I just came back from San Francisco yesterday afternoon after attending a conference called AppNation at the Moscone Center. I live in Las Vegas so it takes a bit of work to get up there. With the cost and time involved with traveling, why even attend conferences?
This is probably the most important reason that I attend conferences. I recently heard Tony Hsieh speak in Downtown Las Vegas on what he believes to be one of the most important components to living in a city, collisions. His definition of a collision is whenever there is an interaction between people. He believes that by increasing the amount of collisions that occur on a daily basis, you can maximize fortuitous chance encounters. When 2 people come together that have formerly never interacted, there can be an exchange of ideas and thoughts that has a compounding effect that can really enhance a product someone is building or anything that someone is working on. By attending a conference in your field, you are essentially increasing the chance of colliding with someone that works in the same problem domain as you everyday. They can share ideas & tips that can dramatically enhance your product or shorten your learning curve.
Idea Exchange + Compounding
Following the idea of collisions, the exchange of ideas with other people at conferences can have powerful compounding effects with your own ideas. While attending the conference, I heard an employee of Uber talking about how Uber is really a Supply & Demand marketplace. In my mind, I had previously just associated the company Uber with being a luxury car service. However, I have predefined definitions of supply and demand in my mind, so when I hear that said, my mind begins whirring about [...]