Last week, I attended the 3rd iteration of Hustle Con, a sweet salsa of scrappiness held this year at the Paramount Theater in downtown Oakland. Since this was my first year in attendance, I can’t give any comparisons personally, but I heard from other people that it was a lot bigger and seemed a lot more sponsor-y. My own view on that is: Good job Sam Parr (founder of Hustle Con). Sponsorships make the world go round, and haters are being unrealistic about how things really get paid for in this world.
For anyone who didn’t make it, here’s a link to the schedule: http://hustlecon.com/#schedule
My faves from the conference were:
David Renteln from Soylent
Geez, this guy can definitely sell ice to eskimos. Here we all were, just mere miles from the ground zero of the slow/local food movement (i.e. Chez Panisse in Berkley), and he had me convinced that drinking fermented algae shakes is not only not weird, but likely to become the norm for the human diet. Love the ballsy attitude on marketing their products.
Ramit Sethi, I Will Teach You To Be Rich
If I’m lucky, this blog could someday be as successful as Ramit’s.
But seriously, he shared the best point of the day: the market will try to pull you down to the lowest common denominator. Don’t settle for being average.
Danielle Morrill, Mattermark
This wasn’t the centerpiece of Danielle’s talk, but she provided a great example of bouncing back after failure. Before Mattermark, she cofounded Referly, a social shopping site that I had toyed around with myself. I didn’t get very far with it myself, which probably was the same experience many of her other users had. It was interesting to hear what ended up happening with that – it folded – and how she was willing to pick up and try something completely different after that.
Hambrick’s Giant Burgers
If prizes were given out that day, the grand prize should have been awarded to the owners of Hambrick’s Giant Burgers, at the corner of 22nd St. and Telegraph Avenue. It looked like they blocked off their parking lot until 10 minutes before the con started, and then opened it up so that they could charge premium parking fees to all the latecomers who were unable to get into the packed parking garages next to the theater. Then, at the end of the day, I’m sure they sold a ton of burgers to the conventioneers as they were leaving and heading home.