OATV Startup/FOO Camp Redux

Last week, Luke and I rolled up the California coast to Sebastopol, headquarters for O’Reilly publishing/conferences. I wanted to keep all the possibilities open so I tried not to have set expectations.

Luke, me and an apple tree

Luke, me and an apple tree

Startup Camp was 8 companies in various stages, but all towards the earlier side, sharing with each other and absorbing advice and inspiration from people that have been there and done that. (metaphorically speaking)

We had sessions with other programmers, experts on creating passionate users, investors, successful entrepreneurs and last but not least Tim O’Reilly. Each of these sessions and people could be a book, let alone a blog post. I have plenty of work to do, but if you are interested you might get some mileage out of searching twitter for startupcamp.

We also got to socialize with some of the people presenting and the founders from some of the OATV portfolio companies. Great people, with invaluable insight and I hope some new life long friendships…

And then there was FOO… Wow, the best word I’ve come up with so far is ‘enchanted’.

How else can you describe camping out with ~400 people all doing amazing things? I’m not sure there are many places where you could have high quality conversations about random technology, economic models, philanthropy, hypercoding, agile development, martial arts, user interfaces, data visualization, the cello, education, geometric paper folding, theoretical physics, film making and Ugandan hip hop, back to back to back. And that was just my thin slice of the experience. Puppet got a lot of love, I just hope no one found me too boorish once the topic came up. Oh, yeah, and when everyone else goes to bed, the hardcore werewolf begins… Hi, I’m Andrew, a villager.

Engaging enough that I didn’t twitter for much of it, and that is saying a lot.

My mind is still spinning from the experience and hopefully some of those racing thoughts will solidify enough to express.

Now we just need to have the kind of year that gets us invited back.

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