The Best Tech Conference Nobody Knows About

Stan Feld has gone viral!   photo credit: Dr. Stan Feld.  

I just got back from the best tech conference on the planet that nobody knows about.  It’s called Lindzonpalooza.  Here’s how it works.

Every year, StockTwits CEO Howard Lindzon invites around 75 entrepreneurs, VC investors and Wall Street types to geek out in San Diego for a weekend, exchange ideas and drink on Howard’s tab.  Big macher, nerd-celebrities like Brad Feld, Jeff Clavier, Shervin Pishevar, and Paul Kedrosky are all part of the mix.*  And then for good measure, Howard invites a few peons like me to present at the conference’s Demo Day.  For those interested, here’s a great summary of the demo day presentations.

(*apologies for the gratuitous nerd-celebrity name dropping)

In my opinion, conferences are like startups.   It’s alwaysalways always about the people.

As a rule of thumb, strong startup teams make for strong startups.  And in the case of a conference, a strong attendee list will make for a strong conference.   This was definitely the case at Lindzonpalooza.  It wasn’t just good because of all the heavy hitter nerd-celebrities in attendance.  It was good because no matter who you talked you, you couldn’t have a bad conversation.  There were no weak links. Everyone in attendance was interesting and creative.  But more importantly, all the attendees were just good people with strong values.

During the course of the weekend, I was fortunate enough to meet a ton of these interesting and inspiring nerds. Here are 10 facts I learned about the Lindzonpalooza-ers that I thought I would share.

10. No one in the world has more energy than Peter Pham (@peterpham) of Science.

9.  Except for Grant Gurtin (@GrantGurtin) of Fanium.

8. Stan Feld (@SFELD) is Brad Feld’s dad. He’s just as sagacious as Brad describes him in his blogs.  He is also a meme.

7.  When it comes to organizing conferences, executive assistants deserve as much credit as CEOs.

6. Most people are part of the problem.  Kevin Flanagan of the People’s Movement is part of the solution.

5. Tom Peterson of Social Leverage is the Forrest Gump of 3 AM spatula ping pong.

We ran out of ping pong paddles. Fortunately, there was no shortage of good old Canadian Ingenuity.

4.  Noah Pepper (@noahmp) of Lucky Sort is so smart he can make a room full of really smart people feel dumb.

3. You’re not going to find a more genuine person in the tech world than Micah Baldwin (@Micah) of Graphicly.

2. Todd Sawicki of Cheeseburger has the best Twitter handle on the Interwebz.   He’s @Sawickipedia.

1. When we grow up, we all want to be Howard Lindzon (@HowardLindzon). Hat tip: Josh Brown.

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52 thoughts on “The Best Tech Conference Nobody Knows About

  1. Haha great post! And we actually nicknamed one of our friends “Sawickipedia” back in college! We didn’t think to get the twitter account though… d’oh!

  2. Appreciate the compliment. Was great meeting you and look forward to sharing our progress in the next few months

  3. Reblogged this on Raanan Bar-Cohen and commented:

    couldn’t agree more — was a real honor to attend this past weekend, and Howard has that special touch when it comes to getting smart & interesting people together.

  4. Awesome recap Ethan!

    Glad we got to meet and connect.

    Talk soon.

  5. Alan Baldachin says:

    Love it, great to meet everyone over the weekend and look forward to next year’s Geekfest on Coronado, this time w/ some Navy Seal training thrown into the mix. Look forward to staying in touch with everyone.

  6. jevon says:

    It was great to meet you and all the other Howardians

  7. xuantian says:

    Hmm…interesting. Thanks for sharing the experience. :)

  8. Welcome to the age of the entrepreneur and of imagination. Nerds and geeks the world over are celebrating the best tech conference nobody knows about. Well, now we do.

  9. Grumpa Joe says:

    It takes a Geek to understand a Geek, I’m not one of them.

  10. achilliad says:

    Cool! I attended something as enlightening last Friday, April 13th, the “Explore Nashville” Social Media Summit. http://gotoexplore.co/cities/nashville/ While maybe no ping pong, it changed the way I thought about the topic. Kudos on getting Pressed like Freshly picked basil leaves in a Bourbon drink!

  11. sonam says:

    wow…..really interesting

  12. Hannah Klomp says:

    Really interesting! I love the way you write!

  13. Blake says:

    Thanks for the read! Will have to consider going to it next year.

  14. nteresting. Thanks for sharing the experience. :)

  15. sultanhaider says:

    Appreciate the compliment. Was great meeting you and look forward to sharing our progress in the next few months.
    thanks a lot.
    ship management

  16. So interesting about your experience! But I’m curious about tech conferece. I’m glad to come back when you talk more about the conference.

  17. lijiujiu says:

    Interesting, very interesting.
    Thanks for sharing.

  18. Thanks for recoginizing #7. And it’s always about the people, at conferences and not.

  19. Reblogged this on Thekellygeorge's Blog and commented:
    This makes me wish I was an entrepreneur/techie!!

    • Bryan Lee says:

      Hi @thekellygeorge

      I’m sure you can :D
      just take the first step.

      The startup eco-system is growing fast and furious :D
      spreading from the states and now it reach Singapore too.

      I love to starting up too, because I believe everyone can truly solve real world problems with technology.

      Looking forward to your posts on starting up journey.

      Cheers

  20. Very interesting, sounds like a good conference. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Interesting read! Certainly sounds like good fun and a great conference!

    Loving the spatula ingenuity.

  22. Bryan Lee says:

    Thanks for sharing, I just found another great startup blog to follow on WP.

    I starting up in Singapore, if you are ever dropping by Singapore for a trip, do drop me a mail. Would love to connect with entrepreneurs around the world :D

    Cheers

  23. Ant says:

    So it was a kind of love fest where you connected with everybody trying to connect with you and didn’t take away a single idea? :-)

  24. Ant says:

    Actually GiveForward sounds like a very great idea, for sure.

  25. I bet you guys have tons of fun. Forget serious stuff, conferences are about networking and real life social engagement :)

  26. njaleruma says:

    Am a problem.I would like to be part of a solution.Uganda could be the next location for the conference if Stan and you feels okay.

  27. SpenceG says:

    Great read. Perhaps it’s time for me to pay more attention to Lindzonpalooza.

  28. R.G. Riles says:

    Kudos. Not only did I go into Twitter and follow all that were mentioned, I posted the link on my LinkedIn page and Re-Pressed (rgriles.wordpress). Dream meetings like this are too few and far between and may be as critical to the Great Recovery as infrastructure and green energy. I haven’t read your article yet, only the blog, but I look forward to doing so, as I look forward to getting to know some of the folks that were there and the ingenious ideas that must have been brought forth!

    • Ethan Austin says:

      thanks so much! You won’t be disappointed when you follow these folks. All really interesting people!

  29. mrauthentik says:

    My kind of blog, loving the name too much. Looks like you had fun, thanks for sharing your insights. peace and ice cream.

  30. Nice post, inspiring !

    Btw, I am joining blog competition, please visit and give comments in this article..:)
    wish you all the best !!

    http://dennyrezakamarullah.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/indonesia-car-lyfestyle-award-ajang-refleksi-dan-promosi-produsen-mobil/

  31. K says:

    This reminds me of the time when Bill Gates advised teens at a high school graduation ceremony speech to be nice to nerds because, chances are, they’ll be working for one. This couldn’t be anymore true today.

  32. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz reply as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from.
    thanks

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