Sam Brown

Brooklyn Beta 2010 - My experience graph

The inaugural Brooklyn Beta Conference was held on the 21st & 22nd of October 2010 and it was a phenomenal success. Cameron Koczon and Chris Shiflett created an inspiring event held over two days at The Invisible Dog Gallery in Brooklyn that started with four half day workshops from Simon Collison, Meagan Fisher, Patrick Lauke and David Kaneda.

Brooklyn Beta 2010 Experience Graph

The main event hosted talks from six inspiring speakers who spoke about their experiences, trials and tribulations of creating products and businesses. I’m almost certain every single person in the audience left the event wanting to go create something new for themselves, I know I certainly did.

Shelly Bernstein is the Chief of Technology at the Brooklyn Museum and spoke about how successful the museum had been in employing social media to increase foot traffic and buzz at the venue. Their use of foursquare was particularly interesting and has proved to be a big success.

Elliot Jay Stocks spoke about his fantastic type magazine 8 faces, where the idea came from, the steps he went through from start to the final product and the issues he had with fulfilment and resolving things on a limited print run.

Cameron Moll first played a well put together video of the Brooklyn Bridge that he may or may not be studying for a future endeavour, then went on to speak about the story behind Authentic Jobs and how he turned this fantastic little side project on his blog into a fully-fledged business that supports him and his family.

Kevin Cheng is the Product Lead of #newtwitter and spoke well about how that came to be, the iterative steps involved in making such a big change with a small core design and development team. Most interesting to me were Doug Bowman’s mockups of what a #newtwitter could have looked like, you need to track these down if you can – I know which ones I prefer!

Marco Arment who recently left Tumblr to work on Instapaper full-time was another very inspiring speaker who talking about taking his small side-project that he created initially just for himself and has managed to turn into a successful business that is now his sole focus.

Lastly Fred Wilson from Union Square Ventures spoke about what he thought were the 10 golden rules of successful web apps. As a VC Fred obviously has great insight into what these are and I’m sure it was very reassuring for people creating web apps to hear these things from someone so successful. What I liked most about Fred’s talk at the end of the day was the relaxed nature of a 20 minute talk and 20 minute Q&A session, this is rarely done at conferences and I feel it’s something we should be seeing more off. It was a super way to end the day.

One of the real highlights of the day was the several hours after the last speaker came off when pizza and beer arrived and everyone was able to have a chance to talk to one another, to the speakers themselves and other attendees in an awesome environment. There was no blaring music to shout over, nor was it too cramped or hot. Cameron and Chris really nailed the overall experience of getting a bunch of really awesome designers, developers and business folk in one room to talk shop!

As a whole this was an incredibly hard experience graph to create, all of the speakers were fantastic and even the demos were enjoyable to watch (if slightly pitchy). Furthermore the audience that attended Brooklyn Beta was of the highest caliber, it was a true delight to be there and I would highly highly recommend it for next year.

Post a link to this on Twitter ↩


Chris Shiflett 3 November 2010, 17:07 #1

Really glad you enjoyed the conference, Sam, and especially glad to hear it inspired you to want to make something. That’s a big part of what we’re trying to do.

The demos are perhaps not the most exciting part of the conference, but they’re a big part of the spirit. With any luck, Brooklyn Beta 2010 will inspire some of the demos we’ll see at Brooklyn Beta 2011. :-)

Commenting has closed for this article. Feel free to me.

Sam Brown co-founded Iterate, and was previously VP of Design at Foursquare. Based in NYC.