I’m at the Future of Web Apps in London today. So far, I’ve attended the intro keynote with Om Malik and Michael Arrington, followed by Heather Champ & Derek Powazek on “We’ve got this community: Now what?”. I’m now in Tony Conrad’s “Future of Search”.
The main running thread of all talks so far is quite clear: Nobody knew what would happen next after launching their app. And in fact, few ended up where they expected to go. Someone this morning said that the real work on a web app really begins after you launch (see, I was listening, but didn’t take note so not sure who said this…) You need to listen intently, watch your users and see what they make of it. Odds are you’ll notice that they’ve hacked your app and use it in ways you would never have imagined. That’s your cue to harness their creativity and evolve accordingly.
Sometimes, Web 2.0 big names can get a bit cocky about success, but I think this is one point everyone agrees on: You just don’t know what’s going to happen next when you launch a startup.