Peer Producing A Web 2.0 Keynote

Hudson from Midtown Manhattan with Javits Conv...

Image via Wikipedia

The Web 2.0 conference juggernaut is coming to NYC this
fall. On September 16-19 there will be a Web 2.0 Expo at the Javits Center.

The conference organizers have asked me to give a keynote at
3pm on Wednesday, September 17th
. And they’d like me to talk about
the evolution of the web industry in NYC over the past fifteen years.

Last week I picked a title for my talk. It will be:

York’s Web Industry
From 1995 to 2008: From Nascent to Ascendent

I am very fortunate to have been hanging around the web
business in NYC since the start and I’ve witnessed some amazing things. I only
have 25 minutes to tell a story that really deserves a much longer treatment.
But that’s the time I’ve been allotted.

I am planning a highly visual presentation that will tell
the story in words, pictures, audio and video clips. I’ll provide the color

Here’s where you all come in. I’d like to peer produce this
speech. We’ve created a wiki page where we’d like people to contribute anything
that they think is worthy of being in the keynote speech. We are specifically
looking for links, quotes, audio, and video, but if you’ve got something
important to contribute that’s in another form, please send it our way.

We’ve also set up a delicious tag if that’s easier for you.
It’s nywebhistory.

I’d also like to ask for suggestions for books I should read
in preparation for the talk. It’s only a month and a half away so I have to get
busy. Please leave any book  suggestions
in the comments please.

Zemanta Pixie
#NYC#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Acchi


  2. Nate Westheimer

    I’m sooo going to mooch off this crowd sourcing :-)Seriously, though, it will be a great resource as I plan out my panel called “Starting Up in Silicon Alley”Web 2.0 Expo is going to rock!

  3. jill Stern

    If you plan for a highly visual presentation, of course look for inspiration from the current most talked about ‘Talk’ , the Last Lecture – he used a lot of props to make it entertaining and memorable. Sounds like a fun project for someone with your history and I am sure you’ll come up with a good innovative product!

  4. Gregg

    I love when rich guys involved in tech ‘ask for help’ from the crowd (i.e. get for free what well-to-do businessmen can easily pay for) and then turn around and tell the audience how innovative and amazing it is that we can all simply put a call out on the web for a collaborative web 2.0 speech and it gets done! presto! amazing! I guarantee you that this will be part of what he tells the audience. What a hustle. What is this, AOL/Weblogs Inc.??Write your own damn speech.

    1. gregorylent

      weird thing to say ..

    2. fredwilson

      i am writing my own damn speech. i am asking for inspiration and ideas not someone to do my work for me. and the wiki is everyone’s work and everyone’s property. it’s there for anyone else to use as well.

  5. Dorian Benkoil

    something on what happened to the print rags that used to cover Silicon Alley

  6. charlief

    More than $8B of realizations of Metro NY based software/web companies in the past 24 months; if TTWO is acquired by EA, the number balloons to more than $10B. An interesting component of the ecosystem is that I am not sure we can call it ‘Silicon Alley’ anymore now that Goog, MSFT, AOL, AMZN, EMC, SAP, and other ‘princes’ all have such major operations in the Big Apple.

    1. fredwilson

      I hate the name silicon alley. It’s a wannabe name. I’ve never liked it.

      1. markslater

        its better than the silicon ditch in slough fred!

  7. John McGrath

    Two books, if you haven’t read them: Ambient Findability, by Peter Morville, and Everything is Miscellaneous, by David Weinberger. They’re both great. Neither is specific to New York, but both authors live outside the Silicon Valley nexus (in Michigan and Cambridge, respectively), which counts for something.So, can you put me on the list now, as the rock stars say? Because I’m not going to pony up the frickin’ $1700 it costs to attend the conference. Any idea if any of the presentation will be webcase or archived in any way?

    1. dean collins

      yep you have to wonder who their target audience is at $1700 a ticket.go attend a barcamp or something similar if you want to get really cutting edge ‘real world’ developments.Dean

      1. John McGrath

        Fred, this isn’t meant as a slam, you give back all the time, by writing this blog (your output is amazing) and in many other ways. But my crack about the conference price, and Gregg’s pique, raise a larger point.In collaborative efforts, as in markets, the common good is created by people meeting their own needs. It’s a point well explicated in both the books I mentioned, and one I see every day on People are in it for their own reasons; the amazing corpus being created is a happy byproduct.Since Web 2.0 is prohibitively expensive, most of the people you’re asking for help won’t see it. It really reduces the incentive to pitch in, knowing you can’t participate in the full work. Like dean said, a barcamp or the like might be a better place to pitch collaborative production, where there’s more of an alignment between what people put in, and what they get out of it.

        1. fredwilson

          Good pointsBut those who pitch in will be shaping the speech. The things they thinkare important will get in. and the presentation will be made available hereand on the wiki before I deliver it in personfred

    2. fredwilson

      i will post my talk to the web before the event and let people view it and critique it and we can have a discussion about it. it will be a participatory thing. i agree about the $1700. what do you think the right price is?

      1. gregorylent

        ((expenses + 20%) – (sponsors contribution))/ no. of attendees = admission … but i doubt they think that way .. the photo on the top left of the poster is a strange choice, endless lines of tired looking people waiting .. wow, fun, is not the messagei look forward to yet another look into your mind with the publication of the speech

    3. falicon

      I’m pretty sure the exhibit (and the keynotes) can be accessed for just the $100 ticket price…and even that you can skip by using the code below (I got it in my confirmation email after using another code to get a free pass)…To be fair though, I’m not 100% sure what I’ll be getting free access to with my pass (or what the code I’m providing below gives you free access to)…but give it a shot and read through the small print for details I guess. (it’s my belief that the $1700 version is for access to all the ‘tracks’ and things like that, but that the keynotes and other presentations are available to the rest of us at the lower rate)*INVITE A COLLEAGUE*Do you have a friend or co-worker who should attend Web 2.0 ExpoNY? Copy and paste this special offer and your friend will receive$100 off a Conference Pass or a free Expo Hall Only pass:A friend invites you to save $100 on a Conference Pass to Web 2.0Expo New York. Register with discount code webny08fr to secure yourdiscount at— follow up; I just checked the web 2.0 site and it does appear that if you use a code like the one above you can get to Fred’s speech (and others):Expo Hall OnlyAccess to: * All Keynotes * Expo Hall & all events there (Wed-Thu) * Sessions in Sponsored Sessions Track Only * Web2Open * BoF sessionsExpo Hall Only Passholders Please Note:By registering for the Expo Hall Only pass, you are confirming that you are 18 years of age or older and will be able to provide proof of industry involvement by presenting a business card and personal id. Web 2.0 Expo New York is not open to the public.

  8. emrecan

    Columbia University Graduate School of Business focuses strongly on entrepreneurship and runs a Eugene Lang Entrepreneurial Initiative Fund, which led to foundation of several start-ups in the past. It could turn out to be a good resource.http://www4.gsb.columbia.ed

  9. sandbergsm

    Great idea Fred. As much as it would be ideal for all contributors to see you give the speech live, that it will be published here or on your blog is just fine.

    1. fredwilson

      yes, that’s the plan

  10. Leonard Boord

    ‘…This video is an amazing 19 minute presentation on the first 5000 days of the internet and a vision of the next 5000 days. By Kevin Kelly at the Ted Conference.

  11. Steven Kane

    Fred, the wiki doesn’t support my browser (safari) so i’ll chime in here -i’d make sure to note the 1994-1995 births of the various ad sale rep firm businesses — softbank lanched one, as did cox (via their humungous tele-rep tv spot sales rep firm subsidiary) as did Katz and as did most of the traditional ad sales rep firm companies.i’d argue this is maybe single largest contributor to a startups success in those early days — by allowing many often later big successful startups — sportsline, tripod, gamesville et al — to get into ad sales without having to create internal departments and staff etc

    1. fredwilson

      Thanks steve!

  12. Ethan Bauley

    I think “The Only Sustainable Edge” by Hagel and John Seely Brown would be a great book to look at.You could say it’s about how some of your investment theses (data flows, specialization+collaboration, etc) are being reflected in business networks (i.e. a network as value chain); TOSE redefines competition and advantage, in my opinion.It could really be thought-provoking when thinking about how the NYC scene plugs into the rest of the tech industry.Give the intro a read if you haven’t checked it out!

  13. smartone2

    Here ya go Fred…

  14. etpickett

    Wikinomics. You know the info I’m sure, but the way they weave it together makes for a good contextual narrative Fred. Please let me know if this helps. I’m still sleepless in Silicon Valley, a New Yawker in exile.

  15. Dan Weinreb

    I tried clicking through to the Wiki page at, and my Haute Secure plugin told that they had detected malware at the site and I should not proceed to the page. I have no idea what this is about, but I thought you would want to know. 🙁

    1. fredwilson

      There is no malware thereHaute secure probably thinks wiki means bad

  16. Liz

    My first exposure to the Internet was when my college in ~1994 decided to use email instead of sending out paper announcements of events and we were all “forced” to get email accounts. It was a pain back then because you had separate dial-up modems and speeds were so slow or you had to go to the library and get on a networked computer to check your account.But I bring it up here to say you might mention how universities & colleges popularized Internet use and email exchanges in Gen Xers & younger Baby Boomers. It made using this technology in work environments much smoother for graduates.Now that so many Millennials each have their own laptop and iPhone it’s almost hard to comprehend that 15 years ago, it wasn’t unusual to be in college and not be able to afford a computer (my Mac Classic was $1500 in 1992 which was a lot of money at the time…I had to use part of my student loan!). For many teenagers during the Web 1.0 phase, they were introduced to technology in schools, not courses but just using technology on a daily basis.But then my school used the text-based Lynx browser forever! It took a long time before they upgraded to a graphic browser. We were using an Internet without images which is hard to imagine now…but it wasn’t that long ago, really. It’s amazing how fast people’s expectations change.

  17. Bryan Thatcher

    Fred will you be daring enough to use Empressr to present your keynote?

    1. fredwilson

      Maybe. Give me three reasons I should?

  18. fredwilson