Last week was The Next Web conference in Amsterdam, and it was really a terrific event. It was held in a wonderful brick factory building which, despite getting very hot inside, was a spectacular space. The screen was a gigantic 70 meters across. But despite the showy scale, the vibe inside was friendly, enthusiastic, and down to earth.About 1,000 people attended from Europe and the US and elsewhere, and I was somewhat surprised that most of the speakers were from the US. These included Werner Vogels (CTO of Amazon), Lisa Gansky (web entrepreneur and angel investor) and Timothy Ferriss (4 Hour Workweek author). One of the other highlights was the opening talk by Robert Cailliau, co-founder of the World Wide Web along with Tim Berners-Lee.
There were also presentations by a lot of start-ups from various European countries (but mostly Netherlands), which were a bit uneven, but showed that there is still huge vibrancy in coming up with business ideas based on social networking, Web 2.0, cloud computing, mobile web, and combinations of all of these.
Thanks to Boris, Patrick and the rest of The Next Web crew for putting on an impressive event!
I gave a keynote about the current and coming collision of the web with physical objects. This is something that has been talked about for a while (Bruce Sterling on Spimes, The Internet of Things, ambient computing, and so on), and we are now starting to see real commercial products. For example, I talked about Nike + and Zipcar, along with some of the work that frog has done for Intel and others in this area. But we are still at the “horseless carriage” stage of understanding what this collision means - it won’t simply be web+object. I coined a neologism - webjects - to describe this future total blend of web and objects, and described a couple of high level frameworks for how to think about them.
The presentation (without embedded movies) is up on Slideshare (clicking on this link will let you also see the notes about each slide):
I was also interviewed after my talk: