Above Video: Come join me on my “walk through” videos (see others) to meet Boulder’s tech community.
I took the day off from work yesterday, and did some sight seeing of the Rockies (thanks to long term friend Kit who was one of the organizers of the Thin Air Summit) and had an opportunity to meet the large tech community at the “Tea House” in Boulder. I quickly learned that the tech scene is active, there’s many startups, events, and a VC community (including this incubator program called TechStars) that helps spur this eco system forward. What makes it attractive? The opportunity to be exposed to the great outdoors, the clean (yet expensive) Boulder area, great food, and healthy lifestyle.
Being in Silicon Valley, we’re so centrist in our thinking and don’t get enough exposure to the other tech communities around the country and globe (although I’m trying hard to meet each community) as a result we haven’t heard that much about Colorado’s tech corridor.
I observed that the entrepreneurial spirit runs high in Colorado, many folks want to strike it out on their own (I wonder if this is tied back to the silver rush and early settlers) vs many in Silicon Valley may prefer to join startups and exit rather than building their own sole-propertiership. The environment was warm and people shared –even with risk of sharing competitive information.
Despite the warmth of this community that’s nestled between the Rocky mountains and the great plains, they’re very insular and don’t share their story to the rest of the world. I’ve visited countries where they actually have government sponsored outreach programs just to tell their story in order to attract buyers, partners, and employees –Colorado could really benefit by not only focusing inward, but being a bit more extroverted and sharing their story with others.
Well, if anyone in Colorado was hoping to keep their ecosystem a secret –too late now, I just told my community.
Every wanted to know who was behind those 140 characters? Now you can. this 2 minute video you can hear 50 people shout out their twitter handles at last night’s Dallas tweetup.
What’s a Tweetup? A group of social media enthusiasts who want to connect and networks. Despite all the tools that are available to us to communicate digitally, there’s nothing like meeting in real life.
I help the worlds largest brands develop community strategies, yet, sometimes it’s the simply things that really tell more of a story then anything else, BBQ, Shiner Boch, and a $200 camera. That’s what community is really about: people.
I was invited by Tajee to attend a product show off for Sanyo’s Xacti (difficult to find product on website, so Ill send you to Engadget instead, attention Sanyo Web Strategists!) and Voicebank’s Alligator uploading software.
What was really interesting was the new Xacti camera line that could be fully immersed underwater. A demo video of Nora and Irina from PodTech was shown messing around at the pixelodeon conference down in LA.
What’s really important is showing that video capture can occur from anywhere and at anytime, these very mobile devices (these Xacti’s fit in your pocket) record decent quality and are often backup cameras for even field news reporters. Jay, Ryanne, and Irina from PodTech presented after the two product demos, an interesting conversation talking about the ‘bigger picture’ was interesting.
The next generation of phones will have video capture and faster upload (or easier at least) to websites like YouTube, Blip, and the disruptive LiveLeak. I like Jay’s quote while he was presenting, these tools will help the world connect and get smaller, we’ll be able to learn more about other cultures, connect with people outside of our immediate neighborhood, the promise of the internet. The most exciting thing of the event? Meeting Vee of VeeTea, she’s launching a video blog around her passion and business, tea!
I snagged a video with my Canon SD700 camera ($300) it’s really designed for still pictures, but it’s decent for video in tight spaces and events. Here’s my video walk through on blip:
(Left: LinkedIn provided each guest a 4 square ball, the latest rage in the valley)
There were hundreds present at the community event at LinkedIn in Mountain View. Even the fSan Francisco Chronicle, Justin TV, , Ustreamers, Business Week, and bloggers were there covering the event.
LinkedIn provided Armadillo Willy’s BBQ lunch for all, four square balls as gifts, and gave the four founders of Lunch 2.0 lunch box gifts. My role? Founder Mark Jenn nominates me as the “promoter” of Lunch 2.0. Mario Sundar, Kay, and others at LinkedIn did a great job with this community event. No demos, not pitches, just a friendly welcome and invite to talk further.
I was asked, “What’s the ROI of Lunch 2.0?” Well I would guess that hiring a PR firm, an event company to manage an event to get so many ‘viral’ social media folks (even Guy Kawasaki was present) would cost over $100,000. On top of that, to get the media buzz of such an event (hundreds of pictures were taken, lots of video and press) would be quite a bit. For example a quarter page ad in a newspaper would cost about.
The cost of this event is just a few thousand dollars for food and giveaways. The net net? Well if Markets are conversations It was worth it to LinkedIn to embrace the community.
I did my usual walk through using Viddler, (my longest one yet) so if you weren’t able to attend you can live through me.
Left: Founder Reid Hoffman welcomes guests and introduces CEO Dan Nye.
What are the chances of a web startup making it? 5%? 2%? not very good for most? We should take a lesson from business networking tool LinkedIn.
LinkedIn celebrates over 14 months of profitability, which is an amazing feat for the thousands of web companies in Silicon Valley that sprout. I first started using LinkedIn in 2000, when my Exodus colleagues were being scattered to the winds during the fallout. (Before I used my blog as a networking tool, I was one of LinkedIn’s early evangelists)
While for many bloggers like myself, we rely on our blog as our primary online networking tool, LinkedIn has many benefits. For those that don’t have hours to spend blogging each week, LinkedIn is the likely one of the best ways to increase one’s network online.
LinkedIn matters for many business folks, as it helps them to keep track of colleagues, alumni, college friends and find new opportunities. We know that 30% of all employers “Google Search” a candidate before being hired, and for many, due to heavy Google juice (page rank of 7 out of a possible 10), a personal LinkedIn profile will come up first, this is the case for many of my friends.
How has LinkedIn been helpful to me? I’ve had a handful of interview requests because of this tool, in one case at a previous employer, our competitor found out who was in the role they were seeking and asked me to come interview, smart. I’ve also been able to keep track of numerous colleagues at a variety of previous jobs and college alums.
LinkedIn has quietly kept to itself over the past few years and has emerged a winner, thanks to Mario Sundar, LinkedIn’s community evangelist for inviting us to this wonderful gala of fine food, wine, cheese, and decadent chocolates at San Francisco’s ferry building. Update: I’m told that Dave Sanford of LI had a lot to do with the wonderful pairings.
Congratulations to LinkedIn’s founders, members, and investors.
Above Video: I did my usual video walkthrough of the event.