It’s the first conversations that always get me. I’m such a sucker for potential! But with so much enthusiasm backing me up, one would have to be dead to not be inspired, at least a little.
This week I began meeting with some of the people who will make up Gangplank Tucson. First on the agenda was Warner Onstine, Aaron Eden and Erik Fuller at Rosa’s. They are honing their Lean Startup skills, and giving Tom Kinzer from Bookmans Recreation Exchange some pointers. Aaron is going to Stanford to train for Intuit, and hopes to bring the techniques he learns back to Gangplank for U of A students. We tried some preliminary techniques on Warner’s game, the Human Mosaic Project.
Meeting Andrew Lenards at Bentley’s was an high intensity data exchange about the possibilities of Gangplank in Tucson. He’ll be presenting on gamestorming and visual learning at the upcoming event at the Bookmans Resource Center. We’ll be getting together to discuss ideas about what we’d programming and brown bags we’d like to see, what equipment needs we have, and what we hope to accomplish as Gangplank Tucson. We’ll also talk about how the preparation of the space is progressing.
I missed a chance to talk to TuPLE with Chris Merle at EspressoArt, but I’ll try to catch that next time. Chris was at the tour and is an independent Python and Word Press (and probably some other stuff I’m leaving out) developer.
Greg Solovyev met Jacki Kuder and I for a talk at the B Line. He and a partner work for VM Ware in various coffee shops around Tucson. He was settled in at Cafe Passe on 4th for the day. He’s very quiet, unassuming and thoughtful at the meeting, but then I got a 3:30 a.m. email with brimming enthusiasm about a project I’m working on for Bookmans with some really great ideas. I’ll just add that to the many positive stories I’m hearing about Gangplank Tucson’s effect on the tech community of Tucson.
At Plush for Twitter’s nomadic “Tech Thursday Happy Hour” (#tthh), Warner, Art Gillespie and I talked about the power of collaboration and the opportunities it would bring. Lisa Bunker from the Pima County Library, Brenda Heuttner, a usability expert, her coworker at Code Text, Mike, and Valerie Aurora of the ADA initiative all weighed in as well. It’s a whip-sharp crowd and the pointed rejoinder is the weapon of choice.
Friday brought a Beyond Bread meeting with David Leary from Intuit and GPT’s own Jacki (Gangplank Tucson Special Ops). David, as it turns out lives in my ‘hood, and works from home and at Intuit as suits his needs. He is especially sensitive to customer driven, iterative and lean development. It’s been disruptive in a large organization like Intuit, but successful too! He’s active in social media, and flatteringly added Jacki and I to a list of people who “get it”. Like Aaron, Intuit’s idea exchanges with Mountain View offer us opportunities to bring in interesting speakers, too. He’ll make an excellent candidate for mentoring sessions, and damn fine coworker, imho.
All in all a busy and exciting week, and especially good for the local restaurants of Tucson!