When I first started my Geek Dinners last fall, I figured they’d be quaint affairs, with 4 or 5 people getting together to pseudo-geek out, chat about tech trends and whatnot. Little did I expect last night’s crew of 20 guys & gals (yes, actual gals – plural even!) to come enjoy the finest in Italian Haute Cuisine – Buca di Beppo.
As usual, here’s a list of our merry crew (from left to right):
- Thomas Hawk – photographer, photowalker, and blogger extraordinaire
- Jason Whitt – venture capitalist with VantagePoint Ventures
- Scott Cronce – CTO of Electronic Arts
- Melanie Westlake – the queen of Yahoo! Mobile
- Jeremy Toeman – him?
- Lisa Whelan – business development consultant and social media blogger
- Andrew Kippen – “technology scout” for the French Trade Commission
- Daniel Riveong – technology marketing expert at e-Storm
- Davis Freeberg – prolific digital media blogger and photographer
- Esther Lim – VP, Client Services and Interactive Strategy for e-Storm
- Mehrshad Mansouri – still unemployed
- Cindy Wang – Technical Yahoo! for mobile Web applications
- Joel Sacks (or at least his eyes and forehead) – account exec for CNet
- Sam Levin – influencer marketing expert
- Kristopher Tate – founder of Zooomr
- Guy Horowitz – venture capitalist with Gemini Ventures
- Brian Meckler – product manager at Sling Media
- Jeff Allen – reformed VC, now founder of a new stealthy startup
- Heidi Pollock – another Technical Yahoo! (thus making it Yahoo 3, Google 0 for Geek Dinners)
Dinner was a lot of fun, we even had a little “musical chairs” moment where we shuffled the whole seating arrangement to
confuse the waitress help get more people meeting each other. I overheard and participated in discussions on topics ranging from CES (not much new, lots of bigger/smaller products, with more convergence) to truly converged mobile devices (not gonna happen) to Second Life (wherein I pronounced my desire to start a SL Mob that goes around graffiting things, then charging for “protection”).
We also had a little “around-the-table” on the iPhone, with the simple question of: will you buy it in the first 30 days? 13 said no (primary reasons: no keyboard and locked-down with Cingular service), but 6 said yes (although one was technically a freebie). While that might be the minority, that’s clearly a good indication of how much excitement Apple has generated so far.
Lastly, I had a few gadgets from CES that I showed the group, and here were the quick reactions:
- Cell phone call light-up bracelet – didn’t really work
- Netgear travel router – nice idea, but too big compared to Airport Express
- Ethereal’s high-end HDMI cable – don’t spend a lot of money on cables!
- Shure SE420 and E500PTH headphones – tremendous waves of jealousy
- CameraBright – nead idea, might not work well enough
- The Tornado file transfer USB tool – great concept, a little big
- quik-pod solo camera “tripod” – awesome, huge round of applause
I also did a giveaway with a variety of products from the show (and some chocolate), to the people with The Most Video Game Consoles (10), The First Cell Phone Owner (1992), The First GPS Owner (2002), The Most Computers in their Home (12), and the First Portable Computer Owner (I don’t recall the year, but it was a while ago).
Thanks again for coming everyone, please don’t hesitate to add any comments for any highlights I may have forgotten!