Archive for the ‘tech scene’ Category

Election for the next New York Tech Meetup Organizer

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

The New York Tech Meetup is electing a new organizer, given that Scott Heiferman is stepping down.  I have a soft spot for the NYTM, it was about 2 years ago when I went to my first one and met Sanford.  For me it has been the focal point of the New York Tech community.  After the meeting moved to IAC I pretty much stopped going, you had to reserve ahead of time, the event often sold out, and once you got to IAC there was very little time to mingle in the new venue.


Rich Hecker dropped out tonight.  That’s too bad, he would have done a good job.  I could see him leading the event very much in the mold of Scott, short tempered, funny, although much more transparent.  He does a great job with his bootstrapper events, through which I met Scott Kaylie.

Sanford is running to be the next organizer, and I hope he wins.  I sent emails to a bunch of my friends in the tech community up here tonight about Sanford running, and I realized that Sanford had introduced me to most of those people.  Thats what he does, make connections.   He understands and is excited by tech, even tech that won’t necesarrily have an exit strategy but is just cool.

You can vote for the next organizer here.

Hopefully this post was coherent, I’m about ready for bed.

Meeting Tim O’Reilly

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

After lunch I was a bit down. I was having a hard time meeting people at the conference. I called my girlfriend for a peptalk.  She said “You did this all the time in highschool and college, just act like you belong”. I hung up on her in mid conversation because I saw someone from Dow Jones walking by. I started talking to him and he was nice.

Emboldened, I decided that I was going to buy a pack of cigarettes and stand outside the hotel smoking (I quit smoking 3 months ago). Smoking was always a great way of meeting people. When I had a cigarette with someone, I was normally good for a 3-5 minute conversation, much better than an elevator pitch. While I was walking towards a convenience store I saw Tim O’Reilly walking with another O’Reilly employee.
Me: Tim, Hi I’m Paddy I’m a big fan of yours. Thanks for putting on this conference.
Tim: Thanks. What do you do?

Me:I’m the founder of chartWidget we build licensable interactive charts.

Tim: We might need some charting work you should talk to [...] at the conference, Brady can introduce you. Thanks for coming to the conference.

Me: Well, I didn’t exactly come to the conference. I’m hanging out in the lobby. I don’t have tickets.

Tim: We can take care of that. Brady can you get him registered?

Me: Wow, thanks.

That made my day.

I spent the next day and a half at the conference and met many many people.

Thank you Tim.

Lobby Conning at O’Reilly Money:Tech

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

On Wednesday I went to the Waldorf Astoria to hang out in the lobby and meet people going to the money:tech conference. This was a $3000 conference, and being the founder of a growing start-up, I couldn’t afford the $3000 ticket, nor could any of my friends get me in for free. So, my idea was to hang out in the lobby – otherwise known as “lobby coning” – in hopes of finding people heading to offsite meetings (read: bars) where real business happens. I also wanted meet other people running finTech startups.

As soon as I walked in, I saw someone with a Money:Tech name tag. I walked up to him to introduce myself, when he asked: “Are you Jonah?” To which, I replied: “No, I’m not.” I proceeded to give him my pitch and explained that I’m not actually in the conference. He said, “Oh, you really should come.” I thought to myself “Dick, does it look like I’m in a position to spend $3k on this conference?” He was smug.

So I plopped myself down in what I thought was the lobby of the WA, and after looking around a bit, I realized that there were about 4 entrances to the hotel. Thus I would only have a 1/4 chance of meeting people. I chose a spot with access to WIFI, and out of boredom and curiosity, looked up ‘conference crashing.’ That’s when I discovered that the term for what I am doing is ‘lobby conning.’

Then I see Jim Cramer walk through the lobby – he’s a true celebrity to me. I got up and introduced myself to him. He was very nice, and actually soft spoken. He said he will check out chartWidget.

That was quite a high for me. The rest of the morning was uneventful, there weren’t large groups of people hanging out in the lobby. I also realized that since most of the finance people at the conference live in New York, they won’t be going out to bars after the conference, they would be going home. I was getting a bit down by lunch, because I hadn’t really met anyone else. I went out to grab food.


Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

I have started attending lispnyc events. Wow, what a group. This is the smartest room full of programmers I have ever been in. It is also a surprisingly approachable group. Whether or not you care about about lisp or functional programming I recommend that you attend. Not everyone there programs in lisp or even a functional language for their day job, they all care about programming though. As I learn more about lisp, through events like this, more and more thoughts pop into my head which enhances my code in less functional languages.

I’m not going to be a nice blogger.

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

You might consider what I say nice. I might be have moments of kindness. I’m not saying I’m going to aim to be mean or cruel. What I am saying is that I’m not going to sign any blogger code of conduct.

Here is why
The big deal about blogging is that it breaks down barriers to entry for publishing. That’s why it scared the shit out of traditional media, thats why they made fun of it. Thats why they questioned whether or not bloggers were true journalists, and whether or not they should be afforded the same protections… because they were scared.

Look at who is proposing a code of ethics Tim O’Reily , Dooce, Kathy Sierra. All popular bloggers and important people. Now I’m sure they don’t even think that they are restricting free speech, or putting up a barrier to entry, but watch, it will happen. Like any club, it seems harmless enough, but what happens next.

What happens when Reddit, or Digg won’t accept a link unless its from a ‘nice’ blog?

Well now who ever decides if a blog is nice has a lot of power. And who is on the commitee for deciding what the standards for nice are, that’s right, O’Reilly, Sierra, and Dooce. Thy will have more power than they now have, and power corrupts.

Of course when Reddit or Digg stops accepting ‘mean’ submissions there will be another news aggregating site, maybe ‘meanit’. I’d love to write that.

So thats why I’m not going to join a blogging code of ethics