August 5, 2009

Final reflections on the Traveling Geeks trip

Craig & Karyn

JD LasicaIt has been one month since the Traveling Geeks kicked off our trip to London and Cambridge with a Tweetup at JuJu in Chelsea. (I was the chief organizer of trip.) From this distance and vantage point, here are a few random impressions:

• I think too much can be made of the differences between entrepreneurship in the UK and in the United States. While it’s true that Silicon Valley nurtures a spirit of innovation marked by the mantra “Fail often, but fail fast” — an axiom that permits experimentation without demanding an immediate return to investors — it’s even more true that the businessmen and entrepreneurs I met along the way have the same fire in the belly — a burning desire to build something of great value.

SeedCamp was a high point of the trip to many of us, and apart from the well-done, compact presentations, it was fascinating to watch tomorrow’s young business leaders mingle with each other and exchange ideas and contact information. Cross-pollination at its best. Spotify, Huddle, Skimlinks, Zemanta — these are names that may grow into notable consumer brands in the coming years, and Moo arguably already has. (Here’s my writeup; and here’s my video interview with Skimlinks founder Alicia Navarro.)

Continue reading

July 13, 2009

Meghan Asha on highlights of Traveling Geeks UK

Meghan Asha on technology & the Traveling Geeks from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaI‘m back from my trip to London and Cambridge with the Traveling Geeks — I was the chief organizer of this second annual event — and I’m still going through withdrawal pains after all the amazing encounters we had.

One of the people I most enjoyed spending time with was the amazing Meghan Asha, founder of NonSociety.com, whom I interviewed last fall at a very loud TechCrunch 50. If there’s not a Meghan Asha fan club out there, I just may form one.

On Saturday afternoon, at the conclusion of the trip, I chatted with Meghan for 8 minutes as she sat on a lion statue outside the Fitzwilliam Museum. Topics included technology and women, privacy issues and highlights of the Geeks’ trip.

Watch the video in Flash on Vimeo (embedded above)
Watch the video in H.264 QuickTime on Ourmedia
Download the video at Archive.org

Three of the Seedcamp winners we met with six days ago today resonated for both Meghan and me: Huddle.net, Zemanta and Skimlinks. I’ll write about them in more detail tomorrow.

I’m going to borrow an idea by fellow Geek Tom Foremski and blog about the trip a week after each event. On July 5 we had a Meet the Geeks Tweetup at JuJu in London’s Chelsea district; kudos to Ted Shelton of the Conversation Group for organizing the event and a hat tip to all our sponsors, especially Intel for donating a Netbook and MID as raffle prizes. Soon I’ll post two Flip video interviews I did at the Tweetup, with Anatolie Papas of Symbian and Kate Arkless Gray of the BBC’s Save Our Sounds.

Continue reading