Subscribe · Featured · Recent · The Cold Start Problem 📘

5 differences between a NY ad conference and a SF web 2.0 conference

Brief diversion… ;-)
Just a couple random observations from my first day at MIXX, which as a NYC advertising conference, is probably exactly the opposite from a SF web 2.0 conference. I used to come to these things all the time for Revenue Science, but recently I haven’t been back for a full year or so.

Some things have changed, and some haven’t.

Here’s a brief rundown on the top 5 differences:

  1. Jackets, slacks, and ties
  2. Pens and paper
  3. "CGM"
  4. Women
  5. Facebook?

Jackets, slacks, and ties
At the most superficial level, people look very different than your typical Silicon Valley conference. The number of folks that are wearing jeans here can be counted on one hand, and the youngest people are in their 30s. You would not be overdressed here wearing a full-on suit, with handkerchief and all. Just leave the ascot at home.

What you won’t see here are rows of 24-year old Web 2.0 entrepreneurs wearing jeans and flip-flops. It’s all business here, which might have to do more with advertising than NY, but either way the intersection is powerful.

Pens and paper
Another thing you won’t see if lines of people with Apple Macbook Pros and digital cameras live-blogging and surfing the internet as the speakers go. Instead, people are just writing down notes via pen and paper. (Shocking, I know)

This one was sort of unexpected – people don’t call things User Generated Content (aka UGC), they call it Consumer Generated Media (CGM). In fact, there’s a bunch of people whose titles have CGM in them. Weird!

I think ultimately, it has to do with the fact that the tech entrepreneur crowd in SF is mostly focused on creation of new inventory – they need to convince USERS to come to their site and generate content, whereas for people who are typically on the advertising site, they see these people are CONSUMERS. Either way, it’s an interesting and subtle distinction that shows the differences in perspective.

There’s a lot of women here, of all ages, all ethnicities, and all advertising job functions. ‘nuf said.

It actually took a full 3 hours for someone to finally mention Facebook. Instead, the hot topic was integrated media, aka how to handle buying media on both traditional and interactive channels. Also, video is really hot – everyone wants to figure out the right angle, and in particular they talk about how there isn’t enough "good" inventory.

And of course, what they mean by "good" inventory is stuff that’s not UGC. Er, CGM. They want well-polished content to place their media next to, where they can be sure that it won’t harm the brand.

Anyway, it was a fun day – more to come later.

PS. Get new updates/analysis on tech and startups

I write a high-quality, weekly newsletter covering what's happening in Silicon Valley, focused on startups, marketing, and mobile.

Views expressed in “content” (including posts, podcasts, videos) linked on this website or posted in social media and other platforms (collectively, “content distribution outlets”) are my own and are not the views of AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“a16z”) or its respective affiliates. AH Capital Management is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Registration as an investment adviser does not imply any special skill or training. The posts are not directed to any investors or potential investors, and do not constitute an offer to sell -- or a solicitation of an offer to buy -- any securities, and may not be used or relied upon in evaluating the merits of any investment.

The content should not be construed as or relied upon in any manner as investment, legal, tax, or other advice. You should consult your own advisers as to legal, business, tax, and other related matters concerning any investment. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others. Any charts provided here are for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Certain information contained in here has been obtained from third-party sources. While taken from sources believed to be reliable, I have not independently verified such information and makes no representations about the enduring accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation. The content speaks only as of the date indicated.

Under no circumstances should any posts or other information provided on this website -- or on associated content distribution outlets -- be construed as an offer soliciting the purchase or sale of any security or interest in any pooled investment vehicle sponsored, discussed, or mentioned by a16z personnel. Nor should it be construed as an offer to provide investment advisory services; an offer to invest in an a16z-managed pooled investment vehicle will be made separately and only by means of the confidential offering documents of the specific pooled investment vehicles -- which should be read in their entirety, and only to those who, among other requirements, meet certain qualifications under federal securities laws. Such investors, defined as accredited investors and qualified purchasers, are generally deemed capable of evaluating the merits and risks of prospective investments and financial matters. There can be no assurances that a16z’s investment objectives will be achieved or investment strategies will be successful. Any investment in a vehicle managed by a16z involves a high degree of risk including the risk that the entire amount invested is lost. Any investments or portfolio companies mentioned, referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in vehicles managed by a16z and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results. A list of investments made by funds managed by a16z is available at https://a16z.com/investments/. Excluded from this list are investments for which the issuer has not provided permission for a16z to disclose publicly as well as unannounced investments in publicly traded digital assets. Past results of Andreessen Horowitz’s investments, pooled investment vehicles, or investment strategies are not necessarily indicative of future results. Please see https://a16z.com/disclosures for additional important information.