This Saturday and Sunday, BarCampBoston4 is happening at MIT! Itâ€™s a fantastic geek unconference, with close to 400 attendees networking, eating, and participating in sessions on everything from Rapid Application Development to Entrepreneurs Anonymous to Battlestar Galactica: The Aftermath. The main thing Iâ€™m thinking about isâ€¦ what am I going to present on?
Some ideas Iâ€™ve been thinking aboutâ€¦
- Boston public startup space â€“ getting one started.
- The Entrepreneurâ€™s Lifecycle â€“ learning, doing, outreach, and mentoring.
- Kicking ass at competitive research for web services.
Starting a Boston Startup Space
Right now, the Boston startup community is an invisible network with no persistent points of connection or knowledge-sharing. Students, newcomers to the area, and corporate refugees have a particularly hard time discovering and feeling connected to the local community, resulting in a talent drain from Boston as individuals move to San Francisco, New York, and elsewhere.
Events like BarCampBoston & Web Innovators Group are great at drawing them out some of the time, but these events are ships making port only occasionally, and often passing in the night. A persistent, publicly-available space for the Boston startup community would act as a magnet for entrepreneurs & talented individuals. It would allow them to network, collaborate, gain inspiration, and feel more connected to the community.
The session would be about my vision for such a space, the challenges in creating one (some questions I still donâ€™t have answers to), and some action items for any who want to be involved, or can pass along the items to others who may want to be involved.
The Entrepreneurâ€™s Lifecycle
Recently, Iâ€™ve had the opportunity to advise a couple of entrepreneurs younger than myself. One an intern from CareerNumbers, the other a connection from a high school friend, now in college. I was amazed at how much advice I actually had to give; that is, how much Iâ€™ve learned since moving to Boston almost three years ago, attempting my first startup, and now working on my second. It got me thinking about where I became aware of entrepreneurship, from my mother as a small business owner, and what Iâ€™ve done to make others aware of it.
Iâ€™m not sure what the goals of this as a session would be, though. My main thought right now is it would be interesting to hear the stories of others from different stages of this lifecycle.
Kicking Ass at Competitive Research for Web Services
This relates to the article I wrote on Evaluating Your Competitorsâ€™ Products. First you have to know who your competitors are. And just as important as understanding how their product works and how their customers like it, is understanding where their customers are coming from (and where theyâ€™re not). Essentially, this session is me compressing a bunch of marketing expertise, bundling it with a dozen or so useful tools, and uploading it into everyoneâ€™s brains at T3 connection speeds.
Leave a comment if youâ€™re particularly interested in any of the above, I might not present until Sunday. Iâ€™ll post slides after the presentation, but hope to see you at BarCampBoston4!