Phoenix brings the heat
In October I flew down to Phoenix twice, first to run Startup Weekend Phoenix, then for PodCampAZ. Had a great time and made quite a few friends. Startup Weekend came off great, due to on-the-ground planners Gregg Drennan and Brian Shaler. Gangplank was a perfect location with plenty of space and several breakout rooms for the individual teams. Fruits of the teams labor were TechCrunched. I’ll be watching Twitrratr develop and anxiously awaiting the public launch of Reserve Chute (Back that SaaS up!)
I was back 11 days later for PodcampAZ. Brent Spore, Evo Terra and a small army of other volunteers pulled off a solid event. Sessions were great, I caught video with Clintus, Jack Mangan‘s Pod Taint, Jeremy Vaught and Pam Slim on making real money, introduced Andrew Hyde and saw more Shaler than you can shake a stick at. Also made it to Austin Baker‘s ‘How Social Media changed my life’ and was there for the temporary death of TheMacMommy‘s car. I nearly pulled a Raising Arizona and stole a baby, but carry on luggage has been limited to one piece.
I came away with an appreciation of Phoenix and a strong desire to return, especialy over the winter when it’ll be something like 80º there. Anchored by Gangplank and several local coffee meetups, the Phoenix tech community is building, slowed slightly by covering an enormous land area (5th or US City) There are upsides to this, since there’s space for it, everyone seems to have a huge house. “Why are you renting a 6,000 square foot place with a ballroom?” “Because it’s cheaper than the house with the indoor tennis courts.”
Keep rockin’ Phoenix, see you soon.