Gnomedex: Ignite Seattle Talks

I admit to already having a love for Ignite Seattle – I spoke at the first one, it’s the singular event for bringing techies together in Seattle, and every time the tone of the talks and the event shifts slightly. Bre & Brady brought something amazing to Seattle.

I was very excited to see that seven speakers from this week’s Ignite were added to the Gnomedex schedule – even happier that five were local and that I know a few of them well.

I didn’t know before attending Gnomedex that we were going to need some fast-talking, type-A energy on Saturday morning, but after Michael Linton, we really needed it, and scotto – who turns out to be a dynamic and engaging speaker, and who used the 15-second slide shift like a master, in a talk that was either memorized (a good thing!) or seemed so, was an energetic kickoff.

Dave McClure struggled a bit more with the format and there was too much data to get the ONE BIG IDEA that Ignite talks do so well, but he’s fun to listen to.

Deborah talked about online relationships, gave an example of getting contacted by business partners through Flickr – are your friends on Flickr/Facebook real? – and says that these relationships are real because we live, in a relationship economy, “transactions are the by-products of healthy relationships” – “[relationships] come to your aid when you least expect them” – you never know which contact will matter, weave yourself and your networks across multiple groups – be someone who relates and brings things together. Nice! I’ve been thinking about this as I get started on Facebook – who are the people from my network that I bring in and what does it mean to have so many different people from different parts of life?

Beth Goza’s encouraging us to think about the mobile web as being different than just what you did on the Internet, same metrics and porting. She’s doing a clever job of segueing from point to point. Much of this talk is basic for people who know their way around mobile development (carrier lockdowns, etc.) and there isn’t much of a conclusion but it’s still fun to listen to her.

Leo! Leo! Leo‘s up, going from his talk about the transhuman revolution in Ignite 3 to Venture Term Sheets in Ignite 4. Always fun to know people whose interests are so varied. This talk is giving the 5-minute intro to what VC’s are, what they invest in, how they work, etc. His slides on liquidation preference are the clearest way I’ve seen this concept presented publicly. A perfect use of five minutes to explain the concepts.

Brian Dorsey (who I know from somewhere…) came to talk about Noonhat. Starts with the premise that our interests and our social networks keep us connecting to the same sort of people, and how he wanted to use lunch to meet new kinds of people. The site is a clever way of finding and connecting, and Brian talked about how he built it in his time (50 hours of development plus N hours of chatting) and no other costs. (Random note: Brian provides a simple progress bar on the below of his slides to show how far he is. When you know these presentations are exactly five minutes, you get more interested in following time.)

Last talk is Elan Lee, a luminary in the gaming world and a friend of mine. (Sorry I called you a luminary, Elan. You’re going to be mobbed after this talk.) “Mundane objects all around us provide entertainment and you have to just go find it.” The audience is mesmerized as he gives fun examples from life (carry a bucket and you can get in anywhere, throw toast at unexpected parties, customer service lines with random questions – ask the Kremlin or Butterball if there’s a God), then from his work (e.g. the radio drama of ILoveBees). Elan has an even cooler progress bar on the bottom, though it’s a bit stressful to watch and times the 15-seconds rather than the 5-minute.

In my mind (and I’m biased), this was the highlight of the Gnomedex presentations so far. Including Ignite was a great idea and I expect there will be a push for more talks like this going forward.)

Once Chris posts the videos, I’ll point to them here.


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