The Group Dynamics of a Dinner Table Meeting
(links lead to their blogs)
(If I've missed out anyone or got someone's name wrong, please let me know.)
More than the conversations at the table, it was the underlying dynamics of the conversations that was interesting.
Everyone seemed to have a good time. It was great to network with like-minded people. I think that was the key. It went well -- and this is true of the barcamp too -- because we all share a common interest: entrepreneurship in the internet economy. Everyone present at the dinner had something or the other to do with venture creation around the internet - many of us are founders of our own company, some of us work independently, three of us plan to launch their company and there was even a VC!
Another common thread binding the people at the table was that they are very clued-in to what's happening in the internet economy, Web2.0 etc. We monitor dozens of blogs and spend a significant amount of the day just reading or expanding the blogosphere. Rakesh, who is based in States, wrote that his experience at BarCamp was a bit surreal... "to be sitting in Adobe's office in NOIDA and hearing folks in the audience dissect and discuss technologies like Google News, gada.be, Windows Live and Gmail."
One little gripe I have is that I didn't get a chance to interact with everyone. The meeting started on a great note - sitting around a big table, each person talked a bit about himself (and his favorite gadget) addressing the entire group. This led to conversations across the group. But after the introductions talk was soon limited to those sitting around you with no way to talk to or even catch what the people across the table were talking about.
I'm all for free flowing discussion amongst small groups but I dislike the loss of "reach" because of lack of "bandwidth"! I think we need more of one-to-one or one-to-many interactions along with one-to-few that such a meeting format inevitably entails. Particularly for someone like me who is not a "group person." Being an INTP, I inadvertently switch to observation mode when in groups (I express better in one to one conversations and best when I write). It'll be interesting to come up with a meeting / conference format that alters these dynamics and at the same time still retains its informal, conversational tone.
Btw, to end on a self-congratulatory note, at least three people (Manik, Prashant and Jon) commented that they are extremely impressed with this blog- both the styling and the content. Jon was kind to say, "it's phenomenal... it's like a magazine." :D
UPDATE: Pictures are now up. Rakesh's Flickr set of his Gurgaon visit. You can see me in this picture. That's (left to right) Navin, Manik, Prashant, myself and Ashish.
Earlier notes from BarCampDelhi: Smart People, Entrepreneurship and Cutting Edge Tech
All my posts reviewing BarCampDelhi