Igniting Taipei

A few weeks ago with a couple of friends we started to organize the first Ignite Taipei. There’s still 5 weeks and a bit to go, but it has already been a fun experience. In many ways, starting a community feels very similar to how doing a startup would feel (I imagine). No surprise there, the startups I would want to create would want to have a great community. :)

So far it is mostly about choosing the place, the time, starting to invite people, keeping in touch with them, building involvement by others and keeping those “fans”. It’s shaping up nicely, but there’s a lot more to go, we are not ready yet.

Another connection I found with doing an business: the best way to build up one’s own enthusiasm is to be as closely involved as possible. I keep watching Ignite videos on YouTube and sharing them. Writing a blog about what’s going on. Talking to people about it and see what they are interested in. Since at the actual event I think I will be managing the technical issues, there’s one thing I haven’t thought about before: what kind of talk would I give? How would I use my 5 minutes / 20 slides to have an impact? Unless I know that, I cannot really recruit speakers well, cannot help them effectively and would miss out on the core of the things. Also, it does help to exercise my idea muscles [1].

Ignite talk brainstorming
What _else_ to talk about?

Here’s the copy of the brainstorming I had today while I was waiting for my lunch:

  • 30 day challenge: take different bus route I haven’t taken before
  • 100 uses of measuring time
  • Hungarian for dummies
  • Comparative tea-ology
  • Feynman’s spaghetti-braking experiment
  • “How to measure the high of the lighthouse with a barometer”
  • Camino de Santiago
  • Organizing Ignite
  • Geocaching
  • Version control systems for fun and profit
  • Rejection Therapy
  • Startupbus
  • Everyday physics
  • A very short introduction to <insert author’s name here> (e.g. Palahniuk, Vonnegut, Beckett)
  • Kitchen in a pot: the electric rice cooker
  • Long distance travelers of ancient times
  • 100 uses of a wiki
  • Open-source hardware
  • Movie stars’ movies before they became really famous
  • All those different ways of brewing coffee

These I think fall into two categories: things I know a little about, and things I know too little about but would use Ignite as an excuse to learn more. Actually, since I wrote up this list more ideas keep flowing in and I think I will have to prepare some of these, even without a plan to show them to anyone: why would one need an excuse to do something awesome?

Any more ideas to talk about?

[1] “Idea muscles” come from James Altucher, one of my favorite blogger/writer lately. It is the habit of being creative, or by his word:

Every day I write down ideas. I write down so many ideas that it hurts my head to come up with one more. Then I try to write down five more.

I’m not that good at this just yet. The list above is as long as it is because that’s where my page got full. Not as if there are no 97 other, empty pages in my notebook… Maybe I’m too pain averse, but got to overcome that. I actually long for the feeling of doing as many ideas that it hurts thinking more…