I arrived back from SEED friday evening, Chicago was cold, thank god I have a thick layer of fat to keep me warm. Per SEED’s website, SEED is “a One-Day Conference on Design, Entrepreneurship & Inspiration, by 37signals, Segura Inc. & Coudal Partners”. When I signed up I didn’t quite know what to expect, I knew Jason Fried, founder of 37signals, would talk about simplicity and keeping things easy. The other two speakers (Carlos Segura and Jim Coudal) I knew little about.
I knew no one attending, but I have been tracking the word SEED on twitter. Most tweets using the word SEED were useless but I found several people going to conference and made my introductions through twitter (my wife said I am a loser, I don’t deny it). I found this to be a great way to initially get to know a few people. However everyone there was geeky/interesting and not just because the room was 90% iphones.
Carlos started the day off by showing how great his company’s work is. They have huge clients with huge budgets that allow them to do really nice design work. I found this very irrelevant and pretty boring. How many people in the room have clients with those type budgets? He talked/bragged about how they use special inks and expensive papers. Great Carlos, good for you. I found his Q&A time to be much more interesting, he spoke about client relationships, elevating your client levels and mindset of a business owner. I’ll go into his answers and such in a later post. He probably had the best Q&A out of the group.
Jason Fried was next. To me, and many others, his presentation was boring as well, just read “Getting Real”. I did find him using the word “shit” quite funny (I am still 8 years old). It was pretty evident that everyone would have rather just asked Jason question instead of listening to his presentation. Because the questions were flying, after his time was up there were plenty of unanswered questions. Jason spoke about their apps, which was funny considering they were down most of the morning.
Lunch was next, followed by an extremely boring talk about architecture. Dear Lord this was boring. I will not put you thru the pain I endured.
Jim Coudal was next, he, out of the bunch seemed the most genuine and just really laid back and just fun to be around. I would drink a beer with this guy. Jim spoke about his many business ventures, ideas, starting businesses, how its okay to fail and pitfalls in startups. I really enjoyed him, his presentation was the only one that struck a cord with me. However his Q&A while funny wasn’t really impressive.
The last portion of the conference was a panel Q&A, this was the best part about the conference. Most of the questions were aimed at Jason and Jim. I really don’t know which speaker I liked the most they all had some really great quotes and interesting points.
It was pretty evident some people attended because they were looking for work or needing people to help. I wish they would have been able to leverage the talent in the room. Maybe a bulletin board or something. I think the presentation were too long and the Q&A needed to be longer. I think the speakers said some great things, the people there were really cool and the weather sucked bad.
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