BrainJams3Dec2005: Much thanks and love for…

… first and foremost to the love of my life and newly crowned fiance, Kristie Wells, without whose emotional, logistical and financial support I never would have been able to do this whole thing and turn a little idea into reality.

There are many people to thank, many of who I have thanked ad nauseum since we started, but first and foremost, thanks to our Patrons who made it all financially possible.

  • David Gutelius from SRI not only got the space for us this time from his esteemed employer, but offered up a space for the Web 2.1 event, helped coordinate and was an invaluable advisor in thinking about how to manifest this idea.
  • Mike Arrington from TechCrunch is a sharp nice guy who gets it more than any other lawyer I have ever met. Besides being a patron, I am glad to call him a friend.
  • Tom Blossom and Hobart Swan from MindJet ponied up cash and prizes for this past BrainJams event and laid the groundwork for future collaboration. I loved their product before they were Patrons of the event, so anything good I have to say about them comes from the heart of a user not the wallet. (I even created my attempt at a resume in MindJet
  • Pandora has finally tweaked the music genome just right. Again, speaking as a user, these guys rock. Hopefully next time we can try to do the BrainJams radio powered by Pandora idea I had for the conference (where a live pandora station is playing and we all can vote music up or down throughout the day)
  • Scott Beale from Laughing Squid could not be at the event in person, but was certainly there in spirit. Another person who I am proud to call a friend as well as a patron.
  • Lawrence Coburn from Rate-it-All has been another overwhelming friend and patron of the event. I can’t thank him enough, though I will try at our holiday party next week…
  • When I met Nate Koechley at TLPTEALP, I had no idea how fortunate I was at the time. A technologist with the spirit of a warrior. One of the few people I have met with the word ‘catalyst’ on their business card who actually is one. As I said to him, it is not so much the money as the energy it represents…
  • William Pietri from Scissor came out of the blue, but in the small world we live in, is a friend of a friend. I hope to get to know him better in 2006
  • Judith Szepesi of Blakely, Sokoloff, Taylor, and Zafman came through at the literal last minute – just as I was about to print the program for the day and go to bed. Not only did she come through big time in paying for most of the lunch, her and her husband Charles Merriam were terrific participants with tons to contribute. Am very glad we had the chance to meet and look forward to talking more directly in the future.

Last but definitely not least, the many volunteers who came over to our house a couple of times and did so much before and during the event.

  • Rachel Murray has been key to organizing content in the wiki, working through the big issues, promoting the event to other communities and making sure things were running smoothly the day of. For this extraordinary effort, and her contributions to the conversation, we are giving her the first ever Star of BrainJams award – which in the case of this event includes her own copy of MindJet’s MindManager.
  • Andy Kauffman was phenomenal with all around support. Not only did he lend his dynamic energy towards the thinking behind the ideas for BrainJams, he came to my house to run some errands and record a podcast about the event from his mobile rig. Then he showed up and was a ball of fire all day, eventhough he was at a concert the night before till the wee hours of the morning.
  • Preston was awesome as a co-host – despite the difficulties she faced when trying to get people moving who did not want their conversations to end. She also helped quite a bit in nailing down the ideas for running the event and is just a great source of energy for us all.
  • Noah Kagan did an awesome job with the teen panel – perhaps we will have more things to do together in the future… And maybe next time, Tara will be in town to see her idea in action rather than listening to it on a podcast.
  • Nancy Tubbs was a big help the day before the event in setting up and particularly at staying focused. She also suggested the simpler ‘ring around the room’ as opposed to my idea with multiple circles. It worked, so much thanks to Nancy for all her help.
  • Brian Shields shot some great video of the event which made it on air over the weekend. He also came to our house for some planning meetings and has been a great friend on our journey so far. Thanks again for your energy.
  • Shannon Clark is a new friend (known less than a week) but he and Christopher Allen have been very helpful in educating us on what works with Open Spaces and lending their expertise from prior events they have done. No need to reinvent the wheel, but I would like to make it spin better 🙂 I am really thankful to have true experts at this to advise us.
  • Majida Thalji was a one woman power show. We never met or spoke before, but she showed up and just started working. Amazing! So cool too. This is the sort of self starter I want at my next start-up – someone who just sees something needing to be done and does it. Reminds me of the old dirty bucket of water outside the monastery story – but I wont go there now.

So many others to thank, I hope I remembered everyone, but have not been able to think so clearly with this cold the past couple of days. More to come shortly…

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  1. #1 by lawrence - December 7th, 2005 at 15:04


    Thanks to you and everybody else who contributed to make this Brainjam happen. It was fantastic – even better than the previous one IMHO.

    I think the neatest thing about this whole event is that it walks the talk – could there be a better example than Braijams of a grassroots movement with the power to disrupt a giant industry, in this case the tradeshow / conference space?

    Looking forward to seeing this thing go global (it looks like it’s already happening).

  2. #2 by Anonymous - December 7th, 2005 at 16:49


    you were great and thanks for the chance to play with the college kids:)


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