Last week we held Startup 2.0‘s final in the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Panoramio, which has just been bought by Google, was not among these projects. Nevertheless, it was among the 15 semifinalists. What happened?
Panoramio was one of the best projects, from all points of views. It was a great example of Web 2.0 and it even was profitable. What is more: its team is distributed in different countries and collaborates thru the Internet. It is one of the best examples of a network-company, which is probably how most companies will look like in the future.
It was one of the favourites. It had many chances of winning Startup 2.0. But something happened in Madrid, where the 15 semifinalists exposed their projects. The exposition went perfectly, but they flunked it in the questions. They were asked what they would do with a one-million dollar investment and their answer was so poor: we don’t need that money, we are doing very well and don’t need to grow.
This disappointed the jury very much. The next question was even worse: "Aren’t you afraid of Google doing the same you are doing?" They answered that was a risk they had to take. Now we know why they gave this answer: they were probably negotiating with Google.
The problem is that their answers were so bad. They didn’t look ambitious and they didn’t seem to be worried about the future. This is the worse you can do as an entrepreneur. You must be constantly awake. Web 2.0 is about constantly innovating. Panoramio didn’t seem like an innovating company. Now we know why. Unfortunately, they could have won the contest.