20 Years Old 1995-2005
May 12, 2009

Big Omaha Conference Recap: Applying Some Theory

The Big Omaha conference on May 7th and 8th in Nebraska was a great 2 day collection of events and speakers in web, business and creative.  While many conferences in the web design world deal with “how-to” and strategy, I found Big Omaha to push theories and lines of thinking.

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The line-up of speakers featured some great Internet minds.  Kicking off Friday morning was Jason Fried of 37signals.

Jason stressed getting away from failure (it’s not cool), the value in eliminating interruption, focusing on the  day at hand and not a 2 year or 5 year plan, putting the most effort into the things that don’t change in your business (service, process), and the value of your by-product.  I had a ton of interest in finding the by-product of your business, not just the specific service you offer, but the knowledge in the process of it.  This can translate into books, speaking events and more.

Another speaker I really enjoyed was Jeffrey Kalmikoff of Threadless Tees.  His time on stage focuses on transparency and accessibility.  He outlined how these things contribute to success of his company.  Jeffrey hit upon the message of spending time with your community of customers/users and listening to them, reacting to them and acting on the right moves.

Gary Vaynerchuk closed out the presentations with his “loud” presentation (loud in a good way).  His passion for getting people to hustle, work hard, build a brand and deliver your expertise in any way possible is a great message.  Gary definitely let his feelings be known on how the Internet will squash everything … newspapers, TV and possibly high education. Gary also did some great Q & A with the crowd as well.

Other attendees recapped the conference as well, so check out Shane Adam’s blog, Read Write Web and Silicon Florist.  Check out Managing The Edge, it has a decent video segment of interviews from the conference as well.

It was a well put together conference, crazy successful for a first time conference.  I was encouraged by the fact I hold some of the same value in transparency and making things happen.  I also picked up some great ideas on other theories and ideas to strengthen the Five brand and business of web design.

In such an evolving industry it’s great to listen to great Internet minds and also interact with others fighting the good fight daily.  Overall, I give Big Omaha an A- and look forward to next year.

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