I recently attended BarCamp Manchester. It was my first BarCamp and it was an amazing experience. There were lots of interesting speakers and conversations. I presented a crash course on the Ruby on Rails Framework (my presentation can be downloaded here).
My favorite speaker was Ray Deck. He spoke about Startups and Marketing (his slides can be found here). One of his very profound points is that there are 3 things necessary for a successful business model: customers, their need, and a solution that satisfies the need. The cool part of this he helped us realize - your solution is only 1/3 of the equation. Often, I think having cool technology can fool us into thinking that a market is there when it's not. You have to have the other two pieces of the pie. Without a customer and what Guy Kawasaki describes as "pain" (a need), you will not succeed in the business world. You have to have all three elements for a successful business model.
Thanks to Tom for pointing me to the event. Also, it was a great time and many thanks to Ian Muir and the rest for putting together an awesome event. I'm definitely looking forward to future BarCamps in both Manchester and Boston.