The Naked Truth Returns!

Walking out at 2 a.m. from the paparazzi-lined Chateau Marmont last fall with a few of the world’s nerdiest people*, I was nearly run over by two young women who careened through a parking lot in a brand-new Pontiac to ask us a simple, breathless question: “Do you want to party?”

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I’d reached the point in my life when I no longer knew what this question meant. I held up a splayed-out hand to show them my wedding ring. Behind me, a friend said, “They’re professionals.” Another said, “They want to harvest our kidneys.” And a third: “They think we’re movie producers.” We stood there, petrified, staring at them. They stared at us. Then they tore off into the night.

But it has always stayed with me that I never answered their question. Because the answer is “Yes, I do want to party.” Which is why Redfin, Madrona, Fenwick & West and Square 1 Bank have organized another big Naked Truth event for Seattle’s tech community:

What: The Naked Truth: Show Me the Money
When: July 9, 6:00 p.m.
Where: The Olympic Sculpture Park on Seattle’s waterfront
How Many: 400 people; the park limits attendance, so you have to sign up.
WhyUnderstand how different revenue models for online consumer companies work
Format: panel + party
Panelists:
Damon Darlin, Technology Editor, New York Times
Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures, author A VC
Michael Arrington, Founder & Editor, TechCrunch
Jonathan Sposato, CEO, Picnik
Brad Jefferson, CEO, Animoto
Ethan Lowry, Co-Founder, Urbanspoon
Glenn Kelman, CEO, Redfin
Livestream: by Seattle 2.0; check back here the day of the event for the webcast
How Much: $0
Hashtag: #nakedtruth

This Year’s Theme: Revenue Models for Consumer Internet Companies
The topic for this year’s event is revenue models for online consumer businesses. We’ve asked entrepreneurs from a few of Seattle’s funnest consumer services** to talk about how they make money from ads, transactions, subscriptions, downloads. Using real numbers  – on the cost of traffic, on the ratio at which that traffic converts into customers, on the revenues yielded per 100,000 visitor — we’ll dig into what makes different revenue models really work.

We’ve also got a few folks to report on what’s happening in the world beyond Seattle: Damon, Michael and Fred have probably seen more revenue models for Internet-consumer businesses than anyone.

Together, we hope we can give some useful advice to entrepreneurs trying to figure out the best revenue mix for their own companies. It’s something Redfin is still working through, too, so it’ll be good to get some help. Even though Internet companies everywhere are in a put-up-or-shut-up situation, you could go to a hundred Internet conferences and never hear a word — let alone a number — about revenues.

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What You Need to Bring
So we hope everybody can come. The panel will run ’til 7 or 7:30, then we’ll start the party. We’ll try to commandeer a taco truck to set up at the park entrance, and the Olympic Sculpture Park folks will run the bar. If the grass is wet or your pants are white, you need to bring a blanket to sit on in the park’s amphitheater.

But you should try to make it. At the last Naked Truth, people fell in love, scores were settled, grudges were forgiven, the fur flew over all sorts of dingbat startup ideas, everyone was smiling, and folks dressed up like it was the prom. I need a haircut now but I’m waiting two more weeks so it will look perfect for the big night.

If you’ve got ideas for spicing up the event with jugglers, sword swallowers or tambourine troupes — or if you have questions you want to ask the panelists — leave a comment and let us know what you can bring to the party. Many thanks to Madrona & Fenwick for putting this event together, to all the speakers for agreeing to participate, and to Seattle 2.0 for streaming it.

(Photo credits: Chateau Marmont by John and Keturah, Olympic Sculpture Park by Jacobc on Flickr)
*Myself included! We were all nerds, especially compared to the rest of the Marmont’s clientele.
**We’re claiming Animoto as Seattle-based since the team went to high school here, and one of them still has an aunt in Tukwila!

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