Startup Weekend Adelaide

What a day! What a great day! It is always fun to be surrounded by interesting people who are interested in doing something. They might be interested in making money, fixing a problem, challenging themselves or just meeting new people.  I was lucky enough to spending the afternoon and tonight with just over 100 interesting and interested people from Adelaide, who are all part of Startup Weekend Adelaide.

The idea is get some people together with different skills, coders, designers, marketers, anyone and work on an idea, a start up over 56 hours. Tonight 30 ideas were pitched, everyone had one minute to share their idea and let people know what help they needed. Everyone in the room got 3 sticky dots which they used to vote for their favourite idea or ideas. The dots (votes) were tallied and the top 20 ideas were selected to form teams. 

Then a special kind of chaos begins, with complete strangers haggling and begging people with skills they needed to join their team to make an idea a reality. It was very light hearted and good natured and after about 45 minutes of banter, teams were formed.

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I left the venue at 10pm and teams had already started working, some teams were heading to other venues to keep working into the wee small hours if not completely through the night. All the teams will be back tomorrow at 8am for breakfast and will then spend the day with butchers paper, pens and laptops (lots of laptops) making their ideas a reality. 

What makes this all so amazing is that most of the ideas will never see the light of day, but people still come to be part of it. They come to learn, develop their skills and knowledge, help their ideas grow. And eventually we all hope that one idea might actually make it, and we can say we remember when it was first pitched at Startup Weekend Adelaide. 

Events just like this take place all over the world, with people working to solve their own problems, problems in their communities, create new products, new services and sometimes just to see if an idea has any chance of becoming real.  Startup Weekends take place all over the world giving people a chance to explore and experiment and they are truly wonderful events full of passion, humour and ideas lots and lots of ideas. 

Whatever the reason for attending these events are clear signs that there is hope.  In a time when people accuse each other of not caring or that ‘geeks need to get out more’; it is these people who are likely to play a huge part in fixing many problems in their community. Whether is be providing a service or creating jobs, it all helps and as they say ‘it’s all good’. 

You can head to the website for more information but to get a real sense of what is happening follow #startupADL on twitter. 

Happy Birthday Dad

Part of Commodore64 keyboard

Today is my Dad’s 60th birthday and he is an uber geek. 

There is a story in my family that Dad has been working with computers so long he once broke his wrist opening a packet of punch cards.  Apparently Dad was trying to open the packet and when it finally gave way he hit his wrist so hard on a filing cabinet his wrist broke. 

I blame and thank Dad for my interest in technology.  I remember the day he brought home a Commodore 64. Initially I wasn’t impressed with it as it didn’t do much. As Dad ran his own software business which took up much of his spare time, I spent many of my formative years not liking computers. It wasn’t until the internet that I got interested in computers and what they could do.

My Dad has spent years answering my questions, provided countless hours of technical support and crawling around on the floor setting up computers and networks with me and for me. He is not really interested in social media but is impressed that people ask my advice about using it. 

I’m grateful to my Dad for sparking my interest that has become a passion and for his endless patience over the years answering my questions, fixing crashed computers, setting up wifi and just being all kinds of awesome.

Happy Birthday Dad!