Reviewing anything I do is an inevitably flawed mission. My perspective is skewed not only by knowing waaay too much about what went down, but also by fatigue. Boulder Startup Week 2012 wore me out. If you didn't know, I've served as the five-day event's head organizer for the past two years -- guiding it from a creative, purpose and community standpoint.
It's a sprawling, distributed affair that requires loads of communication across many fronts in order to stay afloat. It concluded a few days ago, and I've laid relatively low in the meantime, gathering my wits with gardening gloves. Despite my current double-vision and hazy gaze, I wanted to jot down a few notes before they slipped from my memory.
What we did right:
- Started early. According to my email records, we got started planning this business in December 2011.
- Added more team members. Last year's BSW consisted largely of myself and Ryan Wanger. This year, we added Elaine Ellis (on PR) and Sarah Jane Griesemer (on scheduling). If I were going to run 2013, I'd add even more folks.
- Flew in more people. One of the big imperatives of BSW is to drive acquisition of tech talent. There are so many open tech jobs in Boulder that we decided to gather as many sponsor dollars as possible to fly in candidates with the hope that they'd fall in love with Boulder and move here. It's happened before. Last year we flew in 6 folks. This year we flew in twice that number. Shall we double it again next year? Yes.
What could use improvement:
- Moar shirts. I made quite a few enemies after ordering only 200 shirts this year. Sorry, all.
- We need to be a little meaner to people to ensure that the event's purpose(s) are kept in mind. Being a pushover is fine if you're hovering above a ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese. It's not fine if you're hovering over an alligator pit. Mo' backbone at all times.
- Better RSVP system. We used Plancast this year and last year. It's easy, but it lacks a few items. I'm sure the team will track down something solid.
I wish I could say that I'll do everything I can to make Boulder Startup Week 2013 even better. I can't. I'm moving to Amsterdam and have left the event in other people's hands. However, I'm absolutely certain they'll bring the flava to your doorstep, drastically increasing the property value of your abode.
If you made it out to Boulder (or out of your house), thank you. If you didn't, circle the month of May on your 2013 calendar. Boulder wants your bones.