15 Things We Learnt at The Webfest.me Conference

Webfest.me conference was held last week in Hotel Splendid in Budva, Montenegro. It was a conference filled with good vibes, great people and inspiring presentations. People had a chance to hear about regional startups and hear the experiences of the founders.

Feeling tired, but fulfilled, we’ll sum up the first and second day of the conference and tell you what we’ve learnt:

Hard Work Pays

  1. Don’t be afraid of the big players. If you have a quality product, you have a chance to become an even bigger player. For example, Nordeus is a small company from Serbia that created Top Eleven, Facebook football manager game. Although they’re small, Top Eleven is played by four million players monthly, which left EA’s FIFA Superstars far behind.
  2. You do need some kind of a plan. Your ideas are great, but are worthless as ideas only. The same goes for technologies. You might create a new or better technology, but without a plan to monetize it, you’ll end up on investments only, and let’s be honest, there will come a moment when you’ll run out of cash.
  3. Just because there is a free alternative, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t charge for your product. Sure, everyone can take a free WordPress template and install it. But if you go to a designer for a custom solution, he will listen to your needs and customize the theme in ways you can’t even imagine. The same goes for Wall of Tweets. There are many free twitter wall solutions out there, but WoT is packed with orders for customized solutions.
  4. Be innovative and proactive. Vibor from Wall of Tweets told us how the main reason they’re doing so well is that they try to guess what the customer would want to have. Why should a Twitter wall show only tweets  when it can be modified to show Foursquare checkins and the logo of the company next to a user’s name?
  5. SEO is a big thing. If you’re planning on creating a blog or a site, make sure to plan SEO accordingly. You will be in trouble if you try to optimize for SERPs after the site launch, so make sure you implement it before. Also, don’t expect to get results in a day or two, as SEO is a long-term process.
  6. Teams are much better than a single person. If you’re a one man band, don’t expect to get funds from RSG Capital, as they will invest in teams only. When you’re in a team, people know that there can be one person developing the product, another one designing it and a third one taking care of the business. Funds love to have a dedicated person, so make sure to have some partners in your startup.
  7. You must have some business acumen. If you can’t get some money from your 3F group as Jure from RSG Capital and other investors and startups like to call it (Friends, Family, Fools) – you probably can’t get funding from investors.
  8. Work hard. If there is only one thing that you should remember from Webfest conference, this is it. Vladimir from Limundo gave a great example; he worked on Limundo even in his free time on the job, and today, Limundo is the largest auction site in Serbia.
  9. Innovate old technologies. Why should telephony be paired with phone numbers and telephone lines and phones when you’re spending most of your computer time in a browser? Vox.io saw that problem and they’re working on a product that will revolutionize the telephony industry.
  10. Fail, fail and fail some more. There is nothing wrong in trying and failing, and you shouldn’t be afraid of it. Yes, it might be depressing and costly, but if you don’t fail you’ll never learn nothing from it.
  11. You can succeed even if you don’t have the marketing budget. Use Facebook, Twitter, blogs, find posts that are related to your area and comment on them, help people out. Create a mailing list, get some ideas for guerrila campaigns, be creative!
  12. Content is king. Yes, this one is a cliché, but it’s true. Creating original and quality content on a site with little or no design you can get more traffic and more authority than many well-designed sites without any content.
  13. If you want to do business in an already saturated market, you need something to differentiate yourself from the competition. Take the domain name industry for example. There are registrars on every corner, and yet, there are some registrars that still can compete with the biggest ones.
  14. Help your clients if you can. OK, you provided some service and they paid you, but if you know someone who could help them even more; let them know about it. This will create a bond of confidence between you and your client and it’s the way to get some loyal returning customers.
  15. Learn languages. Learn to speak them and to write them, because if you know only one language, you’ll hit the ceiling pretty soon.

What were your favorite moments of Webfest.me conference?


Nikola Krajacic

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