24 May, 2011 - 08:41 By News Desk

Day 21 - Searching for Wisdom with Google Day

Faced with tremendous uncertainty, searching for answers can seem futile.

Insights, tools, and ideas are much more useful at this stage, and we were delighted to have Google join us to help inform this quest. The morning began with Paul Kinlan, Nick Butcher, and Ade Oshineye, who spoke about Google's latest developments and offered a cozy Q & A session to cover just about anything. Conversation spanned Analytics, Chrome, IceCream Sandwich, Buzz, +1 Bookmarks and more, and I caught up with teams to find out key messages they took away. Thoughts included:-

- We really need to think about tablet and mobile, not just web. We were told 'If you don't have a mobile strategy, you don't have any strategy at all'

- Don't start an iphone app and then move it to Android. Build native, or build on a platform such as Titanium to push out native.

- Optimise conversion rates of users to paying customers, not just your web traffic or sign-ups.

- Google is going to do some really interesting things in social. We had our doubts about +1 bookmarks, but now we think they are going to be very cool.

In the afternoon, speed dating commenced and Paul, Nick, and Ade were faced with 12 minute meetings for as long as seemed humane. Some teams had specific Google questions to get addressed, while others appreciated further feedback on platforms, business models and ideas they hadn't considered. With Paul and Ade just back from Google IO, they sure were good sports because we didn't take it easy on them.

The evening led into Startup Lessons Learned 2011, where we hosted the Cambridge simulcast to tune into the California event. It was nice to be joined by neighbours and people from the wider community, and we took the opportunity to nourish ourselves with beer and 12 XL pizzas. We were excited Springboard mentors Matt Berryman, Anton Sutton, and Amir Chaudhry returned to join us, and shout out well.

Meanwhile, one of our teams was awaiting their 200,000th user and I got addicted to watching the analytics page refresh. Congratulations to Melissa, Kaila, and Greg - they made it!

Janek closed down the fort after the rest of us snuck out just past midnight. I've heard it's impossible to fall asleep in the lounge with the glaring lights, but with people working crazy hours I'm beginning to have my doubts. Hope we're all refreshed for Day 22 with the return of the mentors - Round 2!


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