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When Facebook opened up its valuable real estate—and user base of more than 40 million—to external applications, the social networking site redefined itself as a true platform and spurred the creation of a veritable “Facebook economy.” With more than 5,000 widgets created for the site to date, developers, entrepreneurs, and investors alike are racing to capitalize on the viral marketing and revenue potential of Facebook’s massive user network. Yet the Facebook economy is still young, and even with the numerous models that have emerged, the road to revenue has yet to be defined and effectively navigated.
Bringing together diverse perspectives from experienced developers, entrepreneurs, and investors, this session will delve into the critical issues surrounding the Facebook economy, as well as the larger implications of social networks as infrastructure.
Saar is a partner at Charles River Ventures (CRV), with over 10 years experience working with entrepreneurs as a founder, investor and advisor. Prior to joining CRV, Saar was a co-founder of Brightroll, the world’s leading Internet video advertising network. Saar has also been an angel investor and advisor to numerous companies including RockYou, Admob, Flixster, Xobni, Lotus Vodka, and Voicestar (acquired by Marchex, NASDAQ: MCHX).
Prior to Brightroll, Saar was VP of online customer acquisition at Adteractive, an online performance-based marketing company and one of the largest buyers of online media. Saar started his career in investment banking and venture capital at Lehman Brothers. He graduated phi beta kappa with a biochemistry degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA from Stanford University.
Joyce Park is co-founder and CTO of Renkoo, creators of the Booze Mail and Haikoo Zoo Facebook applications. Prior to Renkoo, Joyce was a member of the software engineering teams at Epinions, KnowNow, and Friendster. She is also active in the open source community, as a leader of the mod-pubsub project, founding member of Dojo Toolkit, and longtime PHP developer. Joyce studied history at the University of Chicago.
Naval Ravikant is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Hit Forge, an angel fund for social media startups. He is also currently the Chairman of Vast.com and a Director at Mercantila, Qubescape, and Hive7. Previously, he has co-founded Chainn Inc. (a large Facebook economy developer), Epinions (acquired by Ebay as part of Shopping.com) and Genoa Corporation (acquired by Finisar). He is an investor in SocialMedia Inc., Twitter, WeGame, and many others. He also advised XFire (sold to Viacom) and Bix (Sold to Yahoo!) His personal blog is at Startupboy.com, and he is also a co-author of Venturehacks.com.
Prior to co-founding VideoEgg in November 2004, Matt was a managing member and chief operating officer of MediaLiquid, a production company founded by Sanchez, Kevin Sladek and Dave Lerman that focused on helping non-profits develop cost-effective public service announcements by. He began his entrepreneurial career in high school when he founded a computer consulting group. Sanchez holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Yale University.