Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending World Domination Summit in Portland. I’ll confess something: I had never read Chris Gullibeau‘s book The $100 Startup, read his blog, or consumed anything at all related to WDS. Kimberly (the girlfriend-slash-entrepreneurial goddess who I work with and for) had heard great things about the first WDS in 2011, and we managed to nab tickets for this year’s version.
So, all I knew was that people really (really) dug the first one, the second one sold out in about 23 nanoseconds* and the whole thing has a terrible, nondescriptive name.
And it was great. I mean really great. Even though I didn’t “get” it until the end of day 1.
If I were to bumpersticker WDS, it would go something like this: a summit of people who live and work on their own terms. Lots of entreprenurial types… lots of people who work online… lots of people who travel the world… a lot of minimalists (which sounds funny)… and a lot of people who aspire to be one or more of the others.
The main speakers were interesting… I was most drawn to the stories told by Scott Harrison (founder of charity:water), particularly how he leveraged the peculiar talents of an ex-party promoter into building one of the more impressive and successful charities in the world. I also really liked Chris Brogan‘s presentation, largely perhaps because I was one of the nerds in the audience that got all of his obscure comic book references. The breakouts I chose focused on minimalism and finding freelance gigs from anywhere in the world. Day 2’s breakouts included learning more about crowdfunding and online tools for finding efficiencies in your workflow.
So, yeah… WDS is a little random… but usefully random. Maybe someone more clever would call it a holistic approach to living life on your own terms… but that would probably require a much smarter blogger. We signed up for next year, and I’m looking forward to seeing what I do between now and then.
Almost forgot the most dramatic part… as the summit was closing, Chris took the stage for a final time and told the story of how last year’s WDS lost about $30k and that this year had made a small profit (to polite applause). He then mentioned some unnamed person gave WDS $100,000 for the 2012 summit. No one, and I mean no one, would have begrudged him to invest that money into next year, or even taken that as profit. But this is the guy who wrote a book about starting a business with 100 bucks… and there were a thousand of us.
(let’s see… five carry the one… um, I was told there’s be no math in this blog?)
We all got a $100 bill. That’s putting your money where your mouth is. It’s also 1000 bets on on 1000 people to see what they can do with it. I’m planning on re-energizing Nineball Media… my hope is to have some good stories for WDS 2013…
UPDATE… Chris blogs about the investment here, and posted the video of the moment too:
*This is a lie. It was 20 minutes.