Being at Poptech was just as exhilarating as the previous two years. We heard many presentations of re-mixed ideas (Portable Light), and some clever uses of Internet technologies (Kiva.org). We stood and clapped and nodded knowingly to each other in the cozy Camden, Maine Opera House. We were in the zone.
It was also fundamentally different from 2005 and 2006. We sorely missed Bob Metcalfe's closing critique. The master of ceremonies breathlessly announced his new direction for the confab: faster implementation of more solutions (the 'Accelerator'); 50 additional non-paying participants (quaintly called ‘Fellows’); and 75 percent higher conference fees for the rest of us (Ouch!).
The influence of big-brand sponsors continues to grow; Lexus, Nokia, Yahoo, and eBay were among the corporate contributors who attended en masse. (I love my free smart phone.)
PopTech is transforming from a scruffy meet-up of techies into an elite club of global shakers.
As good as it is, none of us really needs such a pilgrimage. We have the resources and access to accomplish anything we want right where we are. But being in the same room with so many special people, that was awesome!
Salmon Art credit; Poptech.org; Portable Light Project; Kiva.org; Robert Metcalfe; Steven Pinker