So today, April 1 2007, was the last day of the third edition of BarCamp Bangalore. Since I had missed some events yesterday, I decided to make an early move to the venue. So my friend Bharath and I arranged to meet up in our old college, UVCE and move to the venue, IIM Bangalore. Around 20 odd kilometers of low grade roads. Thankfully it was a sunday and I anticipated very less traffic. Unfortunately, I had to also reckon in the half-an-hour of delay due to my friend’s immaculate lack of punctuality! And I was absolutely right again – he arrived at half past eight sharp. Well, to make it a short story, we managed to reach the venue by nine and I was surprised to see a much smaller crowd than yesterday and none of the events even seeming to be anywhere close to commencing. I could see the first event was scheduled for half past ten and it was by a person named Lawrence Liang on “IP rights and the social factors affecting its perception”. Of course those weren’t the exact words – a bit of syntactic sugar on my part.
I actually wanted to skip this event and wait for the “juicier” events instead. However, Ravi and Bharath persuaded me to attend it and so after the brief introduction which I may add was held in a true “Unconference” style in the front of the auditorium (which was locked, hence the impromptu session outside) and each presenter had an opportunity to give the gist of his or her event for the day. So far so good.
The first event started and it started off quite calmly and honestly, I think not many people had any expectations from the presentation. Then Lawrence started to weave his magic and the superb combination of humor, slides, audio and visual effects and the strong pace of the talk itself made the lawyer an instant favorite with the crowd and despite stretching his scheduled time by almost half-an-hour, the audience just couldn’t have enough of him! It was the best presentation of the two days. I couldn’t resist from shooting a few videos of his presentation and I will be posting them on youTube soon. I will publish the URLs here once I am done.
The few other events that I attended were nothing special… got the feeling most of them were merely seeking free publicity of their startups/ventures(mymuv.com which was an absolutely ludicrous idea for a startup) or ego boosting (Kiruba Shankar’s podcasting session) or greater exposure of one’s job profile for possible employment opportunities (?) (the ‘Usability’ event held by someone whose name I cannot recall or just wasn’t interested enough in to register in my mind the first time). So a pretty tame end for a BarCamp. oh yeah, there was a cheap publicity stunt by a couple of bummers from a startup called Yulop. They probably reckoned that not enough folks would be interested in a presentation called “Citycast” ( or was it “Citicast”? Whatever it was, it was extremely forgettable) so they rewrote the name of the presentation as “How to build the next Google – cracking the Google algorithm”. Needless to say, the people were already in high spirits and high on expectations after Lawrence’s presentation. So there was a sizable portion of the crowd in the room waiting with great anticipation and what happens then? One of the bummers cheekily informs everyone that it was a mere “April fool’s” joke! Quite a prank eh? Most folks weren’t amused and began streaming out of the room almost immediately. Who’s the sucker now, paisan?
Personally speaking, it was quite an irony that the most memorable event of the BarCamp meant for geeks was a presentation by a lawyer with an awesome sense of humor. And that said, despite the low quality of the technological presentations, I did gain a lot of insight into the Indian mindset, the state of the art in Indian startups, the mood of the entrepreneurial market, my own immense shortcomings (thankfully also the means to alleviate them) and with a huge gain in confidence that I am indeed the best. Or rather will be, but that is in the very near future!
BarCamp Bangalore 4 (BCB4) is scheduled to be held in June this year so you can definitely see me there. And I promise, it will be a very different Timmy, a much better Timmy (I can almost say a radically improved Timmy) there.