The TheMarker COM.vention is on – see the pictures here. The location was nice (first time at Airport City for me). The host was Yossi Vardi, a known personality in the Internet industry that made his break with ICQ early in the first bubble. Overall, I was unimpressed by the panels, they were shallow and had little real content. Vardi was all about self promotion and bad jokes (he really should upgrade to new material). I disliked the fact that when he ran the panel, he asked a question and then completely disregarded the answer. Really not worth the time..
I enjoyed the artist sessions downstairs in the convention center. Intimate gatherings where speakers could speak about their areas of expertise. I was there for Yair Goldfinger, one of the founders of ICQ and today the CTO of Dotomi. He was discussing Internet startups, the stages of developing and testing your idea, getting funding (investment), the importance of options for employees (especially in Israel), finding the right business model and other valuable insights.
The second day, yesterday, was for the Israeli market and I wasnâ€™t there. From some chatter online and browsing the business sections the talk is that the Interactive agencies are not doing enough to parlay the potential of the Internet to the big traditional business in Israel. Maybe itâ€™s because the so called Interactive Marketing gurus donâ€™t feel they need to understand the Internet in order to sell it to their clients 😉 . Rani Rahav also had a few pearls of wisdom, but wait, for that guy we are going to have a whole other post…
One of the highlights of this event for me (and a pleasant surprise) was the soft launch of an Israeli Business Social Network â€“ cafÃ© The Marker. This site was built by Dex in PHP (Kudos guys!!) and thatâ€™s a first for any of the large Israeli sites.
Hereâ€™s hoping the people from TheMarker.com learn and maybe finally get with the times on the main site, thatâ€™s still not compatible with Firefox !!!!