This past weekend i had the pleasure & privilege of attending O'Reilly Foo Camp (2008), and as usual it was mind-blowing. I'm always amazed at the incredible people you meet at Foo, the wide range of topics discussed, and the general air of insatiable curiosity and intellectual generosity. The event is by invitation only, and ~250 people usually show up. While it's unfortunate not everyone who wants to attend gets invited, at the same time the caliber of people you meet is quite impressive (due to my work on O'Reilly conferences over the years i made the cut, but i'm not sure i really measure up on merit... better keep coming up with events / ideas Tim thinks are interesting ;)
photo by Scott Beale, Laughing Squid
In addition to Foo, this year O'Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures also hosted a Startup Camp one day before Foo Camp for a few of their portfolio companies & some up & coming entrepreneurs. I was asked by Mark & Bryce to join them and give a talk on Startup Metrics for Pirates, which i recently updated below:
So on Thursday afternoon (after dropping by YouTube Developer day in San Bruno) i picked up Andrew Chen in San Francisco, and we got to chat for a few hours on the drive up to Sebastopol. The conversation with Andrew was a little mini-Foo all by itself, and we talked about all sorts of stuff including social networks, online gaming, advertising & revenue models, the state of venture capital & angel investing, etc.
On Thursday night we joined the rest of the OATV Startup Camp geeks at Stella's for a wonderful dinner, and continue the startup conversations throughout the evening and into the next morning back at O'Reilly. There were several great talks on startups by Tim O'Reilly, Mike Arrington, Mark Fletcher, Marc Hedlund, Ev Williams, Howard Morgan, Esther Dyson, and others.
Foo Camp started late Friday afternoon just as Startup Camp wrapped up, and went thru late Friday night, all day Saturday, and finished up Sunday around noon. A few of the Foo sessions i particularly enjoyed were:
- Economics isn't Physics (Bill Janeway)
- The Big Search Debate (Tim O'Reilly, Mike Arrington, Danny Sullivan)
- Neural Hacks (Ramez Naam) *note: this session topic has become a TechCrunch post on Provigil / Modafinil
There were many other great meetings / hallway discussions, as well as many games of Werewolf, and i also ran another session of Half-Baked Dot Com (winner: MilkMoms Dot Com, an on-demand breast milkdelivery service... don't ask me, ask Thor Muller ).
All in all, a great weekend... thanks Tim!