For those of you following me on Twitter @davidjwbailey the fact I was just in California will come as no surprise. I thought it worth summarising what I learned, in general terms. I had the chance to speak to half a dozen seriously connected and insightful people in the Sililcon Valley community, and it all came down to 'C' Words:
* – cash
* – collaboration
* – community
* – creativity
* – cloud based
* – crowdsourced
* – culturally relevant
Cash, because if you can't make money, don't start to do it
Collaboration, because altuism is back in, and Social Media proves it
Community, because we all want to belong
Creativity, because the age of competition is done with the Credit Crunch, and creativity is the next thing
Cloud based, because it provides vital scale for a start up (even if it does not save much money, if any, in the long run)
Crowd sourced, because no one can hope to create all the things the crowd can (even if the crowd needs help with quality and distribution)
Culturally relevant, because we want to understand everything, and its implications instantly, and because we want to feel safe and 'at home'.
So, that is what I'll be doing then. It is what I wanted to do, but it was nice to get some feedback and guidelines so early in the start up process.
I was planning to stop here, as the “Seven C's” was such a good pun (thanks to Dave Morris), but nice people emailed me three more 'C's
Confidence: users can't and should never be re-programmed, but they do want the confidence to know that they are going to achieve something worthwhile. Building that confidence takes a huge range of skills, perceptual tricks, PR and helpful design. Without it, nothing works properly and customers will leave.
Customised: we live in an era of mass customisation. That is both a selling tool (this is 'your' version) and a distribution tool (look at 'my' one and see if 'you' can do better). There is no excuse for not allowing customisation in digital products.
Connectivity: the more your product plugs into other people's products, the faster it will spread, the longer it will last, and the more you can harness the market to your business. It takes clever technology, but that is also getting easier and cheaper, so again there are few excuses for not doing it.
So, less of a pun, but a better list.