Anyone that I’ve met, either online or in person over the past 2 years has heard about Owner Camp. Anyone who has asked me the question “Do anything interesting recently?” will have gotten an earful about Owner Camp.
Founded by the Bureau of Digital Affairs, Owner Camp has one key purpose; create an event where the founders of digital companies could get together, share their stories off the record and learn from an intimate group of peers. The Gregs (Greg Storey & Grey Hoy) invited me to their 2nd Owner Camp in December 2012 and allowed me to return to 3 more since. When they announced Owner Summit in mid-2014, I was intrigued to see how the concept would translate to a larger group. I was also honoured to be asked to run a Camp Session on something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently, “Embracing (Humble) Success” (which is another post, for another day).
Happy to be back in Austin after almost 5 years since SXSW in 2010, I got to enjoy 2+ days taking in the first Owner Summit. While it was amazing to get to see almost 50 people that I had shared Owner Camp with, the real fun was getting to meet tons of new people who just joined our community. The two days also encompassed a series of keynote speakers, breakout sessions and after event get togethers. For me, the highlights of the event where:
- Nancy Lyons’ passionate plea for a reality check with her presentation: "There’s No Such Thing As Work/Life Balance (It’s all LIFE!)'
- Richard Banfield’s review of what makes digital design leaders tick. I was honoured to be included in his presentation
- Geoff Wilson made the first convincing case I’ve ever seen for pure Agile development in a more traditional digital agency
- Dan Mall got me thinking about value based pricing, and
- Mike Monteiro definitely reawakened our need to take back control over the design process
While the event was bigger and more raucous, I had many opportunities to have deep conversations with and learn from some wise people. Over breakfast, lunch or drinks, I never found myself without an opportunity to grow. While I’m biased about the whole “Owner” experience if you run a digital company and get a chance to attend, please do. If you do, I promise to take some time and chat with you and I’ll introduce you to some smart cookies. Take a look at their website if you want to find out more.