Four years ago, Chris Penn and I co-founded PodCamp. We had a reasonably simple plan: make an event for people interested in new media like podcasting and videoblogging. We had no previous experience. We had no reason to believe we wouldn’t be successful. We just did it and it worked out.
There have been over 90 of these events. In many of them, another group started from (nearly) nothing and started their own experience. In all cases, I believe seeds were planted. Sometimes, they went unnoticed. Sometimes, they fell on rocky soil and didn’t take root.
In many cases, they have.
Thinking about the people who attended the first PodCamp 4 years ago, here’s who I connected with yesterday:
Christopher S. Penn – nice long conversation via IM.
C.C. Chapman – he’s participating in a project with me soon.
Julien Smith – he cowrote our book.
Doug Haslam – saw him last weekend, but read his blog yesterday.
Mitch Joel – we tweeted a bit back and forth about a good post he wrote.
And many more.
In all cases, I’ve been working on projects with people I met at PodCamp. The event connected me with Jeff Pulver (who attended the first PodCamp, too), which connected me to my current company, and it’s just this endless cascade of opportunities.
Julien found the best phrase for it and stuck it in Trust Agents: be the priest; build the church. Essentially, if you can make the movement happen through your passion, then good things might follow.
I’m grateful for the experiences that PodCamp gave me, but also for the seeds it blew into my wild garden.
What are you doing to promote wild new opportunities born out of creative, disruptive collaboration? Where are your seeds?