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A new (and great) idea has been making its way across the country.  It’s called Startup Weekend.  What is it?  From their site:

Have you ever wondered what a group of highly talented and motivated people could accomplish in a weekend? Could they start a company from concept to completion?

Startup Weekend answers that question and more. A unique three-day experience, Startup Weekend brings the best and brightest people together in a local office space to select the concept, break into teams, and develop the product, marketing and revenue model. 

Occurring in cities across the world, Startup Weekend is the new way to allow your local entrepreneurial community to come together and incubate a company from concept to completion in just 54 hours. – Source: StartupWeekend.com

Still don’t understand?  Get a bunch of smart people with entrepreneurial spirits, ideas from their brains and those provided by community members, put them in teams, and make the ideas come to life.  Phoenix was recently selected as one of the cities to host one of these weekends.  This isn’t a user group.  So if you think you can show up and sit in the back of the room, my guess is you can’t.  Roll up your sleeves and get ready to collaborate.

You literally take an idea, bring it to a vision, and in some cases get to an implemented 1st cut of a product.  Your team builds a company in a weekend.

Several local sponsors in Phoenix (and other cities where these are happening) have come together to provide the facilities, food, and other forms of sponsorship so the weekend can be successful.  Want more information?  Here’s some links for you:

Still need some convincing?  Local entrepreneur Sean Tierney wrote some of his thoughts when he went to a Startup Weekend in San Francisco:

Let me just say that in every respect this was an amazing event. It condensed a year long product dev and launch cycle into just 2.5 days and it began on a Friday night with a room full of 132 complete strangers. The fact they were able to keep the wheels on the bus and deliver a working alpha by midnight on Sunday was an impressive feat in itself, but what was even more impressive was to see how leaders emerged and groups solved problems."

I’m looking forward to seeing how this event evolves and being a part of it.  It isn’t a free event (but isn’t expensive), but hopefully that will give you more incentive to be serious about it.  It will be a great event for learning, leading, networking and being creative.

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RIApalooza logo

I’m very excited to have the opportunity to attend the RIApalooza event in Chicago in a few weeks (31 MAY).  What is RIApalooza?

RIApalooza promises a platform agnostic and "PowerPoint-Free" zone, which means we are going to forgo the boring marketing pitches in favor of talking technology. RIApalooza is about creating Rich Internet Applications; how to go about building them and what is being built.  source: riapalooza.com

I love the PPT-free zone aspect of it.  I loving having the maximum time to show some real working code, answer questions and see what everyone is working on.  I’ve decided to team up with a great designer, Corrina, where we will demonstrate some fun things.  It should be a great time.  I don’t want to give too much away, so if you are in the area, you should absolutely come.  You can register on the site, so be sure to do so.  I’ll be coming in on Friday and might need to do some fine tune prepping but would love to meet as many folks as possible at the meet-n-greet on Friday night.  Follow me on Twitter if you’d like and hopefully I’ll be able to post where the fun is happening.

I look forward to seeing you there!

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now that silverlight is 'officially' released, maybe you've been waiting for that "RC" label to go away.  okay, no more excuses, time to start digging in.  what better way to do that then cuddle up with a few of your closest unknown friends and hack away, barcamp style!

some fine folks have organized a SilverlightDevCamp in two areas and they are free to attend and get some SWAG, some learning, and make some connections.  designers, developers, people with macbooks, everyone is welcome.

what is a silverlightdevcamp?  i'm glad you asked.


SilverlightDevCampSF is an upcoming gathering, inspired by BarCamp, to build Silverlight applications, It's organized by volunteers & Silverlight enthusiasts, with attendance free to all.

While similar to iPhoneDevCamp this event is focused on a singular technology, we'd like offer some diverse sessions like using PHP to generate Silverlight content, IronRuby/IronPython & the DLR or Moonlight on Linux.

Attendees will include web designers, developers, testers, all working together over the weekend to build Silverlight applications, share experiences, ask questions, and push the limits of web application design. If you're interested in Silverlight, but haven't had time to learn, this is your chance to get up to speed. Plus you'll be able network with other developers in the bay area who are interested in Silverlight.

stuff will be given away and some super geeks will be on hand to help with silverlight questions.  it sounds like a great time, and in 2 great cities.  unfortunately i'm in two different cities at the same time...argh.  but there are some cool peeps that i know will be there.  if you are close, you should definitely go.  if you are working on silverlight or curious, then you should be there and make time to go.

be there.  let me know how it goes.

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so up in the valley (the one of silicon, that is), they have very interesting and different ways of getting communities in the tech world together.  one of them they've dubbed the .  i swear everytime i hear that said or even type it myself i can't stop thinking of saturday night live's tv funhouse:

but i digress (again).  anyhow, what is supperhappydevhouse?  well, if you read the site it is described as:

DevHouse is not a marketing event. It's a non-exclusive event intended for passionate and creative technical people that want to have some fun, learn new things, and meet new people. In this way, we're trying to resurrect the spirit of the Homebrew Computer Club. We also draw inspiration from the demoscene as one of the only intentional getting-things-done computer events in the world.

so how do i interpret this?  bunch of geeks, someone's house, lots of laptops, ideas floating around, people helping each other, hack-a-thon.  think of it as a barcamp bbq perhaps.  so in the spirit of this, a few in the other valley (the one of the sun, that is) have organized the .

so what is it?  didn't you just read above?  bring some grub that might taste good on a BBQ (one will be provided on site -- not sure if BBQ concierge is included though, so be prepared to cook it), bring some geek code, robots, whatever.  oh yeah, it will probably be like 138F outside, so if you want to stay cool outside, bring some swim gear (please, no speedos) as there is a pool.

so what could you expect?  your guess is as good as mine... i anticipate some conversations going like:

"dude, you should totally write a web app in ruby on rails to program your system in your pool!"
"nah, you'd need to open a web service endpoint on the pump valve so it would know when to go."
"yeah, you're right, but if we had ajax, then it would work."
"true, but why use ajax when you could do it all in flex?"
"or excel!"
"true dat, true dat."

or maybe something different.  it sounds interesting, it sounds fun...if anything come out and get to know some folks.  the information is all at the wiki site -- be sure to add yourself as coming.  there is a lightening round scheduled as well to show some stuff to everyone.  here's some of the details:

What:Phoenix DevHouse
Phoenix Dev House is not a marketing event. It's a non-exclusive event intended for passionate and creative technical people that want to have some fun, learn new things, and meet new people. In this way, we're trying to resurrect the spirit of the Homebrew Computer Club. We also draw inspiration from the demoscene as one of the only intentional getting-things-done computer events in the world. Pool included. Bring your swimming gear if you want to keep cool. BBQ on site. Please bring anything you want to put on the BBQ for consumption. Working on sponsors for beer, drinks and appetizers. If you know someone interested let me know. No ethernet access. Free Wi-Fi access provided.
When:Saturday, August 4, 2007 2:00 PM to Sunday, August 5, 2007 1:00 AM
Where:DevHouse #1
21469 East Lords Way
Queen Creek, Arizona 85242   United States

sure, it's in queen creek, but if you haven't been to the 'crik in a while, you don't know what you are missing -- we have safeway's and stuff out here now.  here's a map of where it will be.