I was lucky enough to finally make it to Le Web this year. It was in parts tedious, entertaining and inspiring.
Sponsors' speaking slots are inevitably best avoided. Microsoft and BT were both guilty of not having anything useful to say and should have kept out of the keynote room.
The platform discussion was equally dull. LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter all represented and none of them with anything particularly ground breaking or indeed enlightening to say.
What made it even more tedious was the underlying baiting of the man from MySpace for his tiny developer community. School playground stuff.
Hadn't seen Gary Vaynerchuk speak before and he certainly is a force. He took a while to get going but there was no stopping him at the end.
Paul Carr is an incorrigible smart-arse which was absolutely perfect for taming a panel of the 'best' of Europe. Some of his put-downs where first-rate.
'I've seen first-hand that Europeans can give birth to people' was a classic.
The start-up competition was probably the most interesting thing on day 1 and was some real insight into what the new breed of companies are working on. Especially relevant given some of the concepts and projects I'm forming at the moment.
I really liked Shutl as they seem to solve a problem, though not sure how well it will scale out of major metropolitan areas. Partly though I have a thing about the Internet being used to control and improve real things so this may have made me a little pre-disposed to liking it.
CloudSplit again solved a real problem in an elegant way though really represent a feature for the Amazon Web Services offering at the moment. Will be interesting to see how they expand out to help you manage other cloud providers.
RunKeeper I think has big potential but I'm not quite sure they quite see it yet.
We've just been working through defining our Vision, Mission and Values at Esendex and I felt we were not quite finished. After Tony's talk I think there is a lot further to go.
Also in the keynote room it was great to see France's Internet Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet demonstrating that the French, and indeed Spanish, governments are putting real money and infrastructure investment into supporting the development of a technology industry in Europe. Please take note UK government.
It was a great Le Web. Very professionally put together, great speakers, fantastic WiFi and great food.
If there is one recommendation I'd make it is that you make more of the Deep Dive, Startup Competition room content. There was some real value to be had in there and it worked well against the big keynote format.
When I look at my notes from the last couple of days, they're all about things I want to do, ideas to explore and books to read. So it can't have been too bad.
Hope to be back next year.