She’s Geeky is an unconference that continues tomorrow. It’s for women.
There are many attendees blogging their observations in real time. Journalists visited today, and answering their questions revealed as much about those in attendance as it did the gathering. Which is the point.
She’s Geeky is a beautifully spontaneous, productive and business-oriented exercise. Most critically, the unconference is about the women on the technology playing field — not about making a splash, building a database of targets or being "where the elite meet."
There are women from every walk of tech life, at every level and at various shades of visibility. The result? Down-to-earth dialog, unscripted and unrehearsed, between people who want to work and contribute as true players in one of the most exciting industries on the planet.
Last week, we had several splashy startup announcements coming out of one of the industry’s glittering events, here in San Francisco. As I read the coverage and the company blogs, it strikes me that we are still plagued with a sort of self-centered, look at me-aren’t I brilliant approach to building visibility for startups. Some of these startups are already funded to the tune of millions of dollars rounded up via connections as opposed to merit, bloated with employees and laying claim to the highest levels of innovation. Yet nowhere do their leaders illuminate the underlying functionality. Very little airtime is given to the customer experience — and what’s there is self-congratulatory hype that treats customers as props in the startups’ march to fame and fortune.
It is so refreshing to participate in an alternate experience, stripped of artifice and dedicated to facts. She’s Geeky relies on sharing what we know with others just for the pure pleasure of the interaction. On discussing performance, strengths, weaknesses, wins, losses — all in the context of making sure that we can contribute to the industry and own the contributions. On showing how reason is the foundation of fairness, not the exclusive province of the connected caste.
Think of it this way: if two heads are better than one, why not make at least one of them a woman’s? More than likely you’ll see a fact-based result that considers all parties and possibilities.