TechDirt’s Greenhouse: a very interesting experiment

IMAGE3_335I spent the day hanging out at the TechDirt Greenhouse, and I am glad I did – even if this meant spending a day away from the family. Mike Masnick and his team came up with an interesting concept: getting startups to present their product/services for 5 mins, and get the audience divided up in small discussion groups that would address a key business or strategy question related to one of the presenting companies. We’d spend about 40 mins talking around the subject allocated to us, and report back to the whole group. In order to make sure that attendees would hang out with different people (as opposed to their friends), the TechDirt team put together a set of markers that defined which session/meeting room one should attend.

Oh, and there were the leaders: Red, Blue, Orange, Pink, Green, Mauve. Guess which one I inherited ? Yep, the Pink one. Our role was to facilitate discussions, and make sure we stayed on topic.

Through the day, we ended up discussing diverse topics like early stage business models, user acquisition, scalability, differentiation, and ended the day in a very interesting discussion on the future of media with Hillary Johnson and Umair Haque.

Very interesting format indeed, I just wonder how we can keep the same level of interaction as the event scales.

Congrats to Mike and his team for putting together this great event.