Amsterdam. Ahhhh, Amsterdam! After more than 30 years, I returned to the Netherlands. I was a guest speaker at Mobile Monday Amsterdam (#momoams), which was one of the best conferences I have been to in a very long time.
Photo Jöran Maaswinkel (@JeeeM)
Before I start blogging too much about my trip, there are a few things I want to say, clarify, restate, or answer that I didn’t have a good opportunity to do while I was there. Here they are, in no particular order:
1) “The cloud is a lie, the cake is real.” Some people misheard me and thought I said “the cloud is alive”. Well, that may be true after some singularity event (doubtful), but that isn’t what I said or meant to say. I was making a reference to Valve’s Portal game. Blame it on my “Oracle of Delphi” sense of humor.
2) I came down pretty hard on Venture Capitalists during the presentation (for good reason), and I want to make it clear that I was speaking in general terms. There are a number of venture capitalists out there that are really smart, know what they are doing, and aren’t out to screw over entrepreneurs. Of course, the vast majority of VCs ARE like this, but not all of them.
It is up to you to be discerning and figure this out early on in the pitch game. There are some new funds out there trying to rethink the model (I know of one in particular based out of Luxemburg that has an awesome bunch of guys that know what they are talking about). Research and do your homework…you will find the VC diamonds in the rough.
3) I can’t begin to say enough about the organizers and hosts for MoMo. They were wonderful and I felt that they were sincerely dedicated to making sure I had what I needed and I felt welcome. They were amazing. If I had time, I would have stayed a few extra days if only to repeatedly say thank you for the opportunity to speak at a wonderful venue to an interesting crowd of attendees hosted by stellar organizers featuring amazing speakers.
4) If you met me after the presentation and I told you to make sure you added me on linkedin, followed me on twitter, and emailed me, I wasn’t kidding. I’m not good with names and faces after a conference and it is hard for me to remember who is who if I follow up. Better if YOU contact me (soon) and remind me who you are. I am more than happy to chat, give advice, talk about the industry and the tech, or just hang out.
5) Someone asked me why I didn’t talk more about Neogence during my presentation. Usually, when you speak at a conference like this, it is bad form to talk about your own company. It is too easy to go from a presentation that has value to it and change into a slick advertising pitch. Unless I am specifically asked by a conference to talk about the company, I will usually avoid it. If you want to know more about what my startup, Neogence, is doing, feel free to ask (or send vast quantities of money haha).
6) If you had a question that didn’t get asked or answered because of time constraints, EMAIL ME. I’m happy to answer now.
7) I’m very interested in hearing feedback from you about my presentation. What did you like, what did you not like, where did you agree, where did you think I was a nutcase, did anything inspire you or “turn on a light” in a moment of inspiration, or did my dry jokes put you to sleep? Anything you can give me will help me in future presentations and conferences.
I had a lot of time to think on Tuesday morning while driving to Luxembourg (other business), on the train back to Amsterdam that night, and the whole flight back to Raleigh on Wednesday. The other presentations at the conference gave me a lot to think about, and the conversations I had with various people over the duration of the week (I arrived in Amsterdam last Friday) were very mind opening and enlightening. I’m still mulling this over and letting some ideas gestate, but I will be blogging on a number of topics in the near future here. I’m not a very frequent blogger, but expect some new stuff, probably this weekend or early in the week.
All in all, the conference was definitely a highlight of the year for me, and it was an honor meeting the other speakers and meeting everyone that I did. Thank you for a wonderful week and conference. I promise better jokes next time : )
If you want to see my slides and the video of the presentation, you can go here. I highly recommend watching the other presentations as well. Lots of great information, insight, and thinking.
Oh, special thanks to the photographers that made me look good. I don’t have a lot of photos of myself, and the ones that I do have are generally self-portraits. I’m MUCH better taking photos of other people haha.
One last note: Martijin Pannevis rocks for taking the time to find and buy some Kinder Eggs for me. I absolutely loved those things when I was a kid growing up in Germany and I have been craving them for YEARS.
Ahhh, Amsterdam. You guys are all amazing. Thank you for everything.