SEED Conference Recap

I attended the first SEED Conference on Monday. It was a great event - it exceeded my expectations, and was a bargain at only \$395.

The event itself was small (the website says 135, but it seemed like there were a few more than that), and relatively informal. The venue was the McCormick Tribune Campus Center on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology. The building is very interesting in and of itself, lots of different colors and textures, and the El runs right through the building.

Mike Rohde did a very well-written summary of the conference (complete with very nice sketches), so I’m not going to do that here. I’m going to highlight some key thoughts from each of the three speakers. As a side note, I got to meet Mike Rohde at this conference. I’d been reading his blog for a number of years, and it was very enjoyable to get to know him. If you’ve not seen his site before, check it out.

Carlos Segura

Of the three people presenting (Carlos, Jason Fried, and Jim Coudal), Carlos was the one I knew the least about. I knew he was a designer, and was one of the original founders of 37Signals, but beyond that I knew very little. I really enjoyed Carlos’s talk - it was much more visual than the other two. He has a very impressive body of work, including reviving the Corbis brand. Overall, Carlos’s talk was very engaging - he conveyed a lot of his information through photos and stories. Here’s a collection of thoughts I jotted down while he was talking (all of this is paraphrased, none of it should be taken as a direct quote):

Jason Fried

If you’re reading this, you probably know who Jason Fried is. In case you’ve been under a rock, Jason is the founder of 37Signals, and it’s most visible employee. Here’s a summary of his talk, which focused on collaboration:

Jim Coudal

Jim runs Coudal Partners, a design firm. Jim’s talk was the most entertaining of the three. He’s a very funny guy. He showed several videos, including this one, which I identified with a little too much. Here’s the key points I got from him:

So these are the high points. I took 7 pages of notes, not all of which I’ve recreated here. At the end of the day, I got a lot out of this conference. It was a unique day, in a unique setting, and gave me a lot of food for thought. According to the SEED Conference site, they will be hosting more of these. I would highly recommend attending.