Last week Graham and I attended Brooklyn Beta, a three day conference for designers, developers, and entrepreneurs. Web professionals come from all over the world to recharge, reconnect, and reflect on why we do what we do.
Brooklyn Beta brings in some big names. CEOs and Founders from major tech companies, authors, politicians, and comedians all graced the stage at the Brooklyn Naval Yard. The most inspiring talk of the day came from Catherine Hoke, founder of Defy Ventures.
Defy Ventures offers former criminals an opportunity to launch their own business and become entrepreneurs. Hoke’s personal journey is fascinating on its own, but she invited three of her current students to share their stories as well. One of the aspiring entrepreneurs who was fighting back tears had just finished a 21 year jail sentence. He had been out for 44 days, but Defy Ventures is already changing his life. There are many successful examples to make you a believer that he and everyone else in the program can achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. The results are impressive. The stories are incredible.
We all want to make a difference through our work. Most of us do in our own way, but it’s easy to lose that focus in the grind of the day to day. That’s where Brooklyn Beta and any inspiring conference, event, or break come in. These events away from the office provide time to refocus on what’s truly important. I feel fortunate that I got to spend that time listening to people like Hoke who are making a difference every day, if not every hour with their professional life. I don’t know what it will inspire me to do (yet), but it’s the kick in the pants that I was looking for when I arrived in Brooklyn on the eve of the conference.
“If all of Los Santos fits onto a chip smaller than my pinky nail in 2013, what, exactly, are the chances that we aren’t living in a period piece programmed by Rockstar Mars in 3013?”
Is it live or is it V?