So far I’ve covered a general overview of tech in South Florida, the government’s role, and how local businesses can help; now we need to talk about how you, the individual technologists of South Florida can participate.

In reality figuring out the role of the individual in this grand scheme is both the easiest and the hardest part of this series. Why is it hard? Well for one how do you rally thousands upon thousands of individuals spread out across three counties? How can we rally people across an area of more than 6,000 square miles? An area ranked 7th in the nation population wise. So we’ve covered the logistical challenges, what are the practical challenges of this movement? The practical challenge is finding tangible ways for us as individuals to effect change. Things have to be simple enough and convenient enough for people to partake in them.

Why is it also the easiest? Well its much easier to get you, a free thinking individual, to participate in this movement than to get the company you work for to buy into. It is also easier to effect small amounts of change across a wide group of people which in aggregate amount to a great deal. So here are some simple ways to help grow the tech community.

  • Know a someone who works in tech (not just programmers and designers, could be the IT guy, the guy who updates your website,etc.)? Talk to them about the community.
  • Know someone who could benefit from technology in their business? Tell them about the various meetups and events.
  • Blog about your experience in tech, what you do, where you do it, and why. Promoting yourself as a techy in South Florida promotes the idea of tech in general
  • Pass out stickers, schwag, etc. (if we get around to making them, take some for your friends).
  • Tweet about events you are going to, or mention them on facebook.
  • Create a tweetup! (or a pizzatweetup, whatever the case)
  • Host a geek dinner (potlucks are always fun and cheap)
  • Tell 2 people about Refresh, Social Media Club, Mobile Monday, SFIMA, SFTA, FDMA, etc. etc.
  • Next time you head to a techy event, bring a friend (doesn’t have to be a geek, can be anyone, even better if its just someone who is curious).
  • Did you figure out something others might love to learn? Blog it! Sharing ideas and information is how you learned, so spread the love.
  • Put up flyers at your school. Lets spread the word old school. Not everyone is actively LOOKING for the community, but might be passively interested if they see it outside their class.
  • Don’t be ashamed of being techy, geeky, or into technology

So now that you’ve got some ideas from me, why not share some of your own?

2 Comments

  1. Great discussion, Brian. Thanks for starting it up.. Here is what I am thinking..

    Tweet-ups are great and Refresh is great for building community, it is very important but it is not enough.

    For Miami to become Silicon Beach, developers would need to become more serious about what they are working on.

    It is not enough to come up with an idea, developers need to validate their ideas before they spend countless hours working on them.

    How do you validate an idea?

    You start with answering questions. Such as, Who is your User? What is the User Experience you plan to offer? What is your Value Proposition to the User? I can go on and on, I have about 30 questions for you, if you are serious…

    My point here is don’t waste your time on developing something before you validating your idea. It will be sad experience for you and everyone else….

    Once your validate your idea, you go and you ask your prospective buyers to write you a check. And, if they don’t write you a check, your idea is not very good one. Buyers will always buy what they need or want. If you can’t sell to at least 100 buyers, go back to *the idea drawing table.*

    What I see is too many people working for months without having any buyers or talking to anyone about anything and that is really sad…

    Another advice I have is to read on emerging trends, on business strategies, and, last but not least, case studies on how Silicon Valley entrepreneurs go from an idea to a business to exit strategy. Read at least 100 of those case studies and you’ll get a solid how-to idea.

    Funding will not be of much help here. Lots of well-funded companies went bankrupt. No government assistance will help you with this. If they could, they would help themselves.

    I highly recommend to focus on yourself and how your spend your time. What you do, what you read, what you are working on is what really matters here, not funding, not government assistance or anything else…

    I am always glad to give feedback to anyone who is serious…..But you are not going to hear from me how great you or your ideas are. Most likely, I will send you to do lots of reading, thinking and doing your idea validation work…. even if you are a genius… you still will have to communicate your brilliant idea well, execute it well, position it well and sell it to the world… so start thinking and talking to others… find someone to validate your work…

  2. Great discussion, Brian. Thanks for starting it up.. Here is what I am thinking..

    Tweet-ups are great and Refresh is great for building community, it is very important but it is not enough.

    For Miami to become Silicon Beach, developers would need to become more serious about what they are working on.

    It is not enough to come up with an idea, developers need to validate their ideas before they spend countless hours working on them.

    How do you validate an idea?

    You start with answering questions. Such as, Who is your User? What is the User Experience you plan to offer? What is your Value Proposition to the User? I can go on and on, I have about 30 questions for you, if you are serious…

    My point here is don’t waste your time on developing something before you validating your idea. It will be sad experience for you and everyone else….

    Once your validate your idea, you go and you ask your prospective buyers to write you a check. And, if they don’t write you a check, your idea is not very good one. Buyers will always buy what they need or want. If you can’t sell to at least 100 buyers, go back to *the idea drawing table.*

    What I see is too many people working for months without having any buyers or talking to anyone about anything and that is really sad…

    Another advice I have is to read on emerging trends, on business strategies, and, last but not least, case studies on how Silicon Valley entrepreneurs go from an idea to a business to exit strategy. Read at least 100 of those case studies and you’ll get a solid how-to idea.

    Funding will not be of much help here. Lots of well-funded companies went bankrupt. No government assistance will help you with this. If they could, they would help themselves.

    I highly recommend to focus on yourself and how your spend your time. What you do, what you read, what you are working on is what really matters here, not funding, not government assistance or anything else…

    I am always glad to give feedback to anyone who is serious…..But you are not going to hear from me how great you or your ideas are. Most likely, I will send you to do lots of reading, thinking and doing your idea validation work…. even if you are a genius… you still will have to communicate your brilliant idea well, execute it well, position it well and sell it to the world… so start thinking and talking to others… find someone to validate your work…

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