LeWeb: Morning sessions

I combined notes from the morning sessions, many of which were about new product launches.

Travis Kalanick, Co-Founder & CEO, Uber and MG Siegler, General Partner, CrunchFund

Uber have got cars now on the ground at Paris. They’ve launched here. (that’s their big news). 18 months into operations as a company…came up with the idea 3 years ago at LeWeb. Had cars on the ground since Friday. moving across Europe. Also just raised a large round of funding – just closed $32m in funding. They have 60 cars in Paris. a third to half the drivers, are fully committed. Expect to be rolling out 2 cities a month next year.

Steve Jang, Co-Founder & CEO, SoundTracking and MG Siegler, General Partner, CrunchFund

Look, another announcement. Soundtrack is a sharing music system, you can check in your music. Sharing ‘music moments’ across social networks. Now they’ve launched on Android app as well. A couple of new things, better clip integration, and better ability to share when playing songs.

Dave Morin, Co-Founder & CEO, Path and Loic Le Meur, Founder, LeWeb
Loic interviews Dave about Path.

It relaunched recently
It’s about sharing the stuff with the people who are closest to you. Took last 6 months to do the new one. Care about quality and design, design driven organisation. Launched on iphone and Android at same time. Building apps, gets complex for each platform. Can’t really do it with HTML5. Have raised about 8.5m last Jan, with long term partners. Want to focus long term, to do quality design and products. Thinking about turning Path into a platform, no real move, just thinking about it. There’s a start here on latest version, with being able to send content out to favourite platform. For new version, asked users, looked at user behaviours, eg, screenshots of notes, of others, used this to define what content should be on the version. THey asked people how they saw Path – it was a journal. So enabled people to do what they were trying to do already with screenshots. Some good advice: stay with the problems for ling enough to solve them! People get afraid and ship bad stuff, too early. Shipped v1 as min viable product and thought they could iterate…but it takes 3 weeks or so and not fast enough for people. So spent more time to get to quality version

Mike McCue, CEO, Flipboard and Loic Le Meur, Founder, LeWeb

Raised $60m for the one app. You have to beleive the iPad would be a major new platform, believe it will change behaviour. Not enough Android tablets yet, had to pick a platform to focus on. Have 4.5m downloads; (out of 45m ipads), (did not say active users).

Kevin Rose, Co-Founder & CEO, Milk with Leo Laporte, Author, Speaker & Broadcaster and Sarah Lane, TWiT.tv

TechTV was were KR was first on TV. THis is when he started thinking about Digg. Looking at how slashdot worked, thinking about getting users to vote on them, in 2004. To surface more story. Used TV platform to promote it. Had cool people at TechTV, saw they were like him, got inspiration to try cool stuff. KR still on board, but not working at it. The first 3 years were insane, chaos to keep it going. Users often caused problems – had death threats. It was being gamed, there were problems. Gettting sorted..has about 20m monthly uniques. Highest was 38m. They had seen traffic going down before the relaunch. Agreed they should have spent more time listening to core users, instead of listening to everyone esle, investors etc. Thinks the new versions has done a good job of getting the core features back.
Now with Milk, new product is Oink. A rating system for items in places. Eg meals in restaurants. It was invite on the app store, had to get people who were passionate to create the content to open it up. Dropped the invite fairly quickly as it caused issues. YOu can like ‘anything’ in the world. IS that too broad? But people are focusing on specialist areas, to get levels in the various elements,eg sound systems, burgers etc.
This a challenge for apps like this, the users have to put energy and content in there. It’s not ‘gamification’ as stuff, it has to be utility to keep people there. Working on new features to keep helping this.

Mobile Demo: Leah Busque, Founder & Product Officer,TaskRabbit

An online and mobile market place, to outsource tasks to people in community. Eg shopping etc, They also have virtual tasks. Most popular task is ‘assemble ikea furniture’. Virtual tasks can be done from anywhere. You fill in the tabs, People will bid etc

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