Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

MinneBar 2009

I had fun at MinneBar, despite what the following may sound like. I think the organizers did a great job finding space (the Best Buy headquarters) and getting everything lined up.

Next year, I am totally signing up to lead a session or give a talk, because I was under-impressed with a lot of the ones I attended. So, hey, there's one sure solution to "I could do better than that."

After I got home I tried to read twitters from others who attended. What an annoying process. Is there any way to filter out, say, retweets?

Intellectual Property Tips for Entrepreneurs: Little preparation, little content. Lots of patent talk, no actual lawyers.

Indie Video Game Development: Could have been very interesting, but too much time spent 'going around the room', doesn't scale to 500-person (un)conferences. Some grousing about the difficulty of getting 3D engines going, little talk about actual *game* design. Nathan Yourchuck and I scheduled our own impromptu session on "Economic Models for MMPOGs" but got no takers.

Algorithms and Refutations: an excellent talk! (Except for tendency to leave white slides in between content... why?) Argues that bugs aren't "shameful", but inevitable due to fuzziness of concepts, just as counterexamples and concept-stretching lead to better proofs and concept-formation. Doesn't really seem to connect with studies of what causes *actual* bugs, though. How does this theory explain popular bugs such as off-by-one errors?

Physical APIs: caught the end of this one, Jeremy Lizakowski showing off electronic parts. Fun, sort of.

Discovering Scala: disastrous. Do not put up the project web page as your introduction and then ask for questions. A presentation on a new technology should sell that technology first, otherwise why do I care? I didn't care, so I left.

Bootstrapping your Tech Start-up: Fun, not all that useful. Fighting broke out over his classification of marketing as a "black hole" for $$. Too much FUD over VC funding. Bad stats: "625,000 companies started in 2009, only 618 had venture funding". How many are restaurants, retail stores, caterers, service companies, etc., vs tech companies? Of tech companies that had a successful exit, how many were venture-funded?

On further reflection, what annoys me most is that 90% of the talk was on saving money but only 10% was on earning money. Entrepreneurs don't need to be told that office space costs money. How to convince somebody to give you money for an incomplete product is something entirely different.

Minnesota Lean Startup Group: also a disaster. Trying to launch a discussion group, but didn't do a good job presenting what he wants to discuss. I left.

Understanding Monads: Interesting talk, trying to demonstrate monads implemented in JavaScript. Unfortunately, his examples were not very compelling--- seemed to be introducing much more complexity than the translation to monads was removing.
Tags: geek, minnebar, minnesota
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