Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mobile Applications and the South Sound

I had a gentleman come to see me today who talked about the mobile applications he has been developing for the Android. He was doing so because he wanted to sharpen his technical skill set as well as work with technology that was growing in use. He then asked me if there was any mobile application development going on in the South Puget Sound.

The answer is yes. In fact, this years South Sound Technology Conference on March 11th is going to focus on mobile application development as one of its breakout sessions on the technical track (the second track is the business track).

Brian Forth, President of SiteCrafting, a web design and application development company located in Tacoma will be presenting on the topic. He will be discussing not only how mobile applications are creating opportunities and providing unique solutions to his companies customers, but also how the technology is changing the industry landscape.

Following his talk panelists which will include Keven Freitas, a mobile apps developer as well as two companies from the area that have deployed their mobile app solutions. Many of us know Kevin as well from his contribution of FeedTacoma to the Tacoma online community.

Brian came by the Entrepreneurship in Technology class this week to talk about his experience building the company and branching out to include Seattle and Spokane offices. The presentation engaged the students who weren't shy in the least when asking questions about building a company and leveraging technology in business. During the presentation he talked about ChambersEdge just one of the mobile solutions his company has delivered.

A mobile application that provides business and contact info about all your chamber members. It can be accessed by chamber members and visitors alike.

Just a quick search on the topic "mobile application development Tacoma" pulls up several companies in the area who are doing development or offer the service, such as IdentityMine and BigStep Consulting.

It should be a great presentation and a rewarding conversation. Be sure to register.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ring Round the Moon

Yesterday was opening night for the three act play Ring Round the Moon at the Lakewood Playhouse. After several weeks of rehearsal for me and even more for many of the cast members we had a live and lively audience last night, which brings another level of energy to all the performances.

The actors who I am performing with are all wonderful and talented. They had their lines, blocking, dancing and characterizations off book and well formed with days to spare before we opened. That gave us the opportunity to run the show through several times over in advance, which is great, but leaves you wanting somewhat. It is when the audience is introduced that the world the director, designers, stage management and costumers have created through the show comes alive completely.

The show is in three acts and with intermission runs for three hours, which can tire you out. But with the audience there, obviously engaged until the final bow, it provides plenty of energy for the task.

One of the great surprises for me from last night was one particular scene that plays out an important dramatic moment that requires several shifts of mood from the actors and is also reasonably lengthy. It is also full of very funny moments, which you can forget about after hearing it many times over, as it becomes exacted by the players. Well it soared yesterday and the laughter from the audience actually gave it greater impact.

This is the first non-musical I have done in YEARS and it has been a blast. Also new to me is doing a show in the round. A very immersive experience to say the least. I have done shows with two of the other actors but for the majority this will be my first experience. It has been a wonderful one at that.

For information you can go to http://www.lakewoodplayhouse.org/.

Here is how the director David Domkoski describes his sense of the show:

What excites me about Ring Round The Moon is Christopher Fry's extraordinary language, the vividness of the images he creates and his delightful word play. Towards the end of the play one characters describes another as 'scrupulous and considerate, but not considerabl...e,' or as another character describes himself, 'I am acting providence tonight. I deflect the influence of the stars. The stars, twinkling up there with9ut an inkling of what's going to happen tonight." Very Oscar Wilde-ish. The play was once described as being a 'soufflĂ© with razor blades”.It's not all fun and games as it might first appear. Beneath the laughter, Fry explores some serious social issues. The play is a cross between Cinderella and Pygmalion. Cinderella in this case is a poor but highly principled dancer hired by a cynical and manipulative young aristocrat to break up his less worldly and love smitten brother's engagement.


The Suburban Times has a nice write up of the show and gives due to the actors and their roles.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Clint Nelson of Startup Weekend to Keynote



As we get closer to Friday March 11th and the 11th Annual South Sound Technology Conference I will post more on the the great speakers and panels that we have for the event.

Right now I am excited to announce that Clint Nelson of Startup Weekend is going to be our lunch time keynoter. Startup Weekend is a Seattle non-profit that runs weekend-long brainstorming sessions for entrepreneurs around the world. If you are unfamiliar with Startup Weekend, here is information about them from their site:

What is Startup Weekend?

What We Do:

54-hour events where developers, coders, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and create startups!
Startup Weekends are weekend-long, hands-on experiments where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if startup ideas are viable. Most events have about 75 attendees, half of which have technical backgrounds and the other half have business backgrounds.

Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, individuals and teams are encouraged to bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams code, design, research, develop, create business plans while constantly streamlining their startup vision. Come Sunday evening—which always comes around way too soon—teams come together to watch each other’s demos, listen to judges’ feedback, and even win awesome prizes.
Startup Weekends are specifically designed for entrepreneurs looking for feedback on an idea, are interested in finding a co-founder, would like to learn a new skill, or would like to test the entrepreneurial waters by joining a team. Startup Weekends are risk-free environments where everyone is expected to roll up their sleeves and dive into the exhilarating world of startups.


It is my hope that this will be the launch toward a full out Startup Weekend in Tacoma/Pierce County to be held later in the year.

Clint is a director of Startup Weekend. For more information about Clint, other than his bio from Twitter (I'm an enabler, I run @StartupWeekend, I love harnessing the power of disruptive thinking, new ideas, traveling, flying, snowboarding, and the outdoors!) or from his bio from the DC Startup Weekend, (One awesome dude) I can tell you he is a very busy guy who has been traveling all over the world and we are lucky to have him speaking. He will be coming back from the EU the day before the conference.


Register here for the conference: