MyData in Silicon Valley – notes on our first full-moon meetup

What does a typical meetup in Silicon Valley look like?

  • Some meeting room of some tech company
  • Pizza, beer and soda
  • Lots of dudes either pitching their latest wild startup, quietly waiting for the speaker to start, or looking for a job
  • Some speaker pitching their new thing and while it will be the greatest thing ever
  • on the 1st Monday of the month, or so.

And so forth.

Well, this was not it.

  • Node, where it took place, has more the feel of your living room, mixed with a museum-worthy collection of vintage personal computers all around the walls. It is very welcoming.
  • Wine, hummus and chips.
  • People of various genders and national backgrounds debating the impact of Europe taking the lead on privacy and data control, and California following right behind. About how to change the conversation on Sand Hill road from surveillance capitalism to respect for the user. About startups collaborating. And generally making the world a better place for more people, rather than making a few people richer.
  • Everybody in the “audience” speaking up about why they care, plus a few thoughts on a variety of subjects from a variety of short speakers. Leading to lots of living-room-style conversation.
  • On the full moon.

I think we did well. I counted about 20 people in the room (might have been more), all of whom were engaged, talking, debating, making plans with each other, being respectful, curious and engaged, very appropriately for the topic of personal data, and the respectful use of it. And we identified some very specific business opportunities.

Here are some pictures.

Image credit: Sari Senfors

Thanks co-organizers Seth Goldstein, Sari Stenfors, and Josep A. Aliagas. Let’s do this again, at the next full moon. Come join us? Who knows, maybe respecting the customer and their data might become the next breakout investment thesis? Surely would be good for all of us.


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