A quick glance to my right displays a numerical digital readout. And the numbers obviously tell me I am crazy. It is 5:11 a.m. on a Saturday, and I am wide awake. I have found myself bright-eyed at this hour many times before; its occurrence is almost always the result of something inspirational.
(Full disclosure: My most recent memory of this feeling was when I brought home my iPad last October. Offer your similar story or sound the Nerd Alert. I’m OK with either.)
Yesterday wrapped up an overwhelmingly motivational and truly amazing conference called Big Omaha. I count myself among the fortunate five-hundred-plus who attended this very special event in my fair city. Big Omaha dubs itself (and rightly so) as “The Nation’s Most Ambitious Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.” Conference attendees find themselves in a sprawling art space in downtown Omaha, surrounded by creatives of all ages, all backgrounds, and all walks of life.
The chatter is continuous, the energy infectious. By the outside observer, Big Omaha is two days of sitting in chairs, sampling sugary snacks, swapping business cards, and listening to smartly dressed speakers who flavor their presentations with words like hustle and fail, entrepreneur and start-up. But for those of us enveloped in the Big Omaha culture whose minds and hearts remain in a state of rapture for what we love to do, the two-day conference is so much more than that.
Which explains, perhaps poorly at this early hour, why I find myself at my laptop just past 5 a.m. on a Saturday. The ideas and concepts that took root these past two days are simmering right now; but I get the strong sense that these idle ideas will continue to clarify themselves in the coming days and rise to the surface, demanding more of my attention.
And in those coming days I hope to share in this space the lessons I learned at Big Omaha, the people I met, the conversations I had, and the promise of what is to come before Big Omaha 2012.