Things have changed. I no longer work at a large Canadian success story, and I'm investigating what life might be like not to be tied to a regular gig; a sure thing. But it's more than that. I've stumbled on a new place, and a new perspective, and by finding this have re-ignighted that fire that I was known for; that cracker-jack spark that people would tell me about, but that I thought lived in everyone. Neat-o.
What is this brave new world? Startups. Startups and pseudo startups (former startups looking for the next big thing; the diversion from n+1 product development within their own companies). Ideas mashed with spirit, searching for the tools to make the dreams come alive. I know, I know, very Lewis Carroll. Some might argue that there is no fairy dust, but for me, right now, I disagree. Compared to a corporate world where 100+ hours a week go into seemingly benign tactics supporting someone else's dream, and your biggest reward is your paycheck and not getting ripped by an overworked VP, Startup Land might as well be Neverland.
But as far as I can tell, the world is new for the startups, too. With seemingly endless places to turn for community thanks to the web 2.0 tools that many are hoping to add to with their own endeavors, and ultra-cool (but not in the Swingers, Money Baby flavor; but it could be Swingers 2.0... perhaps more on that another time) gatherings of like-minded dreamers, dreamer helpers (read: Tools and Money) and wannabe dreamers at BarCamp, DemoCamp, StartupCamp around the country and the world, getting the stuff from lab to reality is bound to be faster than ever. Community driving innovation. No bubble-boy, plastic coated, locked up, class 100 clean rooms here. Lay bare your idea (and your soul in some cases) for the world to see, publicly critique, and yes, HELP. Yeah, yeah, your big secret is then out there, for someone to steal and make their own. Secrecy be damned. As Austin Hill, Canadian entrepreneur and angel investor said at StartupCamp Waterloo on Tuesday (and I paraphrase because I took poor notes) If you have thought of it, so has someone else. Do it anyway.