Do VCs Need Tech Backgrounds?

With Code for America, that’s actually been a strategy for finding the smart people in cities.

We have an application process and we say we’re looking for forward-looking cities who want to engage with us around projects. We’re increasingly thinking about particular areas we want to work in and — but just it takes time and footwork.

There are a lot more civic startups, my friend Ron Bouganim, who works with us on the Code of America accelerator is raising a gov tech fund looking for civic start-ups. So there’s a lot going on there. Okay, last question here. You’re sitting there in the middle, you’ve been raising your hand a lot, so .

Where do you see the future of conferences in the next 10 years and what has been your most delightful experience with Friends of O’Reilly? All right. Where do I see as the future of conferences over the next 10 years? I’m not very good at predicting the future, despite what people say.

I just talk about what’s happening in the present that seems interesting to me and I go by William Gibson’s dictum that the future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet. So, what do I see right now about conferences that are super interesting? Well clearly, you got to pay attention of the fact that TED has syndicated its conference out into the world, that’s hugely interesting.

Second, you have to look at the success of something like Foo Camp which is our original unconference, which was then copied by BarCamp, which was again spread all around the world, the idea of self-organizing conferences where you bring in interesting people and they develop their own program, that’s hugely important.

I think there’s a really interesting thing happening with a kind of festival as opposed to a conference, whether it’s OpenCo, which John Battelle launched recently or things like the XOXO festival for Kickstarter that was down in Portland, IO festival in Minneapolis.

There’s sort of a really interesting how do you create a community happening. rather than just a professional conference? People still like to get together. I don’t think conferences are going away.

Certainly my — to the other — the last part of the question, my own sort of experience with Foo Camp, probably the best — I can’t think of what would be the best moment, but I will certainly think of, when people, when you bring people together and they walk away and they do something as a result of the introduction you made, that’s a pretty good feeling.

Probably the most important thing I would say about my work is, the greatest satisfaction I have is giving ideas to people and then seeing them do something with them.

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