IT superstars at 2.Ohio – Columbus
If you were fortunate enough to attend 2.Ohio yesterday at the Hilton Polaris, you had the pleasure of hearing from Reid Hoffman (Founder of LinkedIn), Judy Estrin (author of Closing the Innovation Gap, former CTO of Cisco and current CEO of JLabs) and Mike Nelson, (Professor at Georgetown and volunteer for the Obama campaign).
If that’s not enough IT talent for you, mingling with the audience, before and after the event, were Brian Behlendorf (important figure in the open source movement and primary developer of the Apache Web Server) and Craig Newmark (Founder of Craigslist)!
In true IT startup fashion, the 2.Ohio event went from conception to reality in just 4 weeks. The organizers, Angela Siefer and Ben Blanquera, relied heavily on the Social Media and the robust IT networks Columbus if known for to make the event a reality and spread the word.
Judy Estrin spoke first and gave a great presentation on spurring innovation. Judy correctly pointed out that innovation doesn’t happen on its own; it must be nurtured. Innovation is also not certain. It is iterative and messy. It must exist within five “core” values to generate the most value and not snow-ball out of control. These values are Questioning, Risk, Openness, Patience and Trust.
Reid Hoffman spoke next on the importance of social networks in entrepreneurship and innovation. Networks help you find market need, vet your ideas and course-correct your strategy early. Networks also help you meet key people, find partners and raise capital. As a final piece of advice, Reid encouraged entrepreneurs to share their ideas openly. “Successful entrepreneurs don’t keep their ideas quiet, they ask everyone they can find to gain fresh insights.”
Last up was Professor Mike Nelson from Georgetown University. Mike spoke about how the Obama campaign both encourages the use of technology and leads by example. It is no secret that the Obama campaign has utilized Social Media to unprecedented levels during this campaign to both spread the word and raise large amounts of capital. Mike has been a key liaison to the Whitehouse, helping the Clinton administration embrace the Internet. His vision for the future is a truly Web2.0 administration that does not push information at the American people but one that interacts, listens and responds to the American people through the use of Social Media technologies.