Bruce Sterling went to Thingscon conference with a keynote about Casa Jasmina and then published the following essay.
This is the third of my Casa Jasmina essays. It’s about the recent “ThingsCon” conference in Berlin, May 2015.
This remarkable event was the second “ThingsCon,” a new gathering which makes itself useful to the European hardware startup scene, especially “connected products” designers and builders from Berlin and London. “ThingsCon” took place in Berlin’s “Culture Brewery,” which is a huge, defunct beer factory, currently re-zoned for theaters, bars, restaurants and design retail.
Anybody who has seen the Garrone Foundry (which houses Toolbox Co-Working, Fab Lab Torino and Casa Jasmina), would surely recognize the “Culture Brewery.” It’s the same European story: the old industrial hulk remade for today’s culture-industry. So we found the ThingsCon venue to be pretty cozy, even though the stairs are of odd sizes, the huge, lofty rooms don’t fit together properly, the events and workshops are on different floors and mysteriously distant from one another, and there was excellent beer everywhere and tiny, crooked bathrooms stuck nowhere in particular. There’s something fun about this steampunk disorganization — if you’ve built a weird open-source Internet-of-Things device out of glued plywood and steel rods, it really fits that atmosphere.
ThingsCon is not a Maker Faire for the general public, and attending it is not cheap. ThingsCon is aimed at designers, developers, engineers, entrepreneurs and similar stakeholder-types from the technology ecosystem. The presentations were full of practical wisdom about commercial tech-product development: scaring up funding money, allocating time and resources, packaging, promotion, marketing, founder exit-strategies, angel investment, the issues common to people who might like to sit down for a serious talk with, say, Intel. (more…)