Archive for the ‘NW events’ Category

Thoughts on Seattle 2.0 Awards

May 8, 2009

Wow, what a great event put on by Marcelo and team!! Truly a top class event.


For those of you who didn’t attend the event (in-person or live) – you should not make the same mistake next year! Marcelo and team put together a welcoming environment where the focus was on the event, the speakers, and the community. Definitely kudos to him and the team – pulling off this kind of an event is difficult and the team’s ability to execute well definitely shines through! John has a great write-up on the results.

The family and I had a great time. Quentin was embarrassed that people knew who he was. Gabriel was his usual self and was handing out Seattle Lunch 2.0 stickers to everyone. Robin was of course her usual proud supportive self. There were quite a few people there I didn’t know, so it was great to meet new people and chat about their startups. The boys were hilarious, after meeting Jonathan Sposato in the restroom, they were proud that they met the guy who kept winning awards. They kept saying, “oh – we met that guy!”

Luckily, their Dad finally won an award so he could compete with all these cool CEOs who were winning awards and giving talks to the audience. The boys wanted to brag to everyone so it was a great chance to teach some humility and let them know how important awards from the community are. It was also good because the kids got the explanation about how there are so many other great seattle tech groups and events that just being a part of the category is a great thing (all the event organizers deserve an award).

If you haven’t attended a Lunch or Happy Hour – get registered for an upcoming event before the seats are filled!! If you’re unsure of what to expect, check out The Experience of Attending or Hosting a Seattle Lunch 2.0.

There will be a Seattle Lunch 2.0 @ Pelago on May 15th.

There will also be a Seattle Lunch 2.0 Happy Hour @ Sortuv on May 29th.

If you can’t attend either of those, Seattle 2.0 Live will be streaming the events (so you can at least attend remotely). There are plenty more in the works – contact me if you want to host/sponsor. If you don’t have the resources to host/sponsor and still want to contribute – make a donation – I am currently sending Seattle Lunch 2.0 stickers to all those that donate.

For those of you who voted for Seattle Lunch 2.0 – Thank you (I literally could not have done it without you)! It truly takes a community and if Seattle Lunch 2.0 wins an award like this, it means that all of you in the community contributed to the events enough to make it happen!

Seattle 2.0 Awards – today 5/7/9

May 7, 2009

A few thoughts to keep in mind regarding today’s big awards ceremony…

First,  I want to say thanks to Marcelo and the team for putting on the Seattle 2.0 Awards, Seattle definitely needs this kind of event!

Second, I want to thank the community for nominating Seattle Lunch 2.0in the Best Social Event for Startups category. It’s a real honor to be a nominee in this category and I’m glad to share the nomination spot with so many other great events and organizers.

Third, I want to let all of my readers, twitter followers, facebook friends, etc that the family and I will be attending the awards ceremony tonight. I will be tweeting a lot throughout the day regarding the event and especially during the event (this means twitter and facebook status updates). I will be using the hashtag #seattleawardsfor those of you that want to filter out those due to the amount of traffic to your facebook status (fine – I should have less seattleawards updates tomorrow). Although I would assume you all have either a vested interest in the health and vitality of the young Seattle companies being celebrated tonight as our economy truly does depend in large part to the innovative companies, investors, thinkers, service providers, and event holders that make up this community or you are seriously curious to learn if Seattle Lunch 2.0 wins…

Fourth, It is Quentin’s birthday today (11yrs old ), and we are going to spend his birthday as a family cheering on the Seattle Startup community. If you are a founder, CEO, investor, or entrepreneur – please stop by and encourage both of my young sons (Quentin – 11 and Gabriel – 7). They both look up to people who start stuff and well, I know a lot of you don’t think of yourselves as role models. It will be a great way to get an ego booster and help encourage my sons to pursue their dreams.

Fifth, Did I mention how important this kind of event is for Seattle and the economy as a whole? It is kind of our duty to pass along the details of this event to anyone and everyone we know. The goal is to ensure the live streaming attendance is higher than the in-person attendance and the press coverage at a national level is just as high as it is at local level.

On another note – if you didn’t vote for Seattle Lunch 2.0, it is too late to vote but it’s not too late to donate to the running of these events or to attend the Lunch @ Pelago or the Happy Hour @ Sortuv.

Experiences Attending and Hosting Seattle Lunch 2.0

April 17, 2009

In response to a discussion about events and what value they have for people, I wanted to post my thoughts on the experience of attending and hosting a Seattle Lunch 2.0 event….

I can’t speak for the “Think Tanks” or WTIA events, but the Seattle Lunch 2.0 events are Mingling events and they contain great startup-relevant information.
Over the few years that I have been leading/attending these Mingling events I have participated in numerous group discussions about how companies grew their startups. When I say discussion, I mean an active audience participation in discussions about what is most interesting to the group at large. The CEO/Founder contributions to the conversations have ranged from “started in college”, to “spun out of Microsoft or other BigCo”, to “had a bright idea coding one day”, to… well, you tell me what situation a company might be spawned in and we’ve pretty much had those kind of founders talking about it – if not let’s have one.
The great thing is that the intention of these events includes mingling and participating in discussions (a little presentation, demo, or Q&A to get things going) and then discussion and a lot of time to Mingle.
What do I mean by Mingle you might ask… well at a recent one of these events the Founder gave a demo and talked a little about the company (10min), followed by another 10-20min discussion/Q&A, then there was the hour of talking to the Developers, Marketers, Founders, and everyone else on the team that is actually required to make a startup function. So I guess it’s a little more then Mingling :)  
Come by the next Seattle Lunch 2.0 to see what I’m talking about…
These are not – here a couple people reflecting on the different about the tipping point for their company. These are – meet the team, founders, business model and ask any question you want.
Admittedly, the events are usually a little less formal. Presentation Zen is not required – Demos are fun, panel discussions are fun, heck just having the whole team around to hang out with for an hour or two is fun!! I will also admit that these are not held in nice conference halls or venues – they are usually in trendy facilities – like the offices where these companies spend their time (yes that means co-working spaces, shared offices, lofts in pioneer square – all w/o AC).
In addition to CEOs/Founders we’ve had speakers at these Mingling events that include authors, investors, lawyers, developers, architects, and well… we are open to just about anyone who has something relevant and is interesting to talk about. Keep in mind – the hoster of the event has their whole team there so you are never stuck talking to the CEO, when you really want to talk to the guy/gal that wrote the feature!!
These events also have the free food/beer model – if the speaker sucks (at least the food & drink were worth the time). I didn’t say corporate catered – I said YUMM!
A good analogy is a written letter in comparison with… Twitter. The letter is great, has it’s place, it’s norms, it’s value. Twitter – well it’s great too, but in a different way, for different reasons, and it has a different value. Both can get your point across, both can be valuable, but sometimes you need to choose between writing a letter or tweeting and sometimes you need to choose between reading a letter or reading twitter. The value in your message when you write and the value in your information acquisition when you read will vary. Plus we all know which one is more fun…
Of course if you are interested in hosting, sponsoring, donating or want to chat – don’t hesitate to reach out!!

See you at the next event…

Pacific Northwest UC Doers User Group Meeting – 4/29

March 27, 2009
Wednesday April 29, 2009 from 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Microsoft Campus
Building 41 – Townsend Room
(Corner of 156th Ave. NE and NE 31st St.)
Redmond, Washington

The Pacific Northwest UC Doers group is still going strong!! Fourth Quarter in a row and we are going to move to the Microsoft Campus for a little while. We have had the last few over at the gracious McKinstry offices (Thanks you so much, we hope to return to your offices soon!!).

This meeting will be held on the heals of the INTERACT 2009 conference so there will be loads of great people to meet and things to talk about. More info to come soon!

If you have something to discuss, have a presentation you’d like to give, or have things you’d like to see on this quarter or a future quarter’s agenda – drop me a note and let me know! I could talk all day, but I’m sure the rest of you have more interesting things to talk about!

Please rsvp via email to or on Upcoming

ok, now time to grab the kids and head to Oahu – see you all in a week :)

The Seattle 2.0 Awards: Recognizing the Best from Seattle

March 10, 2009

I was recently contacted by Seattle 2.0 to be a judge for a new award activity. I was intruiged by the idea and quickly signed up. Of course I was asked to post about the event and help spread the word (the word is below)…

Before I get there, I wanted to comment on the interesting observation about all of these tech awards and demo events that are getting more and more popular in the tech community. It is obvious that they all are introspective and exclusive to the tech community. It is less obvious that this lack of publicity is a contributing factor to a decline in enginuity from US born/raised citizens.

Everywhere we look these days we see studies of US engineering capabilities declining, US business enginuity declining, modern innovation from the US declining, and all of the people with extra money dumping some of that money into the school system to prevent these declines. In fact a story today about the gates foundation putting in another $7.2M into the Seattle School system. Amazing that we can continue to dump money into our school systems as well as start trying things like standardized testing and charter schools etc – yet we still turn around and spend the real money the billions per year congratulating actors, singers, etc on their acheivements for capturing the largest audience with their art. This with no thought in mind that the amount of money spent and the audience captured for these ceremonies is what inspires teenagers to drop out of school to join a band, throw up a YouTube video and strike it rich. The message is that we value entertainers and artists far more than ethical business people and truly innovative creations (no wonder when we grow up and try business after a failed garage band we resort to creative accounting & lending – creativity makes money).

I am not saying that art and entertainment is not valuable. I certainly appreciate art, listen to music, and watch movies!! I am saying that national and global awards seem to be missing the attention to things like the Nobel Prize – um where is the red carpet, prime time show for those awards – the Pulitzer Prize – do your kids even know what this prize is for – or even more local events that pay tribute to the amazing startup technologists or product designer. Ok, maybe the Seattle 2.0 awards aren’t a replacement for the Nobel Prize or the Emmy’s – but it’s recognition like this – recognition of true acheivement that our younger generation is lacking. There is no reason to pursue great acheivement from a young age, no public role models, no cultural norm of appreciation for acheivers. Yet our schools continue to try and give our kids the tools for great acheivement. These kids aren’t in acting classes, they aren’t in batting practice, they aren’t in singing class – they are in classes to learn math, science, etc – so why don’t we at least give them a few roads to use these tools.

Yes, it is hard to force someone down a road with those tools, but showing them where the roads are is THE biggest step in the right direction. So why don’t you show your kids the roads they could travel with the tools they are learning in school, why don’t you let them make heros out of smart people with ambition, why not take the time to bring your kids to an award ceremony where hard work is recognized. Show them that acheivement at innovation and passionate pursuit is valuable….

Why not take them to the Seattle 2.0 award ceremony this year?

Re-posted from the Seattle 2.0 blog:

Startup life is hard. Startup life during a down economy is harder.  Entrepreneurs don’t found, join, invest in, or work with a startup to make their lives easier. They do it to make meaning. They do it to change the world. They do it to fulfill an inexplicable desire to make things better, faster, smarter and easier.

    Today, I am proud to announce the first annual Seattle 2.0 Awards – a series of awards to recognize the people and companies who make the Seattle startup community happen.
    We have a great website to the awards, and you can start nominating your favorite individuals and companies as of today for the next 2 weeks. After that, a panel of 30 of the most influential CEOs, founders, investors, service providers, journalists and bloggers in Seattle will select the top 3 on each category. Then we’ll open for public voting until late April.
    Join us as Seattle 2.0 hosts the awards ceremony at Pacific Science Center on the evening of May 7 with food, drinks, and a chance to spend time with the people you care about in the startup community.  There will be a startup showcase and master of ceremonies, Renay San Miguel (King 5/NWCN), will be announcing the winners in each category.
    As always, we are very open to ideas and feedback on how to make this award prestigious, the event pleasurable and the overall idea a success so that we can keep honoring the best of the best every year.  Registration for the event will open shortly.
    A special thanks to our early sponsors: Kismet Communications, Fenwick & West and Sampa, and our media partner Mashable.