I'm sitting in the MIT VC Conference right now, listening to Diane Greene of VMWare, thinking about the conference, presenting last night, and the Boston scene.
First off, the showcase was really great. I should have blogged it here, but if you were following my Twitter messages, you heard that I livecasted the booth using UStream.tv. I have to say, I was really amazed at UStream. I plugged my camera in (first without drivers, which was my bad) and then the Flash linked up with my camera. One click and I was broadcasting live to the web. The coolest part was that I could embed the video player and the chat box anywhere I wanted.
I'd never really checked out any of the Justin.tv stuff or Chris Pirillo's chats, but I got excited about this. We may employ some of this at Path 101 to further open up our anti-stealth.
Anyway... getting back to the conference itself. People had told me that there really aren't that many "community" events in Boston, and that, which Boston has the VC money, the big institutions like MIT, that the community stuff is a bit lacking. While I met a lot of great people here last night, I was really surprised there wasn't even more people. I think of it as the equivalent to the ITP show and that gets packed every year. In fact, there seems to be more people at the actual conference today, which you had to pay to get in. How come? Certainly it wasn't the fault of the organizers. They picked a great spot and people knew about the conference. Why weren't more entrepreneurs and VCs at the Showcase? Students? Or just people from the community? I feel like it's the kind of thing more people should have been at... like some swarm from a usergroup or something. There were a lot of great companies there. If anyone is involved with any great Boston-area tech community groups, let me know! I'll repost them!
When I first got there, I have to admit, I was a bit intimidated. I'm afraid my arts and crafts skills aren't what they used to be when I was in kindergarten, and I miscaculated the size of the boards compared to the size of my printouts. I printed out twice as many slides about what we did and who we were and they didn't make the board.
Plus, other people had much more impressive displays.... clearly, they spent a lot more money at Kinko's than I did. I was sort of afraid that I wasn't quite ready for primetime, but once things got going, it was really great. People were really excited about what we were doing, and I got to meet some people in person that I'd only known virtually, like Alexa DuPont and Hilary Mason.
There were some visitors from companies in the employment space who we might be able to work with in the future, too.
Most importantly, though... were the conversations with students. I had some great conversations with MBA students from interesting backgrounds trying to figure out what they wanted to do who really took the concept.
So what did we show anyway? Well, we're in development right now and right in the middle of working on design. I didn't really want to have our contract UX person spend resources on demoware that wouldn't move us forward, so I spent some late nights recently pushing my poor graphic design skills to the limit to come up with screenshots. So, if you promise not to poke too much fun, and pay more attention to what's going on in these pages than the fonts, colors, placement, clutter, you can see the screenshots here on the Path 101 blog here.
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