DFW Unplugged

Sep 10, 2010

Well, I just survived a great night at DFW Unplugged put on by EventBright.  I met a lot of really cool people, and only inserted my foot in my mouth a few times – not bad for my first networking event. I went to promote the Studios, but as I am prone to do, I ended up talking about “The Grand Plan”, and I was reminded that what we have to say, and what we want to do for Artifacture Labs is still a relatively new idea, and not everyone knows what we know about the Maker world, and the businesses in it.

I appear to have fallen into the trap of assuming that “everyone” knows what we know.  I was more than a little floored to discover that investors and prominent people in the local VC & tech community didn’t know what I meant when I said ‘Maker’, and I got a complete blank stare when I said ‘TechShop’ and ‘hackerSpace’.  It wasn’t that they thought it was a bad idea, or one that couldn’t work – like any good delusional Entrepreneur, I was prepared to encounter “lack of vision” – but that didn’t happen.  What really spun me around was that they didn’t even know about it.  Some knew of FabLab or something like it, but none knew it had moved so strongly into the private space.  As much as it pains me to admit it, Makers are only a small corner of a big, and very busy tech world.  If we want to make the Labs real, we’re going to have to raise the awareness of it in a way.  So brace yourself for some new editorial commentary as we try to figure out how to flesh out the world as we see it, the big ideas that underpin it, and the huge opportunities it offers to all of us.

Back to the beginning, though – a sincere thank you to the speakers, EventBrite, Dallas SMC, and all of the people that put this on tonight.  You’ll be seeing a lot more of us, and who knows, I may actually, eventually manage to have a real conversation with Mike Merrill before this is all over, rather than stumbling over too many distractions (and maybe a little too much beer).