MindCamp – geeks, bloggers, and a lot of food

We had a lot of fun at Seattle MindCamp this weekend. We were a bit apprehensive about the craziness of a 24-hour unstructured gathering of 200+ geeks and bloggers, but it worked out really well. If you put a good-sized group of smart people together, interesting things always happen.

The attenders included other Seattle-area web startups like PixPulse; bloggers; folks from big companies like Microsoft, Amazon, O'Reilly, and Boeing; hackers (DefCon types); professors; students; robotics enthusiasts; and (for lack of a better term) the Burning Man technology-art-society types. All told, a good mix of biz, tech, play, and art.

Our session on "BillMonk: starting your own company" was very well attended. Folks liked the BillMonk idea and gave us lots of ideas for growth. The best part was the free-form discussion that followed, in which people discussed things like: when do you quit your job? is it a good idea to talk with venture capitalists? how much should you worry about talking with lawyers? how and when to worry about the technical aspects of scaling?

Finally… the food. Wow. Lots and lots of food lovingly prepared by staff in white shirts and black ties. The advantage of corporate sponsorship! 

5 Responses to “MindCamp – geeks, bloggers, and a lot of food”

  1. Christian Burns Says:

    Yeah, it was cool. I captured part of the audio from your session but my battery died about 26 minutes into your 1 hour😦

  2. aleph Says:

    What happened to my post?!?

  3. billmonk Says:

    Aleph – your comment was read and appreciated, but we had to take it down to maintain our bland PG content rating, hope you understand. We did email you, but here’s our response again.

    Question: can we extend BillMonk to chores?

    Answer: we have considered adding the ability to create arbitrary “barter currencies” e.g. “you owe me 3-lawn-mowings” or “I owe you 15.5 beers”. Our main concerns are how to do this while keeping a simple UI, and the possible issues of having to resolve diagreements about the relative value of things (e.g. if I owe you 5 beers, is that 5 miller lites or 5 microbrews?)

  4. aleph Says:

    hope i got a laugh out of you. best of luck to you guys.

    i actually did the startup thang in 1999. it was definitely a rollercoater ride and an interesting and worthwhile experience. i’m also not rich (comfortable, though), so i can’t comment on success. one thing to keep in mind: odds are that you have a long, productive life ahead of you, so try to pace yourself. interpret that as you wish.

  5. Arthaey Angosii Says:

    I’m still hoping the “barter currencies” will be implemented. My impression of BillMonk’s stance on disputes was that its openness and outside social enforcements were enough. Whether the dispute is over what kind of beer counts or over how you split a shared bill, that’s handled outside of BillMonk’s system.

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