Revenue Model Workshop at Ultra Light Startups

I recently attended my 6th Ultra Light Startup, where the mission is simple: “Tech entrepreneurs sharing techniques to launch faster and cheaper!”  I’ve covered their recent events including Monetization via AdsOutsourcing, SEO/SEM, and last months most popular Open Source CMS. (I made a video of that event and the article itself was picked up by the well know online publisher SmashingMagazine.)

This months meetup tested a completely new format – the Revenue Model Workshop. At this event, 5 startups were selected to give brief presentations of their business, focusing on their revenue models. It was held at For Your Imagination (special thanks to Kathryn Velvel Jones) in order to support , without a doubt, one of the largest Ultra Light crowds to date.

As usual, the night kicked off with 1 minute elevator pitches by the Ultra Light Audience. This ran pretty smoothly, particularly thanks to Ronald Bradford’s “Entreprenuer Pitch Instructions”. Some of the more impressive and eyecatching companies included:

Following the quick pitch session, guest speaker Derek Lee wowed the audience with his  “Immodest Proposal”…STOP CREATING AD INVENTORY (write up by Sanford Dickert)

  • The long tail is dead.
  • You will not feed your family or pay the mortgage with google Ad Words
  • Figure out your economic value per customer instead of ad impressions
  • Remember the difference between branded advertising and direct response – note that Lawn Doctor was on the prime time CNN show
  • Sell something – unlimited ad inventory is nothing
  • West Coast Model is what everyone is chasing – build a big community of 4M members and then monetize it. The darlings of the current economic world will disappear.
  • East Coast Model is making money – figure out your revenue model – $ for one customer, $$ for more than one, then $$$$ for lots. Pick a revenue model and build it.
  • Don’t get a job now – we are in a recession. In 20 years from now, look at the Fortune 100 then and see how many got started in 2009.

It was a lot to take in for the audience and left people hungry for more answers. Good timing, because the pizza arrived shortly after and the networking frenzy began. After 15 minutes of handshakes, business card exchanges and hardcore networking, the panel was seated and ready to go.

As planned, five entrepreneurs had 5 minutes each to pitch their product and revenue models ($$Cha-Ching$$). The panel would then provide helpful alternatives for the entrepreneur to consider as methods to generate more revenue from their business more efficiently. The presenters were as follows…

The panelists included:

Overall the feedback was helpful for the presenters. Each panelist seemed to have their own perspective and advice, but there were times where they were simply “confused” by the ideas presented.  But overall, the event was successful and the presenters walked away with what they needed to improve their business.

I highly suggest you attend next months meetup, Ultra Light Web Analytics, February 5th at For Your Imagination. The panel lined up is strong and based on the growing numbers, this will be a large/networking worthy venue.

**In order to give you an idea of what it was like to present, I have decided to sacrifice my video for the sake for your viewing pleasure:

Posted under Events, Ultra Light Startups