Things I learned at this BarCamp
- It was a very different crowd from the first one.
- It’s so easy to network – it was as difficult as breathing in, breathing out! I gave a presentation, and as a consequence, I had people throughout the day approach me and introduce themselves.
- In the morning, collaboration was a bit of a hot theme. John Rotenstein from Atlassian asked the question of how do people define collaboration: “when two or more people work together on a business purpose”, was my answer. We agreed. Everyone else, kind of didn’t.
- How to raise money – was the afternoon’s theme. Great points were brought up by Marty Wells, Mike Canon-Brookes and Dean McEvoy who led the discussion.
- Some things mentioned:
- Aussie VC’s lead you on. “Nice idea- let’s keep in touch” is their way of not burning bridges
- VC’s work in a cycle that are in five or so year cycles – raise money at the beginning of the cycle
- Rule of thumb: give 30% away on the first round, 30% on the second round
- Advisor’s that give out Comet grants work on a 2% commission of future venture capital that you raise.
- No one understands the advertising market – everyone in the room wanted something they could read to learn more (check back here soon – I promise!). For example, Google’s adwords programme is largely supported by the property market – the mortgage lending market that is affected by the current credit crisis, is going to affect start-ups relying on adsense as the money drops out of these ads.
- I met Jan Devos, who randomly approached me and blew me away with what he has done in his life. Basically (and from the age of 17), he created an implementation of the MPEG4 compression technology (for non-tech readers – MP4 as opposed to the older MP3) and he licenses out the technology to major consumer appliance companies like Samsung, who incorporate the technology into their products.
- I met Dave O’Flynn – self-described as a “tall Irish red-head” developer; Matt June – a former Major in the Australian military, and now pursuing a project based around social innovation; I discovered Rai of Tangler is a commitmentphobe; Mick thinks he can skip most of BarCamp because he thinks organising a wedding is so hard; Mike Canon-Brookes over beer revealed he is a Mark Zuckerberg wannabe; and Christy Dena one of the lead (un)organisers of the conference looks completely different from the person I thought she was!
I got a positive reaction to my half hour session on five lessons I have learned on successful intrapreneurship due to a large internal project I started at my employer, with people throughout the day getting into a chat with me about it. Richard Pendergast, who is starting a online parenting site, said he was going to write a blog on one the points with his own personal battle of creating credibility. Glad I helped! I said to him I was going to blog what I talked about it so we could turn it into a discussion, but I have decided, this exam I have to sit in
12 8 days might need to start getting my attention. Anyway, here were the five points I made, however given the discussion during the session by everyone, is a very rough framework as people brought up some great points when talking:
1) It is a lot easier to seek forgiveness, than permission when doing something in an organisation. Or in other words, just do it.
2) Be proactive, never reactive. By pushing the agenda, you are framing the agenda for something that works for your project. Once you start reacting to others, your idea will die.
3) The more you let go – the bigger your idea will get. Use other people to achieve your vision. Give other people a sense of ownership in it. Let them take credit.
4) It’s all about perception. It’s amazing how much credibility you can build by simply associating your idea to other things – and which in the process, builds your own personal brand to push through with more later on.
5) Hype build hype. Get people excited, and they will carry your idea forward. People get excited when you communicate the potential, and have them realise it.
Thank you to all those involved – both the organisers and the contributors – and I look forward to the next one.