Sam Brown

Build Conference 2010 - My experience graph

I spent four days in Belfast at the beginning of November at the fantastic Build Conference which in reality is a Web Design Festival. Andy McMillan put on 5 days worth of events for the attendees in what is quickly turning into the mini-SXSW of Europe. From Book Clubs and Exhibitions, to Evening Lectures and Pub Quizzes, to Launch Parties and Film Screenings, you would be forgiven for not realising there was an inspiring conference to be had in the middle.

Build Conference 2010 - My experience graph

I’ll spare you my detailed diagnosis as others have written well about the days speakers at length which I have linked to below. It was a joy to meet the super talented Keegan Jones, Tim Brown was a masterful speaker and Liz Danzico really impressed me with… the pause. Frank’s intelligence and wit were provoking and it was a real honour to hear Dan Cederholm talk so passionately about pushing forward with CSS3 today. All in all, the best web event I’ve attended.

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Phil 22 November 2010, 12:47 #1

Was Meagan Fisher really that bad?

Sam Brown 22 November 2010, 12:52 #2

Meagan spoke well, had beautifully designed slides and from what I hear a lot of students took away a great deal of insight from her talk.

For me personally, it lacked substance, didn’t teach me anything new and there was nothing to take away from it. I was hoping for a higher level of talk and felt disappointed.

Pete 22 November 2010, 12:54 #3

Woaw someone really didn’t like meagans talk….

Morgan 22 November 2010, 13:11 #4

fr00tball didn’t even make it onto the graph! Has it been wiped from memory due to ‘the shorts’?

David 22 November 2010, 13:15 #5

Yeah, Morgan. Good point. Although I think Sam’s experience graph only illustrates the main conference day.

Because I know he LOVED fr00tball ;)

Sam Brown 22 November 2010, 13:18 #6

Indeed, I have pencil & paper graphs from each day which I will hopefully get online at some point.

@fr00tball has 3 data points:

  1. -8 Do not want to play, hangover!
  2. +4 Having fun, we won our first game!
  3. -10 My legs hurt…

Jason Cale 22 November 2010, 18:01 #7

I’d say the graph reflects my own experience too.

Cheers for the linkypoos x

Meagan Fisher 22 November 2010, 18:02 #8

Wow, I’m really sorry to hear that my talk was such a disappointment to you (and apparently, others). My goal was to give some insight into my design process, which is something I’m asked about often. I’d also hoped to inspire with my slides, and give a few tips (or reminders, in some cases) for best practices. I suppose what I can take away from this (other than the fact that, in your mind, I was the low point of the conference), is that in the future, I could give a higher-level talk. It’s difficult to choose a subject that’s going to appeal to a mixed audience. Any other feedback would be much appreciated, either here or at

Ferdinand Salis 23 November 2010, 09:08 #9

Hi Meagan

I really liked your talk. I am currently at the start of my web “career” and loved the peek into your design process. Also your slides were fantastic. You sure trembled a little while talking, but that was ok. Only proves that you are human and there is always time. I personally suck at public speaking.

All the best

Ian 23 November 2010, 16:42 #10

@Meagan I wouldn’t take it too personally. Sam’s experience graph is purely from an individual perspective and sounded like it was more on personal take-away benefit than on the quality or delivery of your talk. Unfortunately I wasn’t at the conference but having recently caught up on Vimeo I can say that I always find it beneficial to get a sneak peek into other people’s design processes and methods of approach. As “the best web event [Sam’s] attended” it still probably puts you fairly high on the overall scale. ;)

@sam Sounds like Build is a blast. Being off the circuit for the past couple of years it seems that Build is a must-attend for next year when back on the freelance path. It’s also a refreshing change to see your honest opinions on your blog. There seem to be a lot of comments and posts these days that are pretty quick to show the love to fit in with the crowd and keep people happy.

The “fr00tball” sounds interesting…

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