£5 apps day

Last Saturday I was up early (i.e. 4am) to make the trip down to Brighton. I’d been invited by an old friend Ian Ozsvald to see how Brighton web start-ups do their thing. I won’t try to do a comprehensive review since Ian’s write-up does the job admirably. Instead I’ll jot down some impressions as someone from outside the Brighton scene who’s still wildly interested in this stuff.

The main thing that struck me was the informality of the £5 App approach. The event was free. The speakers spoke freely and for free. The space was donated by one of the speakers. No sausages-on-sticks nor cheap wine was provided. Instead, the participants were led to the ample cafes and pubs of the North Laine at lunchtime and finish. Each talk was of interest (to me at least!) ranging from story of boot-strapping, through a critique of OpenSocial to a masterclass in copy-writing. I had little trouble staying awake all day when an academic seminar usually takes me out in 30 minutes.  I guess a large part of the success of this is down to having a passionate collection of people who are happy in exploiting blogs, upcoming, flickr, etc in order to tie everything together and make things happen.

In any case, I’m curious to know whether this formula can be imported to Brum.  I know enough entrepreneur/creative-geek types that I could set up a few talks.  This probably includes you.  Once I get broadband at home I’ll be kicking it all off.  I just got central heating last night so I clearly have my priorities messed up.

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2 thoughts on “£5 apps day

  1. Hi Si, it was grand to have you up. As mentioned, John and I could well come up to Brum to give a talk on how/why we started our http://fivepoundapp.com/ meets.
    We definitely strive towards no pretension, informal meets where everyone gets to celebrate what they’ve achieved (and equally admit their mistakes if they want them off their chest).
    I prefer this approach to the somewhat stilted govt-run events where everyone has to be ‘professional’. “From the trenches” – that’s how we work.
    I hope to see you build up a similar scene up in Birmingham. Given how easy it was to start the £5 App meets, our fortnightly http://www.opencoffeesussex.com/ along with other events like the http://www.brightongirlgeekdinners.co.uk/ and Geek Wine Tasting I’m sure you’ll have a ball.
    Cheers,
    Ian.

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