DemoCamp rising to the challenge

Jerry King has a treatise that challenges the development community in Toronto to find a business model. This challenge should be embraced, and approached by the community. DemoCamp is primarily a community. And Jerry has issued us our first challenge, I hope that we are able to rise to this challenge. DemoCamp is the start of bringing the technology folk and the business folks together in to a community. To start a conversation. To increase collisions between these often disparate communities.

Jerry’s analysis is bang on about the state of software entrepreneurship in Toronto. When I looked out at the DemoCamp audience, I was most disappointed to see a very small number of grey hairs in the audience. We need the insight, the experience, the networks, the business acumen and the mentorship that seasoned entrepreneurs can bring. BarCamp is a place to start and we need collaboration with existing business leaders like Jerry to help deliver us from obscurity and lead us into economic salvation.

DemoCamp is about building a community. The demos while not necessarily commercially focused, are the starting point for conversation. This is a meeting point for technologists, entrepreneurs, designers, leaders. We need a strong community of talent: developers, designers, entrepreneurs, marketers, business leaders, CEOs, etc. People who understand the risks and challenges (and possible failures) of starting, growing and delivering early-stage businesses.

“I didn’t sell out son. I bought in. Keep that in mind.”—Christopher Lloyd’s character in SLC Punk

There is no shame in building successful companies. In fact, it is my goal, I just needed to find others in Toronto so I didn’t have to toil alone in my bedroom (it’s a condo so the garage is a little dirty and not very private). We need to do this to help seed a growing community. A lot of the DemoCamp model has been very altruistic, but this is not exclusionary of business and commerce. So where should we start?

I invite Jerry and Sean and Selim and Ilsa and Mark and others to come out an participate. Guide us! Mentor us! Grow something successful with us!

12 thoughts on “DemoCamp rising to the challenge”

  1. <p>Great post David.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>I love DemoCamp for its enthusiasm and its inspiration. That said, I am hoping DemoCamp can take on a more educational role for the community.where the audience learns about the building of a product or business, or the marketing of a service, as opposed to simply getting a tour of, 'click here and this happens'. I want to know why you put that 'click' in there and what problem you are solving and for whom. I know Jerry wants to know these things too :)</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>Also, for any software entrepreneurs looking for further inspiration and some great perspective, be sure to check out some of Paul Graham's essays at <br /><a href="http://paulgraham.com&quot; target="_blank"><a href="http://paulgraham.com</a></p&gt; " target="_blank"><a href="http://paulgraham.com</a></p>&quot; target="_blank">http://paulgraham.com</a></p></a&gt; </a>

  2. <p>David<br />There's a very strong case to be made that there's lots of cool tech stuff happening in relative commercial obscurity in Toronto. And taking some of those projects and encouraging and supporting them into successful businesses would certainly be a good thing. Getting more involvement of 'grey hairs' with real experience in this stuff can only help that.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>Jerry King <a href="http://www.michaelmcderment.com/article/Demo-Camp-4.html&quot; target="_blank">asks</a> '<em>if the folks presenting at MaRS on Tuesday evening can't speak intelligently about the commercial aspects of their very own ideas, who can?</em>', I think there's an obvious answer to that, people like Jerry himself can speak intelligently to the commercialisation of ideas. Jerry demonstrates this point by suggesting several fascinating business models for the hacked digital camera idea, which Randy Glenn, who gave that demo, self-proclaimed as being business model free. I should note, Randy's was one of the most encouraging and inspirational demos I've seen at TorCamp yet.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>I guess what I'm saying is that there is room for both hacking for hacking's sake and a more focused, business directed approach to development. In fact I'd argue that neither can thrive without the other. Personally, I'd be really sorry to see the business angle nudge out the for-it's-own-sake stuff in the TorCamp 'movement'. Perhaps there's room for two streams? ViableBusinessModelTechCamp and CoolButTotallyUncommercialisedCamp perhaps?</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>Sorry for the run on comment, but I felt particularly strongly about this after contrasting my impression of this week's DemoCamp (passionate and real) against <a href="http://www.isummit.ca&quot; target="_blank">iSummit</a> (corporation heavy and the passion largely missing, or at least focused on cold hard cash).</p>

  3. <p>david,<br />good post & here's hoping toronto's tech community starts to gain some momentum. it's encouraging to see democamp, torcamp, isummit and mesh happening so close together. perhaps it suggests the wheels are slowly starting to roll!</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>mark</p>

  4. Great post David.

    I love DemoCamp for its enthusiasm and its inspiration. That said, I am hoping DemoCamp can take on a more educational role for the community.where the audience learns about the building of a product or business, or the marketing of a service, as opposed to simply getting a tour of, 'click here and this happens'. I want to know why you put that 'click' in there and what problem you are solving and for whom. I know Jerry wants to know these things too 🙂

    Also, for any software entrepreneurs looking for further inspiration and some great perspective, be sure to check out some of Paul Graham's essays at
    http://paulgraham.com

  5. David
    There's a very strong case to be made that there's lots of cool tech stuff happening in relative commercial obscurity in Toronto. And taking some of those projects and encouraging and supporting them into successful businesses would certainly be a good thing. Getting more involvement of 'grey hairs' with real experience in this stuff can only help that.

    Jerry King asks 'if the folks presenting at MaRS on Tuesday evening can't speak intelligently about the commercial aspects of their very own ideas, who can?', I think there's an obvious answer to that, people like Jerry himself can speak intelligently to the commercialisation of ideas. Jerry demonstrates this point by suggesting several fascinating business models for the hacked digital camera idea, which Randy Glenn, who gave that demo, self-proclaimed as being business model free. I should note, Randy's was one of the most encouraging and inspirational demos I've seen at TorCamp yet.

    I guess what I'm saying is that there is room for both hacking for hacking's sake and a more focused, business directed approach to development. In fact I'd argue that neither can thrive without the other. Personally, I'd be really sorry to see the business angle nudge out the for-it's-own-sake stuff in the TorCamp 'movement'. Perhaps there's room for two streams? ViableBusinessModelTechCamp and CoolButTotallyUncommercialisedCamp perhaps?

    Sorry for the run on comment, but I felt particularly strongly about this after contrasting my impression of this week's DemoCamp (passionate and real) against iSummit (corporation heavy and the passion largely missing, or at least focused on cold hard cash).

  6. <p>good one David, you finally said it. </p><br />
    <br />
    <p>I've been waiting for this note on 'business model' from you since shoeless joe's dinner. </p><br />
    <br />
    <p>I'm explaining what a 'business model' is to my friends as 'how you get paid'. </p><br />
    <br />
    <p>is my explaination misleading?</p>

  7. david,
    good post & here's hoping toronto's tech community starts to gain some momentum. it's encouraging to see democamp, torcamp, isummit and mesh happening so close together. perhaps it suggests the wheels are slowly starting to roll!

    mark

  8. good one David, you finally said it.

    I've been waiting for this note on 'business model' from you since shoeless joe's dinner.

    I'm explaining what a 'business model' is to my friends as 'how you get paid'.

    is my explaination misleading?

  9. <p>Hi David,</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>Shame you didn't make it out to the IA summit the guys said you weren't coming. Would have liked to meet you.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>I'm wondering about your article. After working so long in europe, I'm fairly confused by the lack of a Design Community here in Canada, or in the states for that matter.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>I hear your concerns about Technology and Business communicating effectively, but where is the design side? It seems there is an awful lot of what it takes to make something missing from this model.</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>Perhaps you could comment on how to involve the design community? Or to develop one here in Canada?</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>(In my experience in London and elsewhere in Europe, there is some communication between the biz and tech teams, but the design teams typically act as the catalyst or facilitate the communication. It's no wonder there is such a rift without design, and a certain lack of quality, we don't have the arts facility to make the products meaningful.)</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>Do you have any thoughts on how to involve design more?</p><br />
    <br />
    <p>Cheers<br />CD Evans</p>

  10. Hi David,

    Shame you didn't make it out to the IA summit the guys said you weren't coming. Would have liked to meet you.

    I'm wondering about your article. After working so long in europe, I'm fairly confused by the lack of a Design Community here in Canada, or in the states for that matter.

    I hear your concerns about Technology and Business communicating effectively, but where is the design side? It seems there is an awful lot of what it takes to make something missing from this model.

    Perhaps you could comment on how to involve the design community? Or to develop one here in Canada?

    (In my experience in London and elsewhere in Europe, there is some communication between the biz and tech teams, but the design teams typically act as the catalyst or facilitate the communication. It's no wonder there is such a rift without design, and a certain lack of quality, we don't have the arts facility to make the products meaningful.)

    Do you have any thoughts on how to involve design more?

    Cheers
    CD Evans

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