SIXTEEN people showed up last night at La Barca. Wowza! This was definitely the biggest geek dinner so far. Not to imply that the geeks last night were bigger geeks than at previous nights. Oh, and I don’t mean bigger like fatter, everyone looked okay. And even if they didn’t, that’s really more of a modern society issue than anything else, you know. When you really dive deeper, it’s all Paris Hilton’s fault. I’m off-topic again, aren’t I?
The following people were in attendance:
- “Sling Media’s future technology scout and general visionary” Dave Mathews
- “Yahoo!’s queen of the mobile world” (unofficial title) Melanie Westlake
- “Consumer technology PR expert” aka “The unemployed guy with the hat” Mehrshad Mansouri
- “Founder of ZapTix and 8 other ventures (at the same time)” Christian Perry
- “Guy I didn’t get to talk too very much but seems really nice so you should probably ask Dave Mathews more about him but I think he knows something about e-commerce infrastructure” Jason Vagner (no blog, no site, no nothin)
- “Tech consultant, digital photo enthusiast, and excellent beta tester” Mark Rahmani
- “VP of Products for Ingenio and pioneer/expert in the VoIP space” Ron Hirson (link is to a presentation of his which is a great read)
- “The Digital Media Banking Biker” (unofficial title) Jeff Hagan (not the racecar driver, so don’t even bother with the googling)
- “Streaming Video expert and now VC/EIR at Venrock” Seth Kenvin
- “Internet Marketing and Social Media guru” Daniel Riveong
- “Still don’t know what he does” Nicholas Menaker (just kidding, but it’s too good to drop it)
- “He may not have invented the Internet, but he sure keeps it running” Doug Hagan
- “Mac Guru/Podcaster and viral marketing consultant” Sam Levin
- “The guy who knows how to grow your company from zilch to wow” David Gottesman
- “Supersmart product management and marketing guy” Noah Kagan
We started the evening with a somber moment, and raised our glasses in memory of James Kim (click here to make a donation to the Kim family). We decided our gadget geeking out would be in his honor and wish nothing but peace to his family.
The “around-the-horn” topic was “how many LCD screens do you own?” Answers ranged from 0 (by Doug who claimed that everything he had was either company property or his wife’s) to 26 (Nicholas who included a half dozen mobile phones, two harmonies, many laptops, etc – Sam was the runner-up with 25, 10 of which were iPods). This averaged to 10.2 LCDs per person, and the devices included: LCD TVs, laptops, LCD monitors, cell phones, digital cameras, digital video cameras, Harmony remotes, Sonos controllers, GPS units, and some toy from the 70s (unconfirmed).
Sam Levin brought an in-glasses display (aka “personal media viewer”) from MyVU for us to check out with his iPod. Quite a few players have tried the “replicate a 52-inch screen in your glasses” before. Most induce nausea (including the one from Eyetop I tried a couple of years ago). These seem a lot better, but after about 4-5 minutes I started to experience a little bit of disorientation. Definitely not a “find me a bucket” sensation, but still slightly off-normal. Looking forward to Sam’s full review on the unit. We collectively agreed with the opinion that the unit must allow users to use their own headphones. Don’t care how that works, but it’s a requirement.
Lastly, we took up the challenge of “can a roomful of smart people come up with a new viable business idea over dinner?” Now the beers and margarita’s were flowing, but so was the brainstorming. I don’t think we came to any absolute winners, but there were absolutely some good ideas that might be able to expand into real businesses. We broke into three groups, and here are the results (in group voting order):
- “The Long Tail of Ticketmaster” – create a site that allows any small venue to allow for online ticket sales (project codename Bonut).
- “Nannywhere.com” – introduce a NetNanny/Safe Surfing technology that allows sites to be unlocked via email, SMS, IM, phone, or anything else. Unfortunately it was brought to our attention that the existing services do most of this already, minus the SMS/IM part. Oh well.
- “The DMV of the Internet” aka “Dagle.com” (pronounced DAY-gle) – a service that allows for absolute identities online. It’s called Dagle. Dagle sorta sounds like Google, right? Look at the bunny!
After this, we couldn’t really talk about anything without someone saying Dagle a lot. Too silly. Hope everyone had a great time, I sure did (except for when I did the math wrong at the end of the night and forked over too much for the bill – oops). A few of us headed next door to Mas Sake for a final beverage of the evening (pictured above), but, this being San Francisco and not New York, the chairs were up on the tables and bar by 11pm, and that, my friends, was that. More photos are online here.
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