The hallway conversations I had at World Economic Forum

David Gergen has a conversation with Bill Clinton on the floor of the World Economic Forum

This week I’ve been wandering the hallways at the World Economic Forum meeting interesting people. Instead of keeping those conversations to myself I pulled out my iPhone 4 and recorded them with Cinchcast. Enjoy!

1. What it’s like to be a Quora reviewer, with Baidu’s Kaiser Kuo.

2. The Tech Guy (CTO) behind the World Economic Forum, Brian Behlendorf, told me about how the World Economic Forum is developing infrastructure and mobile apps to run the event.

3. Mashable’s founder, Pete Cashmore, talked about what he’s learned in Davos and the experiences he’s had. (He told me about dinner with a billionaire that could lead into something very special).

4. GE’s CMO, Beth Comstock is one of the top female executives in the world and she talked about what she’s trying to do to keep GE on top as one of the world’s largest corporations.

5. Discovered the future of “inside your body” drug tracking with Andrew Thompson, CEO of Mind-blowing technology to help people.

6. Discovered why people cheat and what the future of cheating (and beating cheaters) is with Duke University Professor Dan Ariely. Esther Dyson listened in and told me this was the best session of Davos for her.

7. The future of buildings with Serious Materials CEO, Kevin Surace.

8. How to protect your online reputation with’s CEO, Michael Fertik:

9. What are technology revolutions past and present with Esther Dyson.

10. The future of tablets and datacenters with Michael Dell.

11. The past and future of publishing with one of Europe’s most powerful publishers, Hubert Burda.

12. The future of cities with Chris Luebkeman, director for Global Foresight at the World Economic Forum.

13. The state of social media communities and addiction with Clay Shirky.

14. About China’s tech status with Kai-Fu Lee, former head of Google in China.

15. I had my mind blown by Harvard’s John Clippinger who taught me about the algorithmic corporation.

16. What Facebook is doing at the World Economic Forum by having a conversation with Randi Zuckerberg.

17. Forester’s CEO, George Colony, told me about trends in tech (the web is dead!?!)

18. The state of online news with Huffington Post’s CEO Eric Hippeau.

19. Price Waterhouse Cooper’s CEO told me what he’s learned about how CEOs think by surveying thousands of CEOs for its annual CEO survey.

20. Bloggers are more loyal employees, I learned, by talking with Francisco D’Souza, CEO of Cognizant, which has 100,000 employees.

21. Why Facebook is going to be the biggest bank in the world and how Ven is going to be the currency supporting it.

22. Wrapping up World Economic Forum 2011 with Jeff Jarvis.

Anyway, hope you enjoy these 20 conversations from the hallways at the World Economic Forum.


I will miss the old Y Combinator

One thing I love about Y Combinator before today is its austereness. Walk into InDinero’s original office, for instance, and you’ll see it actually is a house, where several people live, which keeps costs way down. This is typical for a Y Combinator company. The $17,000 they usually gave companies just doesn’t go far in expensive Silicon Valley.

Lately, however, companies like InDinero have been getting $1 to $5 million in angel or A rounds, which lets them get a real office. So, I’ve already noticed that I’m seeing fewer Y Combinator companies in low-cost situations like what I saw at InDinero.

Today, it was announced that Y Combinator companies could get a loan of $150,000 from Ron Conway’s SV Angel and Yuri Milner.

No longer will we hear stories like we heard from Airbnb’s founders of surviving off of cereal or “ramen.”

That bums me out, because struggle and sacrifice makes for great stories.