Friday, February 09, 2007

BNW #2: Money Doesn't Buy Happiness But It Makes Passion Profitable

From Veep and roving correspondent Kevin Kosh...

That was my takeaway from the keynote presentation by Brightcove CEO Jeremy Allaire at the MIT Enterprise Forum’s Brave New Web event. Maybe I’m a romantic, but I wrongly expected a keynote full of grandiose ideas from a man who is a “Web 1.0” legend. It was actually a sobering – and quite educational – way to kick off the day. And in an industry with a voracious appetite for hype, and an event the MITEF folks said had the highest attendance since the bubble days, it was starting off on the right foot in my humble opinion.

Even Jeremy’s introduction signaled that he was all about “value” when he quipped that the audience was going to get “two presentations in one,” one on building a successful startup and one on the opportunities in rich media.

The first presentation was the most educational. Jeremy talked about needing people with big ideas, passion and extraordinary perceptiveness, but tempered that with recommendations such as knowing your limitations, focusing on early customers to make them successful and finding the right partners. In fact, one qualifying statement he repeated numerous times was “…even at the expense of broader ideas/vision.” Such a grounded perspective set exactly the right tone for the day, and even before successive panel members invoked baseball and Billy Beane (hey it is Boston after all), during Jeremy’s session, I had written in quotes, “It’s about small ball.” It’s about careful analysis and executing on the little things, walks, steals, singles, doubles and triples to position yourself for success. Plus it’s always better to have the bases full when you crank that homerun and break an 86-year curse…but I digress.

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