Your current filters are…
The blogosphere is abuzz with bubble talk and predictions of a spectacular collapse just over the horizon. Is the Internet finally coming home to roost? Or have investors and entrepreneurs thrown caution to the wind and are recklessly ignoring the lessons of 1999?
Structured as a debate, this session will feature top VCs, entrepreneurs, and reporters with strongly opposing points of view on the current climate. We will ensure representation from the current crop of Internet darlings. The panel will begin by presenting data on new VC financings and IPOs – and then let the panel weigh in with their interpretation of the data. The moderator will be sure to provoke fact-based arguments from each panelist and to ensure lots of debate on how to characterize the current market. And we’ll end by forcing each panelist to make a prediction as to what the rest of 2012 will look like.
The organizers will ensure a current panel by inviting recognizable entrepreneurs with recent financings or exits to participate.
As the entrepreneur Prince sang, “So, tonite I’m gonna party like its nineteen ninety-nine.”
Social media is a means to end.
Social media is also increasingly horizontal in its application across the marketing funnel.
And it is a bubble.
As in 1999, this bubble is marked by four attributes:
Escalating valuations: Our panel will prove how Groupon cannot sustain growth, and the valuations of current social marketing stocks are not sustainable
Inflated salaries: How the scarcity of social marketing experts overinflated the salaries of the very people attending SXSW. This escalation came in part of a misguided panic in not understanding how to channel consumer behavior. This is why so many people are at SXSW with expense reports.
Dizzying competition: The world does not need more than 40 photo sharing services. We are at the end of the beginning, which will include a winnowing of services and consultants.
Tremendous hype: The number of publishers versus voyeurs is actually shrinking. This inversion of word-of-mouth to buzz is what bit Snakes on a Plane in 2006. Whenever there is a sustained inversion of buzz and word-of-mouth, the situation conflates.
SXSW is ground zero of this hype. The event elevates the channel over the objective, and the buzz over the results. It is a cultural event, but does not focus on analytics, results, and research, the cornerstones of social media. What happens at SXSW has little affect on the consumer unlike CES or E3.
9th–13th March 2012