Thoughts from last night: What’s Next in Tech 09

Last night I participated in What’s Next in Tech which was led by Scott Kirsner and held at Boston University. I was on the VC panel with Neil Sequeira from General Catalyst and Michael Greeley from Flybridge.

Few thoughts from last night:

-Scott started the evening session by asking the audience if they are generally optimistic or pessimistic about what’s next in technology & opportunity. I think every single person raised their hands and said they were optimistic.

-I thought we had a nice discussion about exciting opportunities in technology and the concerns we have. In some cases we have similar interests & concerns but it was also clear that our firms also see the world & opportunity differently from one another. That isnt’ a bad thing.

-There were a number of questions about seed capital availability. I mentioned our involvement in TechStars Boston and Start@Spark. I’m really excited about both programs.

-We had a monitor on stage and were able to see Tweets tagged #whatsnext09. I thought it was great that Scott took some questions from those tweets as well.

-Scott asked the VCs if we had any questions for our fellow panelists. Neil asked outloud how I could be a Yankees fan. That got the home crowd grumbling and hissing a bit. Thanks Neil :)

-Yesterday, the news buzzing on twitter was the death of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett. Scott jokingly asked me if celebrity obits was the future business model of Twitter.

-Offline, someone asked me if we would consider making investments in applications & services built on top of Twitter or would we avoid it because “we already made an investment in the category”. That’s a very good question. I am very interested in applications and services built on top of the Twitter platform. I think there are lots of opportunities and I’m seeing some interesting companies use the Twitter API for media sharing, enterprise, payments, gaming, affinities, sports, marketing, tech support, content aggregation….the list goes on. Having said that, I wouldn’t invest in a company that is a direct or likely Twitter competitor for obvious reasons.

I was a bit tired after a long day in New York City earlier in the day and I hope it didn’t show. Thanks to everyone that participated and thanks Scott for inviting me.

(photo courtesy of Steve Garfield).