Saturday, February 10, 2007

My Thoughts on Community Next

I spent the day at Community Next at Stanford on a grey, drizzly Saturday. Jangl had sponsored, and thus had a table there and a five minute presentation by Michael.

Woke at 6 a.m. and roused my daughter. She was okay with spending the day at her cousin's house, but not thrilled with the early wake-up. Just like Dad.

Hug and smooch and we said our goodbyes. She threw her arm around my neck and hugged me -- that was nice.

Our table was pretty jammed up all day -- that's a good thing, of course. A long, fluoro-lit hallway, with offshoots to the main auditorium and the "masticating room," deemed such by the young and insanely optomistic CN organizers. The room was loaded with bagels and coffee and other beverages of all sorts. Noah and his massive crew wore bright orange shirts and were everywhere. Everywhere. At one point, I went to the restroom and half-expected an orange shirt to be standing there saying, "Was that okay? Do you feel better?" Amazing hosts in all the right ways.

Highlights:

Threadless: Jeffrey and Jake talking about their Four Commandments. (Your Project is Not Good Enough)

Noah's morning routine, waking everyone up. "I had a girlfriend in high school -- she cheated on me several times. . .she was apparently VERY interested in community/people."

Josh and Aaron, of Spear Creative Group and Brandplay, respectively. Bordered on too-cute sometimes, but ended up being damned nice. Congrats and thank you.

Mark Jacobstein of loopt -- nice job, nice app. Seems like a killer fit for Jangl, too.

Top thing? Meeting tons of Great People (communitizing?). Folks like AOL, ActiveVibe, Meetro, WSJ, grad students doing amazing things, and many more. Thanks to Jeremy for all of the intros to the people I'm too stupid to know already.

Lowlights:

Honestly? Tara Hunt was nearly incoherent. Several walked out, including me. I heard from at least 10 people later that day that she was, umm. Whatever. I don't like people who overpromote when they can't deliver -- and she's apparently talking a lot these days. But, Gross Domestic Product in her presentation? Right. I'm sure to incite flames here, since she's the speaker du jour.

Catered lunch by Hukilau was great, but the line was wayyyy long. I ditched it only to find that Tresidder (student cafeteria) was already overloaded with a bunch of high school debate team members queued up at two Subways. Texted my daughter, who'd been with a sitter all day -- "You okay? I love ya." No response. Returned to Community Next buffet in the drizzle -- cold Hawaiian bbq -- yum.

A rainy, gloomy day with tons of life exploding inside Annenberg Auditorium. The vibe was extraordinarily positive, friendly, and collaborative. You get the sense that many of these folks are thinking Big Thoughts, and that a few will succeed spectacularly.

Drove home in the rain and dusk, missing my daughter but utterly fired up about what I'd witnessed today. Fielded about five phone calls on the way home. Made about eight.

And then decompressed with my girl over dinner. I'd picked her up and she was craving sushi. As I'd neglected her all day, I granted her wish, of course. We were watching little boats go round and round. The Community Next cocktail hour was in progress, 20 miles north, but Jangl had it covered, and the day was almost done.

"Did your day go okay?" she asked, grabbing a shrimp tempura.

"It did, sweetie. Thank you for asking."

"Did you talk in front of a bunch of people again?"

She equates this with "stardom," of course. I'm obviously no star -- my job is to do that for others.

"I talked to a ton of great people, but no, not in front of a crowd. I just did my thing. It was a good day. But tell me more about yours. . ."

She sighed a little. Maybe it was just my paranoia that heard it. Is Dad boring?

She threw her arm around my neck and smooched my cheek.

And then she told me more about her day.

Just like I've told you about mine.

Thanks, Noah and team and everyone.

11 comments:

Jason H. said...

Hi,

Wow, pretty harsh on Tara Hunt, but I don't think I could disagree with u. GPI??? Maybe she just had a bad morning. However, I don't think anyone can argue that she certainly did a fantastic job for Riya when the company first got started.

On your CEO's presentation--it was pretty funny when the slide shows his HOT cousin :) However, I suggest you guys should do a short video/Flash demo on your product and service--just like the Loopt and SayNow demos. Just my 2 cents!

Timothy Johnson said...

Thanks for commenting, Jason.

Perhaps you're right that Tara just had a bad morning. We all have 'em, right? But I'll bet you a grand that the GDP/GDI slide and story didn't just pop into the PPT over morning coffee, ya know?

Re the Jangl PPT -- thanks for the feedback! While being "just like" two others kinda feels creepy to me, I hear your point. At the same time, MC gave out his Jangl ID to everyone at the end -- did you try it yet?

Thanks again. Hope the show was good for you.

Josh Spear said...

Thanks for coming and glad you enjoy Aaron and my presentation! Cheers...

Jeremy said...

It's not stupid, it's I have no life, read too much, and events have always been my specialty. Just ask D.

Um, disagree Jason H.

Brian Solis said...

Interesting....I missed Saturday's event because spending time with my son was long overdue.

What were some of the highlights?

The pre-party was fun.
I heard that I missed two fights...Lane Hartwell (shooting for Valleywag) got the shots.

Timothy Johnson said...

hey brian,

i stand by the highlights -- from my POV -- as above. though i'd add that i missed suicide girls and the last panel cause of the early drive home. that seemed to cause a good stir-- i'm hoping luis over a luxvibes got it on tape (i think he did, and will let you know if i find it).

also, i didn't get to the vip party on fri cause, well, i'm not a vip. but jangl boss Michael cerda did.

fyi, i met one of your teammates at the women 2.0 conference late last year -- she was awesome.

Brian Solis said...

Thanks Timothy...let me know if you score that tape! And thanks for the kind words about Alison. I'll pass along your compliment!

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

To stand up for Tara a second, I think the GDP/GDI conversation is an interesting one. She had limited time, and didn't have time to fully dive into the concept ....which is a very interesting one. She wrote in detail about it here:

http://www.horsepigcow.com/2007/01/27/what-you-measure-matters-the-most/

Give it a read. I think it's completely relevant and a good example.

Jake
communityguy.com

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