Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Where are the Boston Web Leaders?

You can learn a few things by reviewing the attendees list at the upcoming Mass TLC Innovation unConference this Thursday.

For instance, who is conspicuously absent.

Let's just focus on the burgeoning web industry we are trying to foster here in the Boston area.

We don't have a lot of major players in that space, but it is a shame that none of the major players; Akamai, Kayak, TripAdvisor, VistaPrint, Monster have chosen not to attend the conference.

It seems ironic because, I have  experienced first hand their requirements for candidates to have a background with significantly sized web properties. Wouldn't nurturing the local web startup eco-system be in their best interest?

It is a no-brainer that contributing back to the local innovation economy is worthwhile. They should realize that they don't exist in isolation and that "sharing the seed corn" is a strategy that will keep them in their leadership positions.

Also check out the VC's and Angel Investors attending and you will quickly get a picture of which firms are seeking to invest in web companies here and those that are not.

Lastly, note that the two 5,000 pound Gorillas in the Boston/Cambridge area, Microsoft and Google are attending. Both realize that they need to help our start-up community grow to have a healthy market for hiring/acquisitions.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


  1. Hey Kiki...thanks for the shout out. And thanks Tom for bringing up this important point. I hadn't really thought about the absence of the companies you mention while at the conference. I guess I am so used to them NOT being represented at such events. But I do think of them all the time in terms of companies I'd like to get to know better. The people I have met from VistaPrint and TripAdvisor--in my solo travels--have been very gracious. The UnConference would have been a perfect place to share their knowledge. But maybe they just weren't directly invited?

  2. I can only speak for the groups that I've been a part of. I know TripAdvistor, Fidelity, AutoDesk have all hosted events for the BostonUPA (Usability Professionals Association) group. I've also seen TripAdvisor hosting TechCocktail.

    Monster and Staples have both sponsored Word Usability Day events in the past. iRobot has hosted events for BostonCHI and UPA. UPA and CHI are two local design & interaction groups that i'm involved with so I know that these groups are responsive when we ask.