Supernova 2007 question: What's "cutting edge" today? 1

The general consensus feeling about this year’s Web 2.0 conference is that it was a fantastic networking experience, but offered little content-wise that was truly new.

As I plan for Supernova 2007 (next June 20-22 in San Francisco), I’m thinking a great deal about what’s next. I had a great time at Web 2.0, and give kudos to Tim, John, Eric, and the other organizers for capturing the zeitgeist. No event can be all things to all people, and on its own terms, Web 2.0 was a smashing success. My conference has a different emphasis. Supernova is designed to be just ahead of the curve, focused on technologies and ideas that are poised to enter the mainstream and explode. It’s a place where the geeks, developers and other innovators can come together with the executives, investors, and businesspeople.

Five years ago, when I started the conference, we focused on things like blogging, rich Internet applications, social software in the enterprise, online video, collective intelligence, and the disruptive potential of a little company called Google — aka, pretty much everything that today is the core of Web 2.0. The market has shifted, as I knew it someday would. The deal-making, the funding announcements, and the massive publicity are back. But that’s not the same as innovation.

So, now what? I’m not interested in rehashing (or remashing) the same themes, let alone taking a long-pedigreed concept like the semantic web and slapping a Web 3.0 label on it. I don’t think you are either.

I’m thinking hard about how to blow people’s minds at Supernova 2007. In frothy times like these, I want to challenge assumptions and push the envelope. I have plenty of ideas I’m pursuing. But I’d also value your input. I see only a fraction of the innovation and powerful ideas emerging in the Internet ecosystem today.

So, tell me, via comments on this blog post or by email, what you think we should address at Supernova 2007. Companies, people, ideas, whatever. If you thought Web 2.0 was missing things, what were they? What would you find it valuable to see and discuss at an executive-level emerging technology conference today? What’s next?

One comment on “Supernova 2007 question: What's "cutting edge" today?

  1. Alan Morrison Dec 6,2006 7:39 pm

    Some things that seem noteworthy and innovative:

    1) Boomerang and Gen Y people used to social software are taking it inside the enterprise, for example, what Avenue A/Razorfish has done with its Intranet, public social bookmarking and taxonomies–see
    2) Suites that combine and deliver a lot of social software functionality in powerful ways, such as Blogtronix
    3) Widgetization as Niall Kennedy and Charlie Wood describe it, and what its implications are for content providers
    4) Dabble DB, Itensil, and Smartsuite–each is innovative in its own way
    5) Amazon’s EC2 as an enabler for SaaS startups to scale up easily and minimize headcount
    6) RoR and other frameworks and their implications for accelerating Web app development
    7) Established, successful Web app companies with big footprints will do more with less–the best ones, like Digg, start small, stay small headcount-wise and are able to do so with the use of tools like those in #5 and 6 above
    8) Having customers develop for you in mission critical enterprise applications–Plexus Systems
    9) Alternatives to silicon solar cells for terrestrial applications–Emcore and Spectrolab are using multi-junction GaAs semiconductor compounds and concentrators to achieve 40 percent plus efficiencies, while United Solar Ovonic is succeeding with CdTe thin film solar tiles at much humbler efficiencies
    10) Search engines like Twerq that use RSS and folksonomies in conjunction with the Google API to focus search and retrieval efforts

    Let me know if this kind of thing is helpful or not, and if it is, I can try to add more.

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