My wife Kim and I run three conferences (Glue, Defrag and Blur), and really that sentence could really be amended to "my wife Kim runs three conferences, while I handle sales and content for those shows." One of the traditions that we've set up is that roughly one month before each show, we disappear for a few days, breathe, let the minds rest, and prepare for the 30 day ramp leading up to the event.
For this Glue, we've ended up in Key West. It's actually my first time here -- which is odd only because we've lived on Siesta Key since 2005 (Siesta Key is a 5-6 hour drive from Key West). In any case, Key West is a trip.
Sometime yesterday afternoon, I found myself sitting in Sloppy Joe's listening to The Doerfels. The amazing thing is this: the Doerfels are a modern day Partridge Family -- 10 kids, 2 parents, a bus, an average age of 15yrs old and a TON of good music. While I'm sitting there listening to these kids (ranging from 3 years old to 22 years old) absolutely *kill* everything from Journey to Pink Floyd to Stevie Ray Vaughn, I can't help but think about how entrepreneurial this whole Key is.
Like a lot of "key" culture, Key West has its roots in entrepreneurs. Originally, purchased two times (by two guys -- one for $575 bucks and once for $2000 in pesos), Key West quickly became a hotbed for.....sponges. In fact, at one point in time, Key West had the highest amount of wealth per capita of any city in the United States. Since then, Key West has attracted tons of artists (Hemingway), Presidents, and celebrities of all types. Mostly, though, it attracts independent spirits (Key West actually seceded from the United States in 1982 as it was fighting the tyranny of the government. Strangely, the feds have never recognized the secession). Street vendors, artists, musicians --- artisans that ply their craft and make their way in the world because of a passion that they're seeking to fulfill. In short, entrepreneurs.
Sometimes, you just need to recharge your batteries. To get around people that inspire. I think Glue will be that for a lot of developers out there. It'll be an event filled with people that are seeking to fulfill a passion (via startups, enterprise developments, building of an industry, etc). In short, entrepreneurs of all stripes (working both inside and outside of the enterprise). Granted, it won't be Key West, but it may just offer you the chance to clear your head, breathe, and get ready to go attack something important.