You’re spoiling us, Mr Consul


That’s Bebo co-founder Paul Birch at left, mucking around behind the back of Craigslist co-founder Jim Buckmaster during a party we attended at the British Consulate in San Francisco last night.

The party was part of the series of events around Web Mission, which has brought 20 UK start-ups from the Web 2.0 arena to Silicon Valley, to meet with potential partners and learn from the place where all this lark started. (Tip: The blog about the Web Mission fringe, authored by British journalist Paul Carr, is rather amusing even if you are not here for the events.)

The canapés served at the consulate were perhaps the best we had all week. Everyone was particularly taken by thinly sliced baguette topped with soft mascarpone and preserved figs. I always love to see the fairly normal things that fill innovators with awe, and this was no exception as a buzz rippled through the crowd about this particular offering. Segala CEO Paul Walsh muttered, “I’ve never had any of this before” and Bebo co-founder Paul Birch actually whipped out a notepad and pen so he could write down all the ingredients. Birch then started following one of the waitresses to ask her more details about how the canapés were made (which I would have thought fairly obvious: slice baguette, spoon mascarpone on top, plop figs on top of that), which seemed to frighten her a bit. She’s clearly used to guests with far more knowledgeable palates. The whole cute scene entertained me perhaps more than it should.