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“For at least five years, we've been working with the same operating logic in the consumer technology game. This is what it looks like: There will be ratings and photos and a network of friends imported, borrowed, or stolen from one of the big social networks. There will be an emphasis on connections between people, things, and places. That is to say, the software you run on your phone will try to get you to help it understand what and who you care about out there in the world. Because all that stuff can be transmuted into valuable information for advertisers. That paradigm has run its course. It's not quite over yet, but I think we're into the mobile social fin de siècle.”—
Alexis Madrigal, “The Jig Is Up: Time to Get Past Facebook and Invent a New Future”, The Atlantic.
As ennui builds and geolocal mobile apps get freakier (man, Highlight was the last straw), SoLoMo’s soil will be fertile for seeds of disruption. And to think, they didn’t even really have time to nail down a super-simple business model. Things are moving so quickly now!
interbike 2012: team tern
The bikes have been folded, the swag bartered and the booth disassembled - Interbike 2012 is in the books!
What is Interbike, you ask? Well, dear reader, it is the largest gathering of bike nerds in the US - a tradeshow for the bicycle industry that takes place in a city with hardly any visible biking infrastructure - none other than Las Vegas, Nevada.
I was able to attend as a part of my job with Tern & Biologic. We all arrived on Sunday to prepare for the week: Demo Day on Monday & Tuesday in Boulder City (literally out in the desert) and then back to Vegas for the actual tradeshow the rest of the week, held at the Sands. This was my first trip to Vegas but all my preconceived notions of Sin City were mostly confirmed. However, the one thing that I wasn’t prepared for was the dry, DRY air. I had a constant sore throat since arriving and my hands resembled a middle-aged farmer’s. But Vegas, baby! YEAH!
Back to the tradeshow. Demo Day was exactly as it sounds - people get to demo the bikes and gear of hundreds of companies related to the bicycle industry. Specialized, Felt, Surly, Camelbak, too many others to name and of course, Tern! We manned a booth with about 15 bikes for people to take out on test rides and the day was spent trying to avoid the desert heat with liquids, fresh or brewed. On Day 2, half of the team went back out to Demo Day and the other half went to the Sands to set up the booth. I got to head to the Sands so it was my first casino experience! Definitely not as swanky as Ocean’s Eleven paints the picture to be.
The first full day of the show was pandemonium. I was first completely surprised by the sheer size of the show and the number of people there; two levels of exhibitors, booths with a constructed balcony, a DJ on top of a military-grade bus - craziness! We all took turns manning the booth or wandering around to see the other companies and products there. When 4pm rolled around, it was Interbike-wide happy hour and we hosted a couple kegs and took donations for the Alliance for Biking & Walking. We went through two kegs in less than an hour. WILD.
[happy houring for the benefit of Alliance for Biking & Walking]
[the BioLogic section of the booth - product displace placement by yours truly]
Thursday involved more walking around, chatting with the guys from the ArtCrank booth who came from Minneapolis and then prepping for our Mobile Social that evening. I have been on a Critical Mass ride in Minneapolis, but the volume of people to celebrate bike love that evening was overwhelming! We’re talking 300+ people on all kinds of bikes - there was a pedi-cab that doubled as a mobile DJ, a bike with a sidecar handing out tequila shots, a tall bike, fixies, cruisers, folders, mixies, and too many others to mention. Our route was right along the strip, heading to a bar in Old Vegas called the Beat Coffeehouse. New Belgium provided free beer and koozies to screen print! It was so. much. fun. However, Friday morning’s hangover informed me it was too much fun.
[Mobile Social 2012!! pic courtesy of Eric Mah]
[I believe this was before I started a round of Slap Bet. I excluded no one]
After limping through the day and one last round to say goodbye to new-found friends, we were done and the team building was ready to begin! Honestly, these dudes were so much damn fun, I think our team building was accomplished much earlier in the week - like when I pulled a sleepwalking mishap and ended up in someone else’s bed. WHOOPS. As a few can attest, not the worst sleepwalking I’ve done.
[Thanks to New Belgium, we were fully stocked for the week. Not pictured: 3 full-sized kegs]
Saturday & Sunday were spent in day-long meetings to discuss the upcoming goals and projects for our brands. REALLY long meetings, but incredibly informative.
All in all, it was a GREAT week in Vegas with some really great people. Now I’m back in the TPE and ready to detox my system for a couple of months. It’s quite necessary. The Vegas, it’ll get you every time!