Report from the London Facebook Developer Garage

The 11th London Facebook Developer Garage took place last night at Sun Microsystems, the gold sponsor of the event. Here’s a quick rundown of highlights from the night’s speakers:

Chris Thorpe from MySpace gave us a quick introduction to their platform:

  • MySpace would love to see more developers on their platform
  • Make sure any applications you develop are complying with the terms of service as the approval process is more stringent than with Facebook applications

Duncan Arbour and Jon Marks from LBi on the agency and brand perspective:

  • Brands producing applications can be a hit-and-miss affair
  • Advertising on existing successful applications may be a more viable and predictable way forward

Toby Beresford from Nudge on an Englishman at F8:

  • Applications are treated as viable businesses in their own right, which is less common in the UK
  • People with money and developers mix much more freely in the US than they do in the UK

John Cole from Adknowledge (which includes Cubics) gave an introduction to the company:

  • Adknowledge are currently serving 8 billion impressions a month

Reto Lämmler gave an introduction to the Doodle application:

  • Doodle provides users with a common, shared calendar to easily arrange social or work events
  • Currently serving around 1 million users a month via the Doodle website
  • Recently launched Facebook application provides integrated functionality with the main website, and users can switch between the two transparently

Max Niederhofer from Atlas Venture gave us some valuable insight from the venture capital world:

  • Before engaging with VCs, make an effort to understand their needs. (“Read a book FFS.”)
  • VCs are interested in £1m plus, business angels in lower amounts, so there is something of a gap if you’re looking for £500k
  • Make sure you can explain your idea in simple terms
  • Although the undoubted main thing that VCs bring is money, there is often a strong network of consultants and trusted agencies that can benefit a business
  • Always do due diligence on everybody involved in a deal, and hire a good lawyer who’s done VC work before

Finally, Iskandar Najmuddin from Nudge gave us a rundown on the latest technical changes on the platform and the prize for application of the month was presented by Stewart Townsend of Sun to Doodle.

The next London garage is on Wednesday October 8th. More details will be announced before the event on the garage group page.