The DefragCon kicks off in an hour, but the pre-conference get-together was plenty interesting.
I've been to a number of tech conferences, but somehow some of the dynamics always surprise me, especially what I think of as the Mark Cuban effect.
Cuban, of course, is the brash and bold entrepreneur who built up an early "dot-com" and sold it to Yahoo at the absolute peak of the market before the tech crash in 2000.
Now he's involved in all kinds of stuff, but is best known for owning a basketball team. The name of the team, the Mavericks, matches his personality perfectly.
Cuban is known in tech circles for having contrarian viewpoints, and issuing them as loudly as he can. For instance he railed against the Google acquisition of YouTube.
He's certainly earned the right to do that.
Now, I don't want to pick on DefragCon, which is actually much better than some of the other tech conferences, but it is still full of people who just love to do a "Cuban." They make loud, bold pronouncements about why an idea will absolutely not work, how it's been done before, or why some competitor will demolish the idea before it can get any traction, etc.
I ran into lots of those people when I was founding, then running, a web-based business dealing in traffic information. If I would have listened to them I never would have started the business, and I certainly never would have sold it to Traffic.com.
Heck, I may not have even bothered to wake up most mornings.
Yesterday I talked to a couple of entrepreneurs who spent good money to come to the conference to learn and try to connect with others, and almost upon walking in the door they got the full "Cuban" from people who have never built, let alone sold, a company. (I actually had two experiences like that just in one day. The other was at the practice session for the upcoming Angel Capital Summit. More on that next week.)
I'm not saying that every idea walking around is great, and a little pushback is always a good idea. But for the next two days at Defrag I'll be attempting to tunnel through some of the bravado and find the great stories of new ideas, and bring them to you on Examiner.com or on sco.tt. I may not get to all of them right away, but I will try to report on many of them.
If you have a great story to tell (not just a press release announcing with great fanfare that version 3.2 of your whatever has just been released) look for me and let me hear it.