Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

Big Omaha 2011 Moments

In just one week from today I will be wrapping up my time at Big Omaha. For those of you that aren't familiar with the conference, Big Omaha is the nations most ambitious conference on entrepreneurship. Unofficially, the conference is really so much more than that. Big Omaha offers attenders practical and applicable advice on topics such as creativity, execution, project management, funding, business structure, risk, failure, and so many other topics. Further, it may be one of the best networking events I have ever attended. People are there to connect, and connect they do. I've met some great friends at Big Omaha that I continue to connect with throughout the year. Here's a brief look at what Big Omaha is like if you haven't attended.


With Big Omaha 2012 fast approaching, I thought I would share some of favorite quotes and learnings from 2011. 

1. Ben Huh (@benhuh) was one of my favorite speakers in the first session of 2011. Ben is the founder of Cheezeburger network.... they do the funny cat pictures (among other things). He has a great story about risk and failure, including his one time pitch to VC's to gain millions of dollars to start a website with funny cat pictures. It's now one of the most visited sites on the web. Ben said a lot of great stuff, but this one little phrase still sticks with me almost everyday and influences so much of what I do:

"Mediocrity is not a proxy for success"


2. Leila Janah (@leila_c) also presented on the first day of 2011. Leila started a business that organizes digital work for the poor in Africa. This brilliant, Harvard educated, business professional has single handedly changed the lives of thousands in Africa by providing business opportunities to "outsource" data entry type work to the educated poor. Her work is incredible. Leila really rocked and challenged my world view when she stated:

"There is a significant growing population of literate and educated poor in the world."


3. Gary Vaynerchuck (@garyvee) is something of a Big Omaha legend. Gary is an entrepreneur to the core and full of crazy energy. He's also a goldmine of information on idea execution and marketing. I finished his book, "The Thank You Economy", in a few short days after the conference. I've taken a lot of great information from hearing Gary speak, following him online, and reading one of his books. There is one phrase from his presentation that I reference over and over again in my head. It's almost been a mantra of mine since the 2011 conference. During his talk Gary stated the following:

"Ideas are nice, but execution is the the game."


There was a ton of great information at Big Omaha 2011, but I think it's significant that one year later there is still information that I use in my daily work. These aren't little notes I get out to reference, these are things that have just become a part of what I do. I didn't just gain information at Big Omaha last year, I truly learned valuable lessons that I internalized and apply to my work everyday. I can't wait to get there next week and learn more!

If you've attended Big Omaha in the past, what have your learned? Feel free to leave your input in the comments bellow!

For more of my application of these learnings you can read here or here.
For info on Big Omaha 2012, visit the Silicon Prairie News Website here.
For more info on 2011 Big Omaha speakers, check out Robert Murphy's blog here.

Ideas, Execution, and Me

The Culture Equation