Being Intentional.

August 24, 2011

I’m here this week in Minneapolis for EventCamp Twin Cities. I’m very excited to be here and so impressed with the amazing work that the team here is doing to make this an amazing event. Even more amazing for me is that everyone is here because of an event that I was a part of starting. Back in 2009 when Christina Coster first proposed the idea on Twitter, I jumped in. I didn’t know why I wanted to participate, but it sounded like a great idea.  After two successful events produced by the original team, there have been a solid handful of EventCamps that have taken place or are planned for the future. And from what I have seen so far, I am pretty sure that TwinCities is going to be the best one to date.

So here’s the thing. When we produced the first event, we had no idea that other people might want to also hold similar events that shared our name. We had no clue that an idea that was formed from a simple conversation on Twitter would turn into a brand and a community. We didn’t think that far ahead.  But we should have.

We should have planned for success. We should have thought ahead of licensing, branding and all of those things that we didn’t think about. We should have seen past the immediate and looked into the future. Instead, we made mistakes and played catch up.

Does this sound familiar? Have you had an idea that you went with without thinking two, three or five steps ahead? Have you started a business or a project without an exit strategy? This is how most people do it. It’s not that we don’t have vision, it’s that the distance that we see ahead is limited.

I learned a lot of lesson about vision through EventCamp. The biggest thing that I learned was that it is important to be intentional. Whether you are creating a product, an event, a service or simply writing and email, blog post or tweet, intention matters.  In reality, intention is just a piece of being strategic.

We can’t change the past, but we can learn from it. We can learn to ask better questions, to consider the what-ifs and to have a plan.

I am honored to be here this week and to celebrate the accomplishments of my peers. And I thankful that they had the vision to take the next step.  Good luck to Sam Smith, Ray Hansen and all of the other people who have worked so hard to make this week possible. And a special shout out to Mike McAllen who is working on EventCamp Silicon Valley. You are all an inspiration.