I just returned from the annual summit of SIIA, the Software and Information Industry Association, in San Francisco. It was an exciting event, with some of the best and brightest of the industry meeting to share ideas and learn from each other.
The beautiful Palace hotel felt like a bee hive, vibrant with great energy.
eSpindle Learning attended both as a CODiE award finalist (the CODiE is an award casually referred to as "the grammy" of the software industry), and as part of SIIA's Innovation Incubator program.
Ten interesting companies/projects had been selected for their innovative contribution in the realm of educational software. We were given the opportunity to showcase and present our work to the industry's veterans. The association went out of their way to support us (who for the most part were very young organizations) and to ensure we maximized the benefits of the event. I'm looking back with a deep feeling of gratitude.
One of the fun little fringe benefits of being part of the innovation incubator program was getting to walk around with a little purple flag on my name tag that said "innovator."
Promptly, I was stopped by a business owner in the software and content part of the conference (which is a different track from the education community) who asked me - "So, what does someone have to do to get to wear an ’innovator‘ badge?"
I replied "Work 60-80 hours per week for 4 years, pay yourself a salary that is a third of what it was before you became obsessed with your idea, constantly push and challenge yourself..."
"Oh," he said, laughing, "I guess I don't want innovation that badly..."
As we continued talking, he learned that eSpindle Learning was a nonprofit, and that threw him off even more. "If you are working so hard," he said, "don't you want to become rich, too?"
"You don't understand," I replied, "I'm as rich as anyone could get already. A bit more money would be great, but aside from that, I'm very, very rich." 🙂