Thoughts on FOWA London 2007

It’s been a packed few days at the Future of Web Apps London conference, and yesterday’s workshop.

Ryan, Gillian and their team have done a great job of creating a buzz around the event and succeeded in getting some excellent speakers. Having the opportunity to discuss PHP with Rasmus Lerdorf at the workshop session yesterday was one of the highlights for me.

I got to meet some interesting and very personable people, and it struck me that there are plenty of talented individuals in the UK getting out there and building companies with innovative products.

The panel debate on day 2 focused on startup culture in Europe versus the U.S., and one of the conclusions was that we need to stop obsessing about Silicon Valley and get on and do it here. Events like this that bring like-minded people together are one of the elements of that culture.

When I joined Chordiant‘s UK consultancy team in 1999 I remember thinking that the company was building a team of exceptional people who were capable of achieving great things (I’ll blog about my experiences at Chordiant another time), and this was reflected in the quality of the work we did. I was reminded of that feeling at the FOWA, and I believe it is important that like-minded people have the ability to work closely together, sharing ideas and resources,
as it really does help to drive everyone forward. Gareth took the lead on this during the FOWA debate by flagging up that he had spare office capacity, with accounting and sysadmin support, and I hope that others in a similar position will follow his lead.

I’ll blog in more detail in the next day or so about the day 2 conference sessions, and the workshops.

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