What I Learned At Big Omaha


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I had the pleasure of attending the Big Omaha conference in Omaha, Nebraska on May 7 and 8, 2009. The conference was unbelievably well constructed and executed. Thanks for putting on such a great event Jeff and Dusty.

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What I Learned At Big Omaha

  1. 1. What I Learned @BigOmaha @doug_mitchell
  2. 2. BigOmaha - What I Learned The new “dot com ware” is dark jeans, pointy black shoes, canvas jacket, with plaid cotton shirt untucked. If smart people decide to do something, the result can be un-freakin-believable. If you’re planning a conference, you best learn from what Big Omaha did. It was...elegant. The “tech crowd” or whatever we’re called have an openness and optimism that resembles the 90’s boom even though we all aren’t pulling in $150k to get massages and free lunch.
  3. 3. BigOmaha - What I Learned Many people still confuse and loosely interchange the word “product” for “company”. I have a “company” that ...huh? Business cards and a WordPress site don’t mean company just yet. Omaha obviously embraces and fosters entrepreneurialism and we all can learn something from it’s interaction with the tech community. It’s tough to impress with speakers. Look, with our transparent and info-rich lives, we’ve heard 99% of what everyone says before they get on stage. If they don’t have innovative crazy off the hook stuff, we’ll probably tune into our phones.
  4. 4. BigOmaha - What I Learned If you don’t have an iPhone at a conference like this, you really do feel inadequate. “Didn’t you get the memo?” If you are speaking a conference like this...you can probably get away with using $hit in your speech without backlash. Nothing has changed between 1999 and 2009 tech parties except the free drink periods are shorter and there aren’t any “bars carved out of ice with $15 dollar martinis being poured through ice sculptures and served by future chicks (yes it happened)
  5. 5. BigOmaha - What I Learned If you take people looking down and “working” while you talk as an insult...don’t or go home. (For you Justin Brady) Design and user experience was ESSENTIAL to the overall appeal of this conference. I was “pleased” to walk through a space and eagerly anticipated what I’d find next. Big Omaha was exquisite. My bed time “away from home” should be the same as “at home” because I’m 37 and can’t hang with the “yutes” anymore. #notarockstarpartyeranymore
  6. 6. BigOmaha - What I Learned We Midwesterners are seriously underestimated in the marketplace...and that’s fine by me. Let’s keep being remarkable but not coastal. Our situation is better I promise. The “chicken or the egg” argument is sill painful. Odds of your idea being unique and that funding will find it - 1 mil to 1. Odds you need to beat down doors and partner with people to execute...just ask how that’s working for your “project”. Twitter spammers are painful. They need to figure out how to stop that. We suggested “instant hashtag encryption/cyphering. OK, I know whatever.
  7. 7. BigOmaha - What I Learned Gary Vaynerchuk is magnetic and infectious and understands, embraces and lives his brand. Live / remote shows for Managing the Edge are technically difficult to do well without 3rd party help. If we harness the brilliance of our Middle West into a slightly more organized force...strange people from CA will move here because it’s cool. We’ll become a “Geographic Apple” with loyal tribes and “Hi I’m California...and I’m Iowa” commercials.
  8. 8. But What I Learned Most at Big Omaha.... Was that the drive to and from with tech buddies can shape the next generations of projects, content, businesses, expertise, focus, and monetization. So thank you Big Omaha for giving we “tech” people a reason to get together and celebrate ourselves and learn, and build relationships, and socialize and win...together. Whether or not you planned it, you were a conduit to new levels of excellence.
  9. 9. Until we meet again... @doug_mitchell doug@createWOWmedia.com http://createwowmedia.com http://managingtheedge.com http://dougmitchell.me