I recently came back from some very interesting days in NYC at the Web 2.0 Expo and San Francisco at the Webplay Conference at the Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale. I thought it would be useful to gather some links and my own notes regarding this event.

For those who follow me on Twitter: i’ve been writing some stuff during the event, but the rest is here, in a compact way.

I start with the last keynote, at the WebPlay Conference, with George Zachary from Charles River Ventures (CRV). Fasten your seatbelts, that was definitely not only good news that came from a man who’s been living and following Internet businesses in the Valley for the last 15 (?) years. Here are my notes, now I let you read and understand them the way you want:

Facebook shows the path how to monetize Social Media.
Twitter is completely celebrity driven.
iPhone customers are not profitable to AT&T (neither for any other operator in Europe i guess…).
I never made an investment in a company when i felt less interested at the end of a five minute meeting (hey guys work on your elevator pitch).

Some facts and figures about George Zacharys business: 30 out of 80 firms are profitable.

Top 400 VCs had a ROI of zero.
Expectations: return 10x.
Question: where do all the big returns come from? Only a few companies we don’t talk about, small companies (correct me if i missunderstood).
Seed stage = long term losers.
Freemium model is a way.
Bitly has no business yet.
Twitter smart because they created an API. Part of the risk was outsourced to other companies.
Future of Social Media, is there an “after Facebook”? –> we had Geocities, e-Groups, Friendster, FAcebook, Twitter. The odds that there will be something new are quiet high.
Recommendations to Start-Ups: upfront costs have to be minumum. You have to have strong economics and strong margins. Focus on revenue line and gross margin.
George talked about the Quickstart program at CRV: 800 candidates, 22 chosen.
Mobile ad networks will be out of business or wil be acquired. Not a good time to start a mobile ad company.
Every net new job since 1980 comes from a start-up

Ok, got much more but since i was not sure, i prefer to drop that. So please, if you’ve been to this very inspiring event and made some notes, don’t hesitate to comment and add them to mine.

Other great stuff – from New York this time – that i really recommend you to check out:

Viktoria Trosien from Tiburon TV interviews
Thomas Hessler, CEO at zanox
Jeff Jarvis, Buzzmachine, with Jeff’s golden rule: “Do what you do best, link to the rest” and many more thoughts about the Beta World we live in.