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.

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6 Responses to “Where are the Boston Web Leaders?”

  1. I’m a day late and dollar short to post but here I am.

    I can’t agree with you more regarding how to nurture the web industry. We live and breathe this at the organization I run, MITX.

    What about CSN Stores and Shoebuy – basically 2 of MA’s best kept secrets. Their CEOs – Niraj Shah and Scott Savitz believe very strongly in nurturing an environment for web starts up to grow and thrive. Add in someone like Jules Pieri over at Daily Grommet – a unique idea and smack dab in the center of the consumer internet space. She’s struggling with the lack of an ecoysystem for companies like hers. There aren’t many here – and there should be more.

    I’ve got some people like Scott and Niraj on my board who I’ve been talking with about how to create ‘real’ resources for the web focused start ups. Would love to chat more to get your views – you’ve got some very valid points.

    Hope to hear from you. – Kiki
    p.s. And I’m from the midwest too

    • 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. This event was expensive. $595 for non-members for a non-structured un-conference event is a lot. I’m not sure what you were expecting.

    Monster, TripAdvisor, VistaPrint, Fidelity, Staples, iRobot and others do participate and sponsor functions in the design and interaction community of Boston. just not at this particular event. Perhaps they weren’t invited?

    In contrast check out the WebInno events. Everyone from the Boston web-design and startup community shows up, in part because the event is free.

    • Thanks Greg, the unconference is about more than showing up at a networking event. It is an opportunity to share practical experience and knowledge that will benefit the startups attending.
      Are you saying the large web companies stayed away due to the price of the event?
      Could you tell us specific events that the large web properties have sponsored? I think those deserve some recognition and we would be glad to publish them here.

      • 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.


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