Feb 15 2010

A note to Colorado technologists – Attend Glue!

I’m reposting a note from Eric Norlin, our partner in both the Glue and Defrag conferences which really struck a chord with me. While Foundry invests across the US, we’re based in Colorado and do our best to support the local startup ecosystem. As part of this we very deliberately set up camp with both Glue and Defrag here in our backyard in an effort to make Denver/Boulder the center of the technology universe for a few days of in depth discussion and networking around all things technology. Glue is coming up at the end of May. It’s an in depth look at the “connective” technologies that are changing the way we live and work. If you’re a technologist that’s working in and around this space I’d encourage you to show up. Especially if you live here in Colorado – come support our effort to bring greater focus and energy around these topics right in your backyard.


As a guy who organizes two tech conferences that take place in Colorado, I’m in a bit of a weird place. I’m part of that “Colorado tech community” via my friends/cohorts/biz partners — people like Brad Feld begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting, Seth Levine, Andre Durand, Rob Johnson, Josh Fraser, John Minnihan, David Cohen, etc — but I’m also not part of that community, as I don’t get to be absorbed into all of the day to day stuff (by virtue of the fact that I don’t physically reside in Colorado). However, I believe that Colorado (Boulder-Denver especially) is one of the best places in the country that you could “get involved” in the internet-software space. I’ve railed against the “if you’re serious you move to Silicon Valley” myth so many times (and called the purveyors of that falsehood more names than I care to remember) that I can’t even believe it still ever comes up. And, in some ways, I think this recession has really helped to expose people to the fact that there is so much good entrepreneurial activity happening outside of the valley. I mean, is there any *hotter* (trendy, successful, honest, fun) group of VCs than Union Square Ventures (Twitter, Zynga), Foundry Group (Zynga), Roger Ehrenberg (new fund on Big Data) and Howard Lindozon (Stocktwits)? Nope. Do *any* of them live in Silicon Valley? Nope. Places outside of “the valley” are where it’s at right now (much to the dismay of some), and Colorado is leading that charge.

Similarly, I often get asked why Glue (or Defrag) isn’t located in the Bay Area. My answer is always the same, “don’t you think the bay area has enough tech conferences?” The Bay Area really isn’t the center of the universe. I know – shocking, right? The second question I always get is “why Colorado?” That answer is a bit more complex, but really it boils down to “because it rocks, that’s why.” (And it does Bay Area folks good to actually *go* to a conference sometimes.)

It is in that spirit that I wanted to reach out specifically to everyone in Colorado in the software, internet, startup space. We’re bringing some *amazing* people and sessions to your backyard for Glue, so I’m making my case early: If you live in Colorado, and are interested in software, you need to come. Now, let me explain why:

1. Speakers: Look, there is no shortage of genius in Colorado. But that doesn’t mean that mixing that genius with other geographically different genius-types doesn’t yield good things. With that in mind (and keeping in mind that the agenda is still a very early draft), let’s look at the speakers that are already confirmed –

Doug Crockford (creator of JSON), Joe Shirrey (Azure team, Microsoft), Dwight Merriman (CEO, 10gen), Sunir Shah (Freshbooks), Scott McMullan (Google biz stuff), John Musser (Programmable Web), Clay Loveless (CTO, Mashery), Dave Smith (Basho), Jonathan Ellis (Rackspace), Mike Miller (Cloudant), Emil Eifrem (Neotechnology), Michael Barrett (CISO, PayPal), Chris Hoff (Director of Cloud, Cisco), Laura Merling (Alcatel-Lucent), Ryan Sarver (Director of Platform, Twitter), Jack Moffitt (Collecta), Jeff Lindsay (Webhooks), John Fallows (CTO, Kaazing), Brian Mulloy (Apigee), Jeff Lawson (Twilio), Rick Nucci (CTO, Boomi), Phil Windley (Kynetx), Joe Stump (SimpleGEO), David Recordon (Facebook), Eric Marcoullier (Gnip), Chris Messina (Open Web Advocate, Google), Eve Maler (PayPal)

…and that’s the *early* draft. The agenda is probably 30% complete.

2. Topics: What about topics we’ll be covering?

Webfinger, User-managed Access, Federated Provisioning, Open/Linked Data, Cloud Data Management, Facebook’s Open API, Understanding Twitter’s APIs, MongoDB, Activity Streams, A6 (cloudaudit), OAuthWRAP, managing multiple APIs, XMPP, webhooks, PubSubHubBub, HTML5 websockets, cloud security, SAML, OpenID, Facebook Connect, NoSQL (Neo4J, Cassandra, Riak, CouchDB), API terms of service, State of the API marketplace, How to build your own computing cloud, AWS, Force.com, Windows Azure, Google App Engine, Web Oriented Architecture, and a ton more that we’re still adding.

3. Price: You can register right now for Gluecon for under $475 bucks (just use “louie1″ when registering) — a price that’s already cheaper than 80% of the conferences you’d attend in the Bay Area (and absolutely cheaper than any other “cloud” conference – which are running about $1895). Throw in the fact that the conference is in your backyard (ie, no travel expenses) and it becomes an unbeatable Colorado deal. Keep in mind, that price is covering your food, drink, evening reception, wifi – everything — over 2 days.

4. And let’s just say that $472.50 is still out of your price range – then at a minimum you should be registered for the Cloud Camp happening at Gluecon. It’s free (and only has 140 tickets remaining, so don’t wait), so there’s no excuse there.

Bottom-line: if you’re doing internet-software-startup stuff in Colorado, Gluecon covers every possibility (price, topics, speakers, location). You literally have to work at it to come up with a reason NOT to go if you live in Colorado.

I’m saying all of this for a very simple reason: My hope is that the Colorado “presence” at Gluecon is overwhelming this year. Last year, about 70% of our gluecon participants came from outside of Colorado. That just isn’t right.

So, my Colorado friends, you can stay home, not meet amazing people, not participate in hackathons, not get involved in a new project, not increase your knowledge and help your career, and wonder why it is that Silicon Valley gets to have all of the fun, OR you can realize that the Valley doesn’t get to have all of the fun, and do something about it by participating in Gluecon. I really hope you’ll choose the latter, because we’re gonna have a blast.