Marie recently joined the NextGen Board at the Computer History Museum and they had their first event (with her on the board) on October 26, titled “Day of the Dead: Postmortems of Silicon Valley Failures.”
Since I was there, I decided to break out my camera and start shooting. Photographing again is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike riding a bicycle, in that you never forget anything other than how to use your camera.
Before the event there was a Start-Up Graveyard where people wrote tombstones for their favorite failed start-ups, taped them to popsicle sticks and put it in a graveyard. Very spooky, except for the fact that I had to leave for a reception before it really got going.
It started with a short welcome and introduction from John Hollar and Veronica Pinchin.
Nikon D810, 70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8 70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8<
0.01 sec (1/100) @ f/2.8, iso800, 200 mm
Nikon D810, 70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8 70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8
0.005 sec (1/200) @ f/2.8, iso800, 70 mm
The event featured Margeurite Gong Hancock moderating a discussion with Bill Reichart, of Garage Technology Ventures, Kim Polese of CrowdSmart, and Justin Kan of Twitch.TV.
Marguerite pulled out the beloved Pets.com sockpuppet to remind us of a spectacular dotCom failure.
Justin talked about his startup Kiko, “the first AJAX web calendar.” That might be a little in dispute since the first thing I did as a full-time at Plaxo was rewrite Plaxo 2.0, which I programmed as a contractor, as an Ajaxian web calendar back in 2004. Though maybe he’s still right—the word “Ajax” hadn’t been invented yet.
Kim talked about Marimba which both flew high (going public the year before the crash) and then fell hard. After a number of brushes with death it actually sold to BMC for $187 million. She recommended that people “Persevere!” through the tough times of their startup.
Bill spent his time teasing his fellow panelists as having the only “true failure” startup story of the bunch because his company created the tablet computer… back in the 1980’s, before the iPad, the Palm Pilot, or even the Apple Newton. (Justin had sold Kiko on eBay for just enough money to pay back his investors.) Bill also exhorted the audience to “Try Anything!”
(That’s all I remember because I was photographing things.) I’m sure Marie’s official blogpost is much better, because she was actually paying attention. 🙂
You can view the entire photo album here.
One more thing…
After the event, I caught up with Andreas Weigend. He just finished writing his first book Data F0r the Pe0ple, he received an advance copy of his book hot off the press, earlier in the day. Pre-order the book on Amazon now! (It’s awesome.)