My personal review of Webstock 2010 – (part III: conference proper Friday)

by kai on 23/02/2010

This is the final post of the Webstock 2010 series. It’s covering Friday of “conference proper”. The day started with a nice breakfast at Finc (not part of the official Webstock agenda though) and a way too cold auditorium in the Town Hall. But Internet was fixed again and it seemed as if most people were able to login to the Wifi again.

The Friday sessions:

Eric RiesThe Lean Startup

My personal highlight of Webstock 2010, very interesting and enlightening talk about startups and how to potentially avoid failure. A lot of Eric’s points make a lot of sense and I came across some of them myself doing work for startup-up type companies. He’s recently published a book titled “Startup Lessons Learned” (if it just was available as an .epub ebook – I would right away buy it).

Daniel BurkaIterative Design Strategies

David worked on the design-side of things at Digg and He discussed how iterative design can drive communities, very interesting session (even for me coming from a back end point-of-view).

Amy HoyShift+Cmd+R: Hard Refresh Your Design

Very entertaining and interesting session covering a variety of uncommon and “weird” stuff. Fun to watch!

Mike DavidsonWhen Your Idea Doesn’t Suck: How to stop working for clients and launch a startup

A good talk with a lot of truth in it. Mike presented without any slides and I noticed that quite a few people lost interest after a while. Very unfortunate though, because what he had to say about launching a startup, shareholder setups, acquisition, ideas etc was very interesting. I’m not quite sure why he asked for his session not to be blogged or tweeted about though. It’s a bit of wishful thinking at a web conference I suppose.

Thomas FuchsI Can’t Believe It’s not Flash!

Thomas’ session was interesting and he showed a lot of cool stuff one can do with JavaScript nowadays for instance animation (performing quite well), using WebGL etc. Really impressive and I hadn’t seen a lot of that stuff before. In good tradition he also had to punch Flash by providing some figures on Flash’s video performance vs HTML 5 video. As much as I agree that there are issues with Flash Video on OS X for a variety of reasons his 10% vs. 100% CPU load comparison was just purely FUD. Even now after the talk and discussions on Twitter and Ajaxian he hasn’t provided any sample video(s) and codecs he used to make his point.

Jeff VeenHow the Web Works and Mark PesceDense and Thick

The closing session block was actually quite awesome. Both speakers talked about the past, present and future of the web – I guess for a lot of people in their early 20s, quite a few things of the past might have been new to them 🙂 Also we got an interesting insight into how W3C committees work and make their decisions… The big next thing to come is supposedly AR but who knows when and where and in which flavour it’s going to take off.

All in all Webstock 2010 was very well worth my time and the money spent on the conference ticket. Same is true for the pre-conference workshops, keeping my feedback in consideration. On a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being the best I would give it an 8.5 – missing a 9 or better mainly because most of the content is not directly applicable and convertible (in)to my work. Leaving that (very personal situation) aside, Webstock should really be seen as a must for anyone working with/in/on the web in New Zealand. Seriously. Thanks a lot to all the people behind it – you’ve done a great job and I look forward to Webstock 2011.

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