Top 4 Insights from GROW 2010 Conference in Vancouver
by Bart Copeland

Bart Copeland, August 23, 2010

Grow 2010 Conference in VancouverI took a break from Dynamic Languages late last week to attend the GROW 2010 Conference in Vancouver, BC. What is GROW? In a nutsell it is "a technology conference that brings together leading entrepreneurs, thinkers, influencers and investors from Silicon Valley and Canada to inspire innovation and entrepreneurship". The conference was held in ActiveState's home town of Vancouver, Canada. Our hat goes off to the GROW organizers for putting on a "kick-ass" event. It was outstanding.

Details on GROW can be found at:

The day was filled with excellent networking and lots of great insights.

Here are the top 4 insights I got from GROW that I will leave you to ponder:

#1 Leonard Brody - President, Clarity Digital:

  • "Don't build a business that tries to change human behaviour"
  • "First mover advantage is a fallacy"

#2 Tony Hsieh - CEO, Zappos:

  • Kara Swisher, Co- Executive Editor, The Wall Street Journal, interviewed Tony. Tony shared some wonderful stories about Zappos as he is about to start a tour to promote his book: "Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose". These stories combined with Tony's very "humble" demeanor, which is not surprising for that is one of the core values of Zappos, could make this book a very interesting read.

#3 Lane Becker - Co-Founder, Get Satisfaction

  • What is "Get Satisfaction"? It's a social support application for engaging your customer community to reduce support costs, build buzz and collect feedback. Should ActiveState consider replacing our community forums and bug lists with Get Satisfaction? What do you think?
  • On the topic of failing: "Fail: But at your speed and on your own terms."
  • Plus, the next time some one slams your venture or idea, consider a rule he shared: "Nobody knows anything"

#4 Dave McClure, 500 Hats LLC

  • For a "platform" to be viable it needs: 
    1. Users
    2. Money (e.g. a revenue/business model)
    3. Features
    In that order!  Note: The term "platform" was used in context to platforms such as: LinkedIn, FaceBook, iPhone

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Bart Copeland is our CEO and president. He's passionate about ensuring that everyone at ActiveState has a lot of fun while solving complex problems with applications that provide real benefit to our customers. He holds an MBA in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix and a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of British Columbia.