, Kathy Sierra and Jason Calacanis were just a handful that FOWA was able to count amongst its keynote speakers.The much-revered Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, was the main draw for most attendees. And he didn’t disappoint. Pocket guide to stats and observations as follows: his site had 100,000 apps in the UK alone, the ones that work best linked with recent activity, and the UK alone shared 100 million photos per month. Information and content sharing was increasing exponentially as people became ever more open online - the site’s recent redesign was, in fact, to support the growth of sharing content.So, if you want to make the most of user activity, content sharing, activity-relevant apps and photos look like the way to go. He also pointed out that activity is switching to mobile.As a handy note of guidance for all entrepreneurs, Zuckerberg stressed how important it is to love what you’re doing. He explained how he had spent many nights on a mattress in his office, and that he couldn’t see how anyone would be able to put in as much dedication as needed unless they truly believed in the business they were building.The expo as a whole had a healthy focus on entrepreneurs, too. Julie Meyer spoke on the renaissance of entrepreneurship, Startups Live interviewed three European entrepreneurs, and Jason Calacanis and Tom Nixon talked about the work/life balance of starting up. (FYI, Calacanis viewed it as an Olympic, all-consuming feat, whilst Nixon said he preferred a bit more family time.)Andy McLoughlin from Huddle did a good job of promoting London as a leading destination for new online business. He argued its advantages over Silicon Valley: more culture, more industries to link up with, more awareness of the rest of the world, and a great wealth of talented tech grads and people ready to be hired thanks to the financial crisis. His main message for London was "prosper, not just survive."His words of wisdom for all budding London-based tech-entrepreneurs were: "Take advantage of your locality. Remember the global market. Sales shouldn’t be a dirty word. Don’t be too scared to get involved in Silicon Valley."McLoughlin also pointed out that new businesses in the UK are well catered for venture firms, but that early stage funding could still be difficult to find – and so called for British Super Angels.Other topics on the agenda covered How to grow and nurture your community, Colliding Worlds: Using Jabber to make awesome websites, The Future of News and How to survive outside of Silicon Valley. You can read more about the event and the topics covered here, and watch videos of speeches here.Here's Ryan Carson, whose company Carsonfied set up FOWA, talking about the event:
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