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WebInno 25

After the server disaster last month I’ve been running behind and never had a chance to post my follow up from WebInno 25. The event has grown so fast that I’ve changed my strategy in attending. Instead of checking out the side companies after the main presentation, it’s much easier to do a little research the night before and cut my list down to a few companies so I can have some targeted conversations. It’s a little too busy to just meander around and see everyone, the crowd is huge.

There were two companies I found interesting, and I thought instead of just throwing out links I’d make some comments (i.e. unsolicited advice) to see if that would generate any conversation.  The first was Conversion Associates with their product Lytiks. Some very interesting stuff with provisioning VOIP lines so that you can generate phone numbers for your website and have that information integrated into your web analytics. There were two things that came to mind after talking with them, one was from a branding side, I’m not big on companies less than $20M having to grow both a company name and a product name, but that’s a minor point (which saves a lot of money in the long run).

The other was on the product marketing side – I think Salesforce.com integration is critical anyone making this type of software. There are three reasons why this is important:

  1. Having a second dashboard or tool to login to significantly reduces usefulness for the marketing team, and unless it can integrate into a screen for a sales rep it’s either useless or another set of reports for the marketing team to run every week.
  2. The AppExchange gives you access to a global market of people buying this kind of stuff all the time.
  3. If you are successful on the AppExchange it will be obvious and you won’t have to prove your case to suitors. (On that note – has anyone seen any data on SF.com acquisitions of partners?)

This is also one of those segments that’s very new and regardless how the product does the members of the team will learn a lot that can be applied in many ways. Congrats to them for cutting a new trail.

The other company was Homefield, that has a really cool product that allows sports teams to review video in a collaborative environment. Instead of getting everyone to the cafeteria one night a week to watch a DVD of last week’s game everyone can go online, watch and comment.

It looks like they are doing well at the collegiate level but one thought that I had was to swing at the fences. Picking off one college at a time via word of mouth is an excellent way to grow organically, but we do have a pro athlete notorious for pouring through video who is also in the startup scene (the case study is pretty fun if you are into baseball). I don’t know any of the details on back end infrastructure but it seems like it might be a lot more profitable to work with 2 or 3 MLB teams than a ton of colleges. That said, it’s a very cool product and (literally) a game changer.