As I mentioned last week, I attended this new conference held in San José, the heart of Silicon Valley. This conference was put together by the editor of the Metro Magazine, Dan Pulcrano. Create. Converge. Silicon Valley (C2SV) was conceived of as being the SXSW of the Silicon Valley. This was the inaugural event.
I was only able to attend the Thursday and Friday events through to the Steve Wozniak talk. The line up was classically Silicon Valley, from San José Mayor Chuck Reed (whose office indicates that San José has the fastest public WiFi), to John McAfee, with some Scoble and Bushnell thrown in as well.
Thursday’s session was started by a session with Robert Scoble (pictured left and a San José State Alum) and Shel Israel (who took the picture on the left) who discussed their new book, “Age of Context.” They highlighted 5 forces that are in play:
1. Mobile – Mobile is everything right now
2. Big Data – They noted changes like MongoDB (wasn’t around 6 years ago) and tiny data (think data on your phone)
3. Location – 4Square checkin’s are rising exponentially; your iPhone catalogs your location
4. Sensors – these are being added to all sorts of things from clothing, shoes, and more to of course, your phone
5. Social – note the number of tweets posting hourly
Overall, this was an enlightening talk that helped all present better understand that the world in which we live is growing in connectivity and visibility.
We heard about Bitcoin from a solid panel that included, Gary Kremin, Chris Larson (OpenCoin), and Adam B. Levine, who notes that Bitcoin in the United States will be one of the slower growth points. Bitcoin is gaining good traction elsewhere in the world. They compared Bitcoin having the potential to win in currency much like how email beat the U.S. Postal Service because email is better in every way that matters. This crew also noted how German banks are supporting infrastructure that will be able to take advantage of Bitcoin. They did note that U.S. banks are slowly making progress on this question.
By the way, “petitions” are all but dead; social media won that one.
There were a number of other really interesting and enlightening talks. I’ll close out with one of the talks I favored with Steve Wozniak (Apple co-founder) and Nolan Bushnell (pictured right), founder of Atari. They sat on the rostrum with Dan Pulcrano and had an overall fun chat about old times and new things to come. As one attendee noted, it was hard not to look at the crew and imagine Steve Jobs sitting in the empty seat next to the Woz.
I think the one point I favored was a note Woz made about how Apple used to publish schematics for their hardware so that folks could easily make boards if they wanted to. Woz is clear, Apple was open hardware way before it was hip. All in all, this was a fun conversation.
I was not able to stay beyond this talk. I mainly missed all of the great music this conference also included. There were some great local bands like The JurassiC and well known bands including Iggy Pop and the Stooges.
In my opinion, this conference set the tone for C2SV for years to come. I think this conference has an excellent opportunity to be exactly what it seeks to be, the big west coast technology and music / culture conference. Add it to your calendar for next year.
Daniel Hinojosa – Community Manager, SourceForge