Category Archives: Announcements

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Denver Startup Week

Denver’s First ever Startup Week is almost here. In fact it’s the week of October 22nd.  If this is news to you, I’m glad I caught you with enough time to do something.

There’s a lot on the schedule for the week, and more, much more being added.

I want to highlight the things I’m most excited about. You definitely need to check out the full schedule though, because there’s tons of stuff going on all across town during the day.

  1. The opening kick off Lunch. None other than Gary Vaynerchuk is helping to kick off the week. The Lunch is free, if you can make it, go sign up. It’s gonna be a great way to see how truly behind startups and entrepreneurship the city of Denver is.
  2. Tuesday night is the Startup Job Faire and Denver Founders Network, “Bootstrap vs. funding” throw down.
  3. Ignite Denver (spark submission still open!) is that Wednesday, the 24th. We’re holding it at the Oriental Theatre, and doors open at 6. Thanks to Startup Week, admission is free, and everyone gets one free drink ticket when they walk in. It’s gonna be an awesome ignite.
  4. Friday has two cool things going for it. Ok three. One, it’s Friday. Two, while not on the schedule, there’s a “resource Faire” planned for the afternoon at Wynkoop brewing. Folks that offer services to startups, will be able to be under one roof meeting everyone. Three, the “Celebration of Startups” finale event.

That’s 4 things out of more than 60 that are planned for the week. There’s also awesome stuff the weekend before like Startup Weekend, and before that Lean Startup Machine. Both are taking place at Uncubed Coworking :)

 

If you’re in a startup, thinking about starting something up, or just want to learn more about what Denver has to offer in a startup community, that’s the week to be here!

If you happen to be coming from out of town, you’re welcome at Uncubed, so you can stay connected and get work done. Free coworking all week

See ya there

My First Barcamp

So I’ve been making noise on the 360|Stack twitter account and wanted to mention here too. Since Adobe canceled MAX this year I’m trying a barcamp called 360|MIN. We normally do an unconference inside Adobe MAX called 360|MAX, this is a play on that concept.

Unlike 360|MAX which can’t be a true unconference/barcamp, 360|MIN can be just that. Folks will gather pitch topics they want to present and the audience will vote. Those in attendance will create the conference they want.

To make sure we’ve got the tone and vibe right I’ve got a few folks lined up as basically anchor speakers. Check out the details and the line up here. If you’re in the web stack space, this is how you should spend your October! Oh yeah and it’s in Las Vegas!

Bike to Work day is June 27th!

If you’re not in or around Denver/Boulder this doesn’t really do much for you, you can stop reading.

Ok that’s done. So… Bike To Work Day. Nicole and I have participated in Bike to Work day for I think 3 years now. It’s an awesome event, and a fun morning. Even though I worked from home and now work from Uncubed, the coworking space I run, I still go out and “bike to work” because it’s awesome. Denver is a bike city. And it’s great to see so many other cool folks on the road doing what (usually) they do anyways, but with a celebratory edge.

The day starts with riding around downtown Denver stopping at various stations for breakfast and energy (courtesy of great companies!) and ends with an awesome party at Cactus.

I threw a banner up on the side bar, click that and check the site out, it’s a great reason to go outside!

See ya around town!

2011 in review

I was traveling by car from Denver to Vancouver WA during the holidays and didn’t get much laptop time. A blessing and a curse for sure :) but wanted to take a few minutes to put down my thoughts on the year that just ended.

It’s been a roller coaster for sure, in both good and bad ways.

Continue reading

Dear Gov’t please fix existing problems first

I worked on the title of this post for a while, and it’s often tough to be clear and succinct at the same time. I think it works.

Take a minute and click the bar over my top banner or this link. It’s definitely important.

I don’t think anyone (well maybe the 1%) would argue that it’s a pretty fucked up time in America right now. Record unemployment and foreclosures. The Middle class is vanishing faster than Bengal tigers, and the wealthiest 1% is quickly rising to essentially a ruling class. Didn’t we have a revolution about that notion? Before anyone jumps in. I don’t care if the rich are rich, nor do I think they should just give away money to balance the scales. That’s not the same as expecting a bit more equal playing field to compete and earn money.

We’ve got banks making terrible decisions, doing shady ass deals to get richer, and then being bailed out by the government because we let them get so big, failing would further damage our fragile economy.

We’ve got small businesses struggling (mine included) to stay afloat while big businesses get loans and buy outs. You know, I’d love it if the American public owned a portion of my business, can I get a small bail out loan?

And while all this is going down the government is trying to install a kill switch on the internet. You know like what Egypt and the rest of the middle east, and of course China, like to use when their citizens get uppity wanting peace and freedom from oppression.

I’m against anything that puts the internet in the control of anyone, especially a government or corporation. I think it’s a US responsibility that the internet be free, open and as makes sense unrestricted. I remember watching the news feeds, and of course tweets about shit going down in Egypt and elsewhere. People rising up against their corrupt and sure I’ll say it, evil, governments. The first thing almost every government does in that situation is kill the internet. I remember thinking how strong and brave those folks were not having twitter, Facebook, etc to use to rally. Having to rely basically on old school approaches, and risky in person exchanges before rallies to spread the word. I thought how impressive for one thing, and how sad. And mostly how lucky I felt that such bullshit didn’t happen here. Heck we’ve got popular revolts in many major cities right now, enabled, supported, and enboldened by the internet.

How many occupy(city name) websites do you think there’d be if the US government could simply turn off the net. Block sites they don’t like or that disagree with their world view?

It bums me out when people we elected to office do things that are so far from what the general population wants, let alone cares about. I mean really, do our law makers think the guy who’s struggling to make his mortgage cares about whether the internet has a kill switch?

Think he’s concerned right now as he decides which bill to pay and which to put off until the second notice, that the government is enabling big business to come in and shut down sites that they think might be poaching their shit. Sites where someone made a disparaging comment on a blog post, etc.

He doesn’t care, he can’t. Oh wait, i guess that’s probably their plan… silly me.

 

Go click the link up above, it really is important.

Buh bye Bubba Phillip

Yesterday we had to send our dog Phillip to doggy heaven. He’s playing with his brother Terrence (Yup, that was their names) who passed two years ago.

It was tough, I’ve had them both since they were about 6 weeks old, Phillip was about 12 years old. They were my campanions thru relationships, moves and more. They even moved across country with me and Nicole from CA to CO.

Yesterday was hard. Just as hard as the day we took Terrence to the vet, maybe a little more, we knew there wasn’t anyone at home waiting for us, to help us grieve and adapt to life without a dog. It’s funny how you get used to their presence, even when they’re just sleeping behind your office chair or down in the living room looking out the window.

In the end I know it was the right decision, he was old in big dog years, and his health was failing him, even though he didn’t always like that. He had a hard time getting on the couch (his favorite place to sleep) and food stopped being appealing (if you knew Phillip, you’ll know how serious things were), he had gotten anemic and there was probably internal bleeding too from who knows what :( He was on IV fluids and tons of pills just keep him from being nauseous :(

Our vet Dr. Graf is awesome! She was very supportive of our decision, even confirming that we were really sure, since there’s no take backs, she loved both bubbas almost as much as we did. In the end his big heart gave out, just with sedation, before she even administered the pink stuff. So we knew he was holding on for us more than anything else, and was more than ready to let go, and move on.

Dogs are so incredible. When they pass it makes you realize how short our time with them is, even small breeds don’t live that long compared to us. Being a dog owner means coming to terms with death, but it never gets easier. I have no shame admitting I cried like a little girl much of yesterday (and for that matter as I type this now), in front of the vet and the tech, Nicole and strangers in the cars next to us at lights. I’ve said goodbye to many dogs over the years and it’s never gotten easier. I don’t expect it will.

I’m certain we’ll get another dog. I almost wish we had gotten a puppy for Phillip to play with and be with at the end, as much for him to have a companion when we travel (I hated leaving him these past few months even for just a few days) as for us to help grieve and move on and focus our energies on someone else. We’ll probably wait a while since we’ve got travel or conferences every month the rest of 2010. There’s never been a doubt in my mind there’d be dogs after Terrence and Phillip, but it’s tough to say goodbye to a lifelong friend and then steel yourself for doing again in 10-15 years with your next friend. I sometimes wish Tortoises were more cuddly.

Goodbye Phillip, we love you and miss you.

iApp Review – Landformer

I met Owen Goss at the first 360|iDev I organized, and instantly liked him. If nothing else he takes my polar bear jokes in stride, that’s pretty big :)

He’s an awesome developer, great speaker, and his latest game LandFormer (iTunes Link) is an awesome time suck! That’s a good thing :)

Owen’s not new to games, but I think this latest release is his coming out game. This is the game that’s the start of truly awesome things for Owen.

Ok enough gushing!

LandFormer is a straightforward puzzle game, you don’t really need instructions or tutorials, pick it up, try it out and away you go.

The objective is to make the ground perfectly flat; raising and lowering the terrain in patterns to accomplish your goal.

You’ve got 6 patterns and 2 choices of terraforming; Up or down. Each level has a  number of moves it should take to clear the level. Some are pretty straightforward, but the game quickly moves into, “hmm well maybe this, then this… nope, undo!” Which is good. I’m usually pretty quickly turned off by games that start too hard, or don’t progress past easy.

It’s very addictive, sitting there staring at the terrain, thinking through permutations.

Graphics wise the game is stunning, a perfect match to the game play. Ditto on the sound, the effects and background music are incredible and all blend together for a calming, tho sometimes frustrating brain game.

As if all that wasn’t enough, Owen has not just made the game expandable with In App Purchase, but also for free, you can exchange levels. You can email a level, heck you can tweet a level. People can follow your URL and add the level to their game to play. It’s easy to create levels, it’s basically solving a map, backwards :) just start arranging the terrain, when you’re done, save and share.

The IAP is awesome, I’m really glad he went this route. I think IAP is one of the best features for game devs, to make money with their hard work.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want useless crapware that I can’t use without purchasing something. Quite the contrary with LandFormer, you can go (I assume) forever without ever buying any of Owen’s premium content, getting levels from friends and the internet, but why? Sure that’s fun and I hope we’ll see more and more tweets with levels in them, but Owen has put together a shit ton of levels for purchase, why not get those and test your abilities. And test them they will!

Oh and the game itself is skinnable, how awesome is that!?

If you haven’t already grabbed LandFormer, go get it! Heck even Apple likes it.

My only complaint (and I know Owen started this before the iPad was announced, at least I think so) is that it’d kick ass on the iPad. Either more complex patterns, or larger maps, etc. I think it’d be awesome. I’d suggest that be his next project, but he owe me bacon farmer!