Friday, February 24, 2006

Energy & Vibe of Toronto & Back from YAM (Yet Another Meetup) - with Stowe & Reply to Rick Segal about TechCrunch5

In response to a posting from Rick Segal, I made the following comment which I'll repost here:

Mark, Rick, All,

Sounds like a killer party, wish I could have made it.

But check this out:

WITHOUT free beer.

WITHOUT being techcrunched.

WITHOUT 10x the tech dev population.

WITHOUT 100x the tech venture capital.

WITHOUT naked men running around. (okay, that one is out of place ;)

That are all representative of the bay area and the killer techcrunch (that I regret missing out on).

We had ~100 people show up to the DemoCamp 3.0, when we (me and David Crow) started/hosted 1.0 at the BubbleLabs (makers of, of course, ;) in December as a spin off of David's TorCamp we had 30 people. At 2.0 in Feb, we had ~60.

(in response to:) Sand Hill Slave: Unlike 1999, us poor Canadian software startups that host these "parties,” we don't offer crap -- except good company (in the form of demos from passionate developers and entrepreneurs). What is like 1999 though, is that there are a lot of people that are coming out of the woodwork and taking risk in doing innovative things and neat things -- some for the money, some for the vision/fun, some for both. (I like to think that I fall into the last camp/category :)

I just came back from an ad hoc meetup, having drinks and dinner with Stowe who was visiting, with Michael O'Connor Clarke playing host at a local downtown pub. With just 2 days notice, we had something like 20+ people show up. It was great. The energy in Toronto is almost comparable to the valley during my days there in 2000. Mike A./Slave/Scoble/whomever: if you're looking for pure developer-energy/passion, not just money (because that is one spot where Canada is still greatly lacking--sufficient, true, venture capital), outside of the Bay Area... Toronto is doing pretty well relative to its very very small tech pool.

The community events that are popping up, the camps/parties/whatever, are a nice sign of good moral and passion – a great leading indicator, IMHO, of risk taking and innovation. This in turn, and I would expect, to lead to great economic growth for the region.

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