I’ve organized the Supernova technology conference for the past seven years.Â I’m proud of it.Â I think it has a pretty good record of staying ahead of the curve and bringing together compelling people, companies, and ideas.
I plan Supernova myself, with a small virtual team.Â It’s not even my primary gig — I have a full-time (and then some) job as a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania… when I’m not being a dad, Obama supporter, consultant, or something else.Â The Supernova organization coalesces every year for the conference.Â We have no office or employees.Â Most tech events in the same category are run by big outfits like O’Reilly, the Wall Street Journal, or IDG, who have full-time staffs for sales, event management, PR, and other functions.Â Heck, even TechCrunch has 15 employees working on the TechCrunch 50 conference, and Loic Le Meur spent over 1 million Euros this year to produce LeWeb.Â Don’t get me wrong, those are terrific conferences.Â But Supernova is something different.
I’ve always believed that an event dedicated to new forms of decentralized collaboration and business organization should eat its own dog food.Â Supernova itself is a testament to the power of networks.Â My personal social network of executives, academics, technologists, policy experts, international figures, government officials, and others helps Supernova transcend the Silicon Valley echo chamber. Moreover, being independent and virtual makes us more nimble.Â Supernova was successful in the post-crash year of 2002 as well as the boom year of 2006, and everything in between.Â We partner with all kinds of individuals and organizations, which contribute to the event and get value themselves.Â We can move quickly on great ideas, and we can take risks; we’re not locked into anything that we’ve done before.
I like to think this makes for a better conference.Â I know it makes the process more exhilarating and fun.
Which brings me to the point.Â Supernova 2009 will be held in mid-June in San Francisco.Â I’m seeking great people to work on the event.Â There are some functions I’m looking to address — web/blog management, bookkeeping, social media marketing, online video production, and project management, for starters — but getting the right people is most important.Â I’m trying to find self-starters who can take ownership of a task and run with it.Â I want pro-active communicators who are flexible and able to see the big picture.Â Most of all, I need people who grok what Supernova is about, and are excited to take it to the next level.Â Being involved with Supernova is a fantastic way to make contacts, gain visibility, and build your own knowledge base.
If this sounds appealing to you or someone you know, email me. Tell me what you do, how you can contribute to Supernova, and what your expectations are in terms of time and compensation.Â Every relationship is unique; we’ll have people working on an hourly, project, and in-kind basis, over many potential time periods between now and June 2009.
I’ve never issued a public call like this before.Â I’m not quite sure what I’ll get.Â I just think it’s time to take another step with Supernova, and I know I can’t do it alone.