Boston, We Have Ignition

Posted on 19, September 2009 by


On the clear Thursday night of September 17th, I attended what could be described as three hours of brain teasing at Boston’s Stone & Webster Building on the fourteenth floor of 245 Summer Street. This “Ignite Boston” event was sponsored by O’Reilly Publishing and Fidelity Center for Applied Technology (known in many circles as FCAT). The format of presentations applied the rule of so many slides at so many seconds each was a challenge that every presenter took with ease and polish. Here are a few highlights that caught my attention.

  • Opening speaker Glenn Ezra (a professor from MIT) discussed Jane Jacobs’ book “The Failure of City Planning.” He described how in larger societies, a small council of folks still control which resources people accessed in the communities, towns, and cities. There was one quote which stuck in my head: “Specialists don’t know; the PEOPLE know.” Methinks the people need to help President Obama pass the health care reform.
  • Clay Ward spoke about his Procrasdonate company, which turns the free time spent at work for browsing about on the internet into donated money for charity. This company definitely piqued my interested for Sweet Binks Rabbit Rescue
  • Josh Robins had me as soon as he brought up the words “shared data” into the presentation. The fact that Massachusetts Department of Transportation was offering up their information for others to use in their programs shows foresight into the future.
  • Dan Keldsen brought up the point that I have always believed: using the correct tools allows innovation, creativity, and workability. In my respect tools are not only something physical to hold in the hands, but giving the knowledge to those in need of it is detrimental in the workplace.
  • Jeff Potter presented his upcoming book “Cooking for Geeks” in which he demonstrated how each of us varies from being a super-taster to a non-taster thanks to our genetics.

(sigh) So many presenters, so little time… Besides seeing my friend Guido Stein of “It’s a Purl, Man” fame, I met the interesting Wendy Walsh who is part of the Women Geeks of Boston. We were sitting next to each other during the speed technology dating spree. It turns out that she is a web developer and we definitely enjoyed discussing our love for technology. Here’s hoping we see each other soon! =:8