360intersect was Great

I had the pleasure of speaking at the inaugural 360intersect, but even better I got the opportunity to attend this new, unique conference. As one attendee said to me - and I’m paraphrasing here - tech conferences are usually about professional development, but this event was more about personal development. And this was indeed the case. The speakers shared personal stories that were inspirational and highlighted the diversity of the tech community.

On Day 1, Victor Agreda, Jr, talked about his love for magic. Robi Ganguly talked about going from being told throughout his childhood that he cannot run to becoming an avid runner who has completed a marathon. I spoke about my Long Trail hike from last fall. And Michelle Yaiser talked about being an amateur race car driver, a musician, and dancer.

On Day 2, Doug McCune talked about using his love for maps and data to create art in the physical world. Jon Carroll shared stories about his love for video games, farts, and augmented reality. Josh Michaels talked about his long journey to blend his love for art and photography into a career as an app developer. And the day wrapped up with an emotional talk by Mike Lee as his reflected on his life over the past year.

What made all these talks great wasn’t just hearing the personal stories, but seeing how each speaker blends their various loves into what they do for a living. For instance, Robi’s talk illustrated how preparing for the marathon also prepared him to be CEO and vice versa. Michelle related race car driving to how one should to approach work and focus. Josh said don’t wait, pursue your dreams now. And I said don’t work so hard.

The turnout for this first 360intersect was small, but that was expected. Personally I think the size was perfect because it gave everyone an opportunity to meet and chat with one another. And it made it possible to have group activities such as the duck boat tour of Seattle, the Saturday night dinner at Pike Brewing Company, and the straggler’s dinner at Mama’s on Sunday.

I thoroughly enjoyed the outstanding talks, the cool venture, seeing old friend, and making new ones. And I’m already looking forward to the next 360intersect. Big thanks goes out to John and Nicole for putting on this great event.