The unconference is just about over in Burlington, MA. I must say I had no idea what to expect as I was not sure how you would define an unconference but now I can atleast take a stab at it. It’s like going to a pub minus the beer and televisions. Some of you may say, ‘well that’s not a pub I’d want to go to.’ Well hold on, without the tv the entertainment is conversation and the groups breakout by the areas they are interested in. There are four defined time slots with about 15 groups going at any one time slot. Most definitely there will be a topic you want to learn more about or want to discuss. And if there isn’t you can put your own up on the board. If your interest wanes you can pop next door to the next one. The topics range from cloud computing to sales generation, to networking and funding start ups. The styles from people who ‘ran’ the groups went from professorial to colloborative.
I ran into collegues from other networking groups, fellow entrepreneurs, indsutry professionals and even someone I had been to a mutual friends wedding with. I sat down to lunch with some smart people who I would never have a chance to run into who schooled me on things from twitter to pirates. Because of one of those conversations I went from viewing twitter with mild contempt to seeing at as a valuable resource for learning and networking. I will being opening an account today.
I sat in sessions run by Simeon Simenov formerly of Polaris Ventures and now of fastignite who spoke about what type of capital would be right for you and Bill Warner who founded Avid Technology and Wildfire and is now helping entrpeneurs fulfill their dreams.
I like to to subscribe to the Woody Allen adage of 90% of life is just showing up. And while showing up sometimes can prove more dubious than others this was more than worthwhile.