leweb3 or why no one in Europe is ever happy

Like everyone else and their friends too, I am just back from leweb3 which managed to attract 1,000 people and apparently resulted in 1,300 attendees on the first day thanks to the most laxist door controls I have ever seen (which was nice for a change).

And guess what, everyone seems to think LeBust3 was crap (including people who did not even go) because of either:

  • logistics (what, no wimax ?)
  • politicians (Sarko, Peres, Bayrou showed up, which may have been two too many to be fair) or the fact that President Loic thinks blogs and politics go together

It has even hit the Guardian and draws comparisons to Nuremberg.  Come on !

So yes, there were too many people and too many VC’s (though only VC’s seem to complain about this).  And yes, some of the panels were poorly moderated.  And generally it felt a bit mainstream.  And bringing 3 politicians was maybe not the best idea of the new century (well done Sego for staynig away…).

But consider this: within the 30 minutes following my arrival, I ran into Jeff Clavier, Russ
Mayfield, saw Marc Canter, Chappaz and Gil Penchina and so on.
It really transcends the local.

I think being pissed off because leweb3 was such a big fest or because a couple of politicians showed up is akin to the latest Vermonters being defensive about flatlanders moving next door.  Web2 .0 has grown up and gone mainstream.  Clueless VC’s have invaded your party.  Most entrepreneurs would be better off joining someone else’s company rather than starting their own.  So what ?  Everything grows up ultimately.  I feel that all that this Loic bashing will achieve is to put the guy off, which cannot be a net positive for European entrepreneurship.  Next year I hope LeWeb3 comes back around with a new format: invite only, much more visionary, with intimate networking opportunities.

In the meantime, I say well done to Loic and Geraldine for getting together a kick ass group of people.  And since this is after all about self expression, I personally think it is legitimate for the organiser to pursue his goal of bringing politics into the blogosphere.  This is not-for-profit after all…

[UPDATE: I had not fully appreciated the "hijack" nature of the second day, as eloquently expressed here by Hans.  I will give Loic the benefit of the doubt (assume he got carried away and this was all last minute exuberance) and wait for the man to speak].

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