An acquisition is always a failure

"But a visionary is an implementer of visions, not an acquirer of dollars. And if you consider yourself a visionary, the only honest response to your own acquisition is to admit your failure, dust yourself off, and start building your next company." Jake Lodwick ...

littleBits

"littleBits is an open source library of electronic modules that snap together with tiny magnets for prototyping, learning, and fun." But they had me at "no soldering". We got Dash something along these lines for Christmas, but it required a lot of assistance from adults with soldering, various tools, etc. It was a really cool little project, but it didn't really provide Dash (10 years old) with the kind of independence and freedom of creativity we were hoping for. The cool thing about littleBits is that it's so easy to get started, and it really does allow kids to plug in, tinker, and build on their own. No better way to learn about technology at a young age than to have an opportunity to just play with things and see how they work. Learn more here. There's a community full of inspiration, and the starter kit is $89. Thanks to Eades for the heads up via VHX. ...

Why People Don’t Go to SXSW

On the subject of tech conferences and why / when they're worth going to, Michael at Cruftbox has listed a few reasons why he won't travel to Austin this year for SXSW, making the argument that it's now more of a business conference than a conference for individuals. Naturally a lot of this evolution stems from the event's growth over time, and expansion beyond the initial idea around connecting people and ideas. That said, there's a valid argument being made for what the individual stands to gain from such a multi-directional approach to conferences as we commonly know them. I've said this for the last three or so years - if you want to get the most out of SXSW Interactive and really connect to individuals and ideas, and have meaningful conversations, that's up to you, not the event - for better or for worse. Read his thoughts here. ...

Winer’s “Get the Tech Back in Tech”

Take a moment if you haven't already to read Dave Winer's latest piece at Wired, "Get the Tech Back in Tech." Winer outlines why, in a time when large corporations control so much of our data through their servers, having programmers as active participants in any meaningful conference is incredibly important. He suggests three changes to tech conferences (which might not apply to conferences like "Make $$$ With Your Location Based Dating App", or a few other SXSW-like panels that just skim the surface, but who knows), and likens his argument to that of women looking around at conferences and wondering why there were no women on stage. 1. There ought to be at least one active programmer speaking at every tech conference. 2. If there are tutorials at the tech conference, there ought to be a tutorial that shows people how to operate their own server with a few apps running on it. Blogging software perhaps. Or their own news aggregator. Or their own Facebook or Twitter clone (those might come later with an installed base of users who know how to run servers). 3. If a conference is promoting APIs, it should in addition to promoting proprietary APIs, give equal time to open APIs that are not owned by any single corporation. Good thoughts all - especially his plea for folks to remember that just because someone is a programmer, doesn't mean they aren't able to communicate effectively. Read the entire piece, and if you're bulking up a panel for SX,...