New Media Leaders

Chris Brogan has a post called “New Media – STAND UP” which I find interesting, and I have a very short, very simple response.

If you have a conference on New Media, the attendees are the conference.

The original post that has brought this all up is by Jeremiah Owyang with the simple statement:

It’s really important that we hold ourselves accountable, especially our leaders.

My overly simple take on it: if the speakers don’t show up to their panels, how long will they stay the leaders?

If this happens, I am sure you can have just as much of an engaging conversation with the 10 folks around you. This is how SXSWi is, how Startup Weekend is as well.

The industry and folks around it need to lead, and I look to Jeremiah and Chris to show us how it is done.






17 responses to “New Media Leaders”

  1. Jeremiah Owyang Avatar

    I wasn’t the first to post on this, Tris was, and then Allen Stern, it’s being talked about at the conference in real world

  2. Andrew Hyde Avatar
    Andrew Hyde

    Great place to live, little traffic, phenomenal weather, low cost of living, creative community. Halfway between Boston and San Francisco for flights. There are quite a few perks.

    The Foundry Group wrote about it here:…“>” target=”_blank”>…

  3. brianlburns Avatar

    Good post, Clayton. I think it's right on. Sometimes a community can get so big, that it loses any community feel. I don't think the Boulder tech scene has gotten there yet, but still, it's a valid point.

  4. brianlburns Avatar

    Oh, and what's with the hourly prize stuff? Looks bush league.

  5. Jmartens Avatar

    You wrote:

    "First of all, it goes without saying that attempting to run a web startup will more than likely be “easier” in Silicon Valley, Boulder, etc….."

    Up, comparing the Valley with Boulder? You aren't serious, are you? Don't get me wrong, great place, great companies, but no where close to the same league. In fact, no area really compares to Silicon Valley but if you had to pick one or two for second place you'd pick any major city on the west coast. Both because of size and resources. Seattle then Portland come to mind.

  6. Jmartens Avatar

    I meant "um", not "up".

  7. Andrew Hyde Avatar
    Andrew Hyde

    You would be amazed in how often I hear Boulder as the #1 place to go to start a startup. The Venture community here is amazingly helpful, and the startup community is both talented and driven into startups, something that both Seattle and Portland lack (more of a pressure to work for a corp there).

  8. Andrew Hyde Avatar
    Andrew Hyde

    Great place to live, little traffic, phenomenal weather, low cost of living, creative community. Halfway between Boston and San Francisco for flights. There are quite a few perks.

    The Foundry Group wrote about it here:…“>” target=”_blank”>…

  9. Lucretia Pruitt Avatar
    Lucretia Pruitt

    Honestly? I'm wondering if you've ever experienced the Boulder community. The growth just south of Boulder has been in the top 10 every year for at least the past 5 – because the tech is there, the skillset is there, and the startups are there.

    If I weren't choosing Silly Valley (and given the cost of living in the Bay Area, I wouldn't) I'd go with Boulder too – b/c the startup community there is incredibly supportive of each other and everything Andrew outlined.

  10. Lucretia (GeekMommy) Avatar
    Lucretia (GeekMommy)

    It's an interesting point – certainly, there are "easier" areas to pursue a start up in – but in the end, if the business is going to fly, it can 'prove itself' anywhere – and might even have a little more credibility if it makes it in a market that isn't coddling it.

    Great post!

  11. Jmartens Avatar

    I don't doubt the perks and I think it is a great city (though it's been a while since I have spent significant time there). I just honestly have never heard it in the same sentance as the Valley.

    I don't want to get into a showdown between Seattle/Portland vs Boulder but I could easily name off a ba-zillion perks for them as well. Bottom line is that no place is like the Valley.

    Boulders size concerns me (just over 200k in city+surrounding areas). I know nothing about CU's entrepreneurship track record. It is significantly farther away from the Valley than major Cali/Oregon/Wash cities. No big companies that I can think of that attract talent to the area. The list goes on and on.

    Again, not trying to offend…it is a first class city that I am sure is amazing to live and work in. Just not on the same level as the Valley.

  12. Jmartens Avatar

    I see that Sun and IBM have a ton of employees in/around Boulder, so I stand corrected.

  13. charlieok Avatar

    I'm wondering where Denver falls in this, being close to Boulder and, cheaper. I live in Denver currently and am not at a startup, but would very much like to be. Would it be ridiculous to move to Boulder based on that? (There are other reasons of course)

  14. Kevin Avatar

    Great post! As a veteran who has started and participated in nothing but startup and early stage companies in the Midwest I think I'm pretty qualified to comment on this. 🙂

    It is definitely *much* more difficult to get a Midwest company going, than in other so called 'hot beds.' Even during the boom, almost all of the capital sources we did have available here locally were taking their money and investing it in the *sexy* venues like everybody else as opposed to right here at home.

    It also can be much more difficult to recruit outside talent. This is especially true with the younger guys/gals who always expected to re-locate to a San Francisco or Boston not a Nashville or Memphis.

    As far as the often cited claim that its easier to get business when you are located in one of the 'hot beds', I believe that is only partially true. Sure, if a lot of your potential customers are right there in you same city or area it's cheaper/easier to call on them, but that doesn't guarantee you sales. At my last company the board used this claim as a reason to merge with a group out of Boston. The only things that came from that move was a tripling or our burn rate and a violent clash of very different corporate cultures. All the valuable IP, and revenue as a result of it continued to be generated from our group here in the Midwest.

    From my experience I have found that if you can get the company rolling then running it in the Midwest has some big advantages. Your burn rate when compared to a similar company in a sexy town is dirt cheap. It's also really easy to get press coverage in the media and major publications serving the area. And as far as personnel, true, there is a smaller pool of talent available, but they tend to stick around as loyal employees for the long term as opposed to just using you as a stepping stone so they can get job with the more established tech firm down the street.

    One of my former employees who now works at eBay came back in to visit and participate in Startup Weekend last week and we had a discussion on this exact topic. He came to the same conclusions after working in both environments. He has decided he prefers the Midwest model and is moving back here in August to help me with my most recent company launch.

    So I don't believe there is necessarily a 'best' place, just different places.

  15. Andrew Hyde Avatar
    Andrew Hyde

    Great, great points.

  16. Spencer Avatar

    Some good points. A few other thoughts, though. As someone that did the Memphis SUW, I can completely agree that there is a community-building aspect that I can't imagine happening in the hotbeds. I was in DC for years, and the type of community interaction in Memphis simply would not have happened there.
    Here's another pro for the non-hotbeds — you can run in stealth mode here, and, man is it stealthy. I guess that's a bit of a back-handed complement, but I think it's true. When great ideas come out of the smaller places, they have time to mature, whereas a lot of times the valley companies have to get going so fast and be very public before they are really ready. Of course, that also means it's harder to market your idea from here than it is on the west coast.
    But, to your point, mostly its a matter of preference and goals, but I see a lot of value in areas like Memphis building entrepreneurial communities, and the work is much more appreciated here than it would be in SanFran, DC, NY, etc.

  17. Bill Tozier Avatar
    Bill Tozier

    I have to question the assumption that it's harder (or easier) to start a successful company, run a company, be a decent human being, find professional balance, build the next Google—any of that stuff—based on where you are.

    You want to succeed, you need to overcome people's prejudices and biases, no matter where you are. Your own, your coworkers', your community's, your investors'. We're all equally stupid.

    In the Hotbeds, you find a kind of ridiculous hubris we all recognize (I hope). There's an echo chamber of received wisdom: People in an inbred social network, especially where the community of practice is really hopping, imagine they have all kinds of amazing "experience" mainly because they bump more often into other people who also think they have similar "experience". "Well, no, not me personally, but this guy I know told me all about it." Let alone, "Good points!"

    No matter how big a town you live in, you all read the same magazines and blogs, all think sports boosterism or a particular political stance is somehow important everywhere, all go to the same economic development seminars and user-group meetings, all read that little bald fellow who sells the stupid thin business books. "Everybody" presumes that business success lies along the same track, and that it should be traversed at the same speed and touching base at the same milestones.

    And if somehow you've come to think it's more complicated than that… it turns out you all know it's more complicated than that because you've "learned" it from each other.

    Amusingly enough, the same damned thing applies in flyover country. People talk to each other, and they develop cultures. It's what people are for. There's a normal, intrinsic scale for cultures, for communities of practice, for business networks and religions and all the rest. In San Francisco or Captetown or Moscow, there are just more of those same-sized groups. But they don't talk to each other any more often or better than a Boston VC group "understands" Iowa museum board members or a startup culture in the Florida panhandle.

    Costs don't mean a damned thing. It's "easier" to start business like you're used to thinking about, in places you're used to considering, with business models you're used to exploring and investing in simply because you don't have to think as much.

    And easier to fail when you don't learn about the people you're working with, selling to, or taking money from.

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