What I’m Hoping to Get From Brooklyn Beta

I’m headed to Brooklyn Beta tomorrow in New York City. For those of you who haven’t heard of Brooklyn Beta, it’s advertised as the hippest conference for creators – the people responsible for building all the cool web toys that many of us take for granted. This year, it sold out within 4 minutes of ticket sales being opened. I was happy to get a ticket for the Wednesday Whatnot, even though I couldn’t score a pass for the entire week.

Take one look at the guest list and it becomes obvious why Brooklyn Beta is a place you might want to hang out at. Top VCs and the brains behind some of the best companies on the net are going to be here mingling, showing off their platforms and investments, and talking about what’s next. There are a few things that I’m particularly interested in:

- Talking to people about their technology stacks – namely the frameworks and libraries that are currently popular, and how scalability has been addressed. Essentially, I want to know how platforms with millions of users have evolved; how priorities have shifted over time, how painful/ painless scaling development teams was, etc.

- Talking to investors, startup founders and bootstrappers and getting a feel for how everyone stacks up against each other. Since funded startups have something like a 90% failure rate (for you stat geeks, I don’t have a citation for that), and there are some amazing bootstrapped companies out there (GitHub, 37 Signals, etc.), I want to get an “on the ground” feel for who took money, who didn’t, and how their paths and growing pains differed.

- Talking to people about their teams – how they were built, how often they’re changed, how rigorous the selection processes are.

Of course, you could ask any of these questions on StackExchange, HackerNews, or whatever – and probably get a ton of answers – but it’s not the same as meeting people, learning a bit about their background, and talking about what they see as the next step. You can learn more in a few focused days of interaction with the right crowd than you can in months of isolation – so that’s what I’m stoked for – meeting the great people who have built the modern web and hearing their stories.

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