Bring Your Own Platform (BYOP): Build, Buy, or Borrow?

Location: Regency E Level: Intermediate

Facebook has Platform. Google has OpenSocial. Many social networks are choosing to roll out their own application platform offering. Get an overview of several new social networks, and find out what choices they made in creating their social platforms.

Photo of Oren Michels

Oren Michels


Oren Michels brings more than 15 years of experience to his job as CEO of Mashery. Michels has a proven track record with experience across multiple industries. Previously, Michels was vice president of business development at Feedster, where he negotiated partnerships with AOL, Real Networks and Mitsui, and oversaw the company’s activities in China. Prior to Feedster, Michels was president of Colt HR, a leading provider of outsourced benefits administration software and services to the mid market. He also co-founded WiFinder, an international provider of directory services for wi-fi public access hotspots; served as president of, where he managed the company’s growth and helped establish it as a leading online wine auction market; served as COO of two manufacturing companies; and as CEO of The Groundlings, an entertainment production company in Hollywood.

Michels began his career as a software designer for Hughes Aircraft and has been a consultant to companies in the management, financial, marketing and information technology industries. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from MIT and an MBA in finance and entrepreneurial studies from UCLA’s Anderson School.

Photo of Jessica Alter

Jessica Alter


Jessica is Director of Platform and Business Development at Bebo. She leads the platform strategy and community at Bebo as well as multiple business development efforts. Prior to Bebo Jessica worked in business development at Hands-On Mobile. She holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from University of Michigan and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Photo of Daniel Burton

Daniel Burton


Daniel Burton is Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy for and has played a leadership role in the development of US technology policy for over twenty years.

Prior to joining he headed government affairs for Entrust and Novell. Previously he was President of the Council on Competitiveness where he was a pioneer in the effort to establish government technology policies for the US high-tech industry.

Mr. Burton has testified several times before Congress and has lectured widely in the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America. He holds an MA in political economy from Columbia University, a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a Diplome de Langue et Civilisation Francasies from the Sorbonne. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Mr. Burton has edited three books, including Vision for the 1990s: US Strategy and the Global Economy, and written numerous articles on technology policy and competitiveness, which have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The New York Times, The Washington Quarterly, Scientific American and Issues in Science and Technology.

Photo of David Jones

David Jones

Friendster, Inc.

David joined Friendster in December 2006 with more than 19 years
experience in marketing, business development, and product and
business strategy. Prior to joining Friendster, David held several
marketing and general management roles at eBay Inc, including roles
focused on scaling the number of active members of the eBay community.
David was also the director of eBay’s media and entertainment
businesses in the United States. Prior to eBay, David was the Vice
President of Business Development at Blue Wireless and an associate
partner at the management and technology consulting firm of Arthur D.
Little. David holds a B.A. from Stanford University in Quantitative
Economics With Honors & Distinction, 1990.

  • Buddy Media
  • AOL
  • Bebo
  • Clearspring
  • Friendster
  • Gratis Network
  • Hook Mobile
  • SocialMedia
  • BNet

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For media-related inquiries, contact Maureen Jennings

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