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I had the pleasure of co-leading a workshop at the recent AIGA Gain Conference in NYC along with the amazing Mateo Neri. As promised, here are some references related to the remarkably rich and dynamic discussion we had that day—special thanks to all in attendance for your great contributions!
- The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki
- The Design Entrepreneur by Steven Heller and Lita Talarico
- Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky
- AVC: Musings of a VC in NYC by Fred Wilson
- 30 Second MBA on FastCompany.com
- The New Entrepreneur on BusinessWeek.com
3 Twitter “Follows:”
3 Random Resources
I really wanted to love this conference. After all, it had the makings of the ideal design gathering for the Spring of 2010: A top-notch line-up of speakers from the design and business worlds, including some of my heroes, old and new (designer, Stefan Sagmeister; venture capitalist, Fred Wilson; Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey); a first-class venue (The Times Center in midtown Manhattan); a focus on the “how” of the creative process rather than the “what;” and all viewed through the lens of trendiest trend site Cool Hunting and the white hot creative consulting firm Behance. Plus the reviews of last year’s 99% were ecstatic.
How could this be anything but spectacular?
Fred Wilson is a constant source of intriguing chatter on the startup tech sector. Through his prolific blog, AVC, Musings of a VC in NYC, Wilson offers a revealing and insightful view of the venture capital process, and specifically his VC firm, Union Square Ventures which focuses on early stage startups.
Recently, Wilson blogged about the types of investments he’s looking to make in 2010. There were some predictable ideas (mobile technology and gaming), but one note caught my attention: “New forms of commerce and currency on the web.” Union Square Ventures was an early investor in Etsy, the popular online marketplace for handmade goods which I’ve noted numerous times on Merge, and Wilson laments that there aren’t more similar opportunities for buyers and sellers to congregate and do business online. He takes this a step further with the analogy of the San Telmo marketplace in Buenos Aires, which he suggests is a model for the type of experience that blends the social and commercial that is missing online now.
This is a point that I have been making recently as I’ve reflected on the iPhone app development boom and the combination of the iPhone Developer Program/iTunes Store that makes it so relatively easy to enter the market. I think the success of Etsy and iPhone apps demonstrates clearly that, when the path from idea to market is made simple, efficient, and inexpensive, designers and creative professionals will participate in a big way. I hope Fred Wilson’s prediction comes true and more such marketplaces begin to emerge in the year ahead. Please post a comment if you are seeing other examples that I’ve missed here.