Brooklyn Beta highlights.

This year I had the privilege of heading to Brooklyn, NY for my second Brooklyn Beta, a “small, friendly web conference”. It’s taken me a while to post about it because there are so many things I want to share.

For now, I’m just documenting a few of my biggest Brooklyn Beta takeaways. These aren’t necessarily direct quotes, they’re mostly words and phrases I wrote down during the sessions or even ideas that have really stuck with me since I heard them a few weeks ago.


The Brooklyn Beta stage.

Here’s what I learned from:

Aaron Draplin
· always make room for helping your friends
· say yes maybe a little more than you say no
· do good work for good people

Seth Godin

Revolutions destroy the perfect and enable the impossible.
As artists, we’re under pressure to be industrialists and mass producers.

If you can be sure it’s going to work, you’re not an artist. If all you’re doing is following instructions, you’re not making, you’re assembling. You’re doing something yourself that could be done in a factory.

Also, the distinction between ‘make something you love’ and 'make something that matters’. They’re not always the same thing.

Ben Pieratt
Pursuing scale can cloud the mind and poison your product.

Kyle Kneath
Some of the principles behind GitHub.

· favor leadership over management
· favor goals over deadlines
· favor shared visions over road maps (what do we want to accomplish in the next 6-12 months)
· favor sustainable pace over hourly commitment (consistently producing great things)
· favor tangible work over meetings
· favor building new tools over using bad existing ones (aka if you use ugly software, you’ll create ugly software)

We can create a better future by creating better companies.

Cory Booker
Accountability = a standard that can be measured and has consequences for failure.
Bad people are elected when good people don’t vote.

Scott Belsky
Initiative trumps experience, and resourcefulness is greater than resources.
Critical mass vs. credible mass: thinking about the next generation of community curation.

Maciej Ceglowski

Succeeding feels just like failing, except you’re not allowed to stop.
Barely succeed. There are so many projects that don’t have to grow. Grow or die is a false set of options. Gauge your ability to continue indefinitely.  Decide whether you want to grow.

See what I mean? So many great things to ponder.


Fabulous Brooklyn Beta sponsor banners.

Also, I learned about some pretty cool products at Brooklyn Beta.

Makers Row
bringing made in America back with direct access to factories in the US.
Connecting ideas with factories who can make them happen.

The Noun Project
Image based communication to cross language boundaries. Awesome.

Designer Fund

More designers working on meaningful problems through entrepreneurship.

The Great Discontent
I knew about TGD before Brooklyn Beta, but it was great to meet them in person and be reminded about their product. They do weekly interviews with inspiring people from the creative industry.

And here’s the thought provoking question they asked that kept ringing in my ears: What message would you give to your future self?