Thanks FOWA ’09
My first FOWA (Future of Web Apps) conference has just come to a close. What a nice way to spend a few days!
I must say, my enthusiasm tank (fuel tank for enthusiasm?) has been well topped up by this week’s workshops, presentations and chats with the presenters (I’m always so amazed by these smart people who manage to also stand up on stage and give an entertaining recital of their knowledge)
A summary of my thoughts
To me it seems like we’re currently experiencing what I believe to be a burst of innovation and excitement about web technologies. After a down few years of waiting for the death of IE6 and for the corporate adoption of Web 2.0 (whatever that is) all of a sudden there seems to be a bright light on the horizon, with the introduction of future technologies such as HTML5 in modern web browsers.
One exciting bit of tech presented at FOWA by Francisco Tolmasky (great name) was 280North‘s Cappuccino framework and Atlas IDE products, which radiates a heart-warming glow with it’s professionally pretty graphics and user interactions, promising to provide an easy web-to-desktop development path aimed at Obj-J and web developers.
If you’re not required to provide non-JS implementations of your work, then I’d suggest having a further look into Cappuccino and Atlas. They provide a nice toolkit for building complex web apps relatively quickly, and a big step forward in desktop integration.
Chatting with Bruce about the BBC’s (my employer) possible usage of HTML5 solidified my thinking; there’s lots of promise in the HTML5 spec, but it’s obvious it’s many years away from ready from production-ready usage. Great guy.
PayPal’s doing some much needed work to improve their APIs with x.com (how much must that domain have cost!) It’s all useless of course until they can provide me with a way to easily implement recurrent credit card billing.
Facebook’s recent release of their Translation Platform is very exciting for large multi-cultural players like the BBC. You can now simply ask your users to translate your site for you.
Facebook Connect continues to pick up steam, providing you with easier ways to distributing your content and linking back into Facebook’s social features.
Metrics for startup’s are massively important, AARRR, as we were told by Dave McClure in what must have been the ugliest slide deck ever (great content, it just felt like gonorrhea for the eyes). Google Analytics doesn’t cut it… but there doesn’t seem to be a suggested tool that does. Who’s going to build it?
And it was great to meet and chat to the Wine-o Energiser Bunny that is Gary Vaynerchuk. Packed to the brim with bravado, and telling us we’re all shit and all to blame for our own failings.
I challenged Gary after his talk about the validity of that statement; as a New Zealander, in a remote market geographically and financially, and the lack of community, how much of an advantage the average Yank grad has over the average Kiwi grad.
I’ve always thought that the reason for the lack of successful young NZ Internet entrepreneurs has a lot to do with the lack of local role-models and funding.
Gary assures me that if, like him, a kid in Jersey can self-fund a multi-million dollar business then so should anyone, no mater how geographically dispersed they are from the major world markets.
That’s all easy to say – he’s not on a NZ exchange rate, and is selling wine to a market of many times that of NZ’s – but I think for digital-goods and services that’s certainly true, if not becoming true.
So! Work hard, make something great, charge people for it. Simple.