Barcamps across the world have the common spirit of openness & inclusiveness nature but I think there are different reasons of why they get embraced in different cities in the world.
In US when barcamp was started first (in Palo Alto by Chris & others) it was to fight the exclusive, non – open, discrimination against the nerds & geeks. It was to rebel against the detioration of a nerd embracing culture.
I think that in India the reason it got embraced was different, it offered a means to the nerds/geeks to help seed/create a valley kind of culture. (Startup Culture).
While I was at Barcamp Bangalore Amit had made an observation.”Most of the barcamps (Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore) that I attended so far are all populated with tech startup guys, though it is slightly different for Bangalore where there are more techies from big companies” .It is true for Barcamp Mumbai & Pune as well. Also if you look at the folks who have taken initiative in getting a barcamp organized in India they are invariably folks who have either started/starting their own startups or working for startups.
I don’t know if Paul Graham had heard about Barcamps when he wrote his article on how to be a silicon valley? If not he should certainly make a note of it and make sure that he attends one of them (if possible one in India) because barcamps in India are bringing in a lot of nerds together in contact with each other which had never happened before in this kind of way.
So If barcamps are the seeds then for a silicon valley what are the other needs. Yesterday while we were at the barcamp planning meet we came up with this thought of having a huge discussion in barcamp hyderabad2 on how Hyderabad can be a Silicon Valley. This would be a discussion that could encompass anything and everything related to creation/hindrance of a startups in India – the general culture, a vibrant city, inflection, risk capital society tolerant to failure, rich people, angels, vc’s, comp science universities, market, business schools, semi-conductor industries, liberalization, taxes , government, domestic, export regulatins, law and order situation, attitude towards career, schooling, parental pressure etc etc.
Barcamps will bring together nerds by default who are one of the key stake-holder of this entire eco-system. But for a meaningful discussion this needs the inputs of other key stake holders also viz academia, industry, VC’s, government etc. Somehow hoping that this message could be reached across a large number of such other interested parties and can participate in this dialogue. Could you help spread the word to all you know who would be interested in this great and interesting discussion at barcamp hyderabad2.
Your observation about Barcamps being a breeding ground for startups is very true. The fact that you are organising the second barcamp in hyd is testimony to that. Because the first event was basically about getting to know other people and explore the concept of unconference. I’m sure this time around, your basic pool of participants is going to expand from last time. Many would be future entreprepreneurs and are coming to the event just to meet and mingle around with birds of the same feather.
I am glad to see that hyderabad is finally catching the enterprunal bug. I am a hyderabadi at heart even after spending 15yr in the valley. I love for us not to just copy the silicon valley culture as is but put a hyderabadi twist to it. Keep it laid back and bohemian while still producing innovation. I mean mix the cubicle culture with the the irani cafe 🙂
Wish i could attend barcamp hyd2.
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