Interesting, Tech stuff and Beards

Posted by on Jun 17, 2007 in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Elbow_guy_orange_406

What a fab day! One of the best day’s conference I’ve ever had. Russell and his merry crew really over-delivered on a first-class experience. Wonderfully lo-tech but brilliantly inspiring and human. Great stuff from facilitators Johnnie and Lloyd (and his pants) and the tip top top bird Deb Kahn.

Some wonderful speakers – ones you would have heard of like Matthew Ancona, Matt Blackbeltjones and Grant McCracken and others you might not have but were just as good. See here and here for participant descriptions.

So what did I take away? Page after page of interesting thoughts about the world, how we see it and how things work. So it made me think big time. Oh, and lots of cute examples (like the knitted village or how to chop a big log up (yes, really).

But two other things stick with me 24 hours later.

One, the old adage about the future that all this technology brings us will be more human than we ever thought is true. This lot of (largely) digital thinkers were more engaged with the real world than most of their offline peers. Tech is all about people and not about tech stuff at all. Hugh repeatedly reminds us.

Also, and this may seem a little odd, but how many young fellas today have beards. Don’t know if young Guy from Elbow knows what he’s done in the last few years, but I’d say about 1/3rd of all the male delegates had beards (from several days stubble to full duelling banjo chinwear). Felt quite odd in my clean shaven look. Maybe it was on the invite and I missed it…?

Another herd-behaviour example? Or is there some other explanation for this strange face-fur?

7 Comments

  1. Robert
    June 18, 2007

    As a proud wearer of a beard (off and on for the last 15 years, and definitely on for the last 3) I can’t say that I had noticed that trend. Then again, being the wrong side of mid-30’s I may not qualify for the “young fella” tag. I do notice, however that 3 of your last 5 readers (courtesy of MyBlogLog) are hirsute trend-setters (all of us having grown it before the announcement of the trend of course).
    I would say that wearing a beard was actually a liberating experience over the last few years as, in the main, British society has been quite “beardist” (“Never trust a man with facial hair” is a quote from an MD I know). I imagine that this feeling might in turn have generated an attraction amongst those wanting to stand out?

  2. Chris
    June 18, 2007

    As someone who always has stubble which occassionally spills over into the full beard, I think it’s something that seperates people in the creative industries from those in say, the financial world. We can go to work and be judged on our ideas and output, rather than the smoothness of our Gillette chins and cut of our Armani suits. Is it Herd behaviour? I would say in a safety in numbers way – no one has a moustache for example. When top lip hair reaches 10% coverage, maybe they’ll start popping up at inspirational conferences in flocks of whiskers.

  3. Chris
    June 18, 2007

    As someone who always has stubble which occassionally spills over into the full beard, I think it’s something that seperates people in the creative industries from those in say, the financial world. We can go to work and be judged on our ideas and output, rather than the smoothness of our Gillette chins and cut of our Armani suits. Is it Herd behaviour? I would say in a safety in numbers way – no one has a moustache for example. When top lip hair reaches 10% coverage, maybe they’ll start popping up at inspirational conferences in flocks of whiskers.

  4. Tom
    June 20, 2007

    I was told of an interesting set-up in the RAF. Possibly. If you want to grow a walrus moustache (or any facial hair for that matter) you must declare your intentions to a superior. You are then given a time period, say 3 weeks, in which to produce the said growth. After this, you appear in front of a select facial hair committee (who, I would imagine, have their own majestic offerings) and await your fate.
    Regardless of truth, it’s a great system.

  5. chris forrest
    June 21, 2007

    Mark, It’s because we’re re-living the early 70s.
    Knitting your own muesli is in again. TV is filling up with ‘start your own smallholding’ programmes.
    It follows that beards and sandals / flip flops are back.
    If you have any doubts about whether you should join in, just think back to last time round and remember how you felt when you first came across ‘The Joy of Sex’.

  6. mark Earls
    June 22, 2007

    Thanks boys. Not a big fan of the daily shave myself. Just seems rather odd to see all these young guns with beards (Ooops, typed ‘bears” there…).
    Let’s hope Chris is wrong. The 70s were rubbish. I think it’s in Withnail that somebody says, “the greatest decade in the history of mankind is over. They’re selling hippy wigs in woolworths”. That’s the 70s kicking off then

  7. Deborah
    June 27, 2007

    I aspire to a beard. Women put a lot of time, resources and anxiety into getting rid of their beards to avoid the weirdo beardo label. Maybe we should just let it all hang out.
    I love being a tip top top bird.I have arrrived. Thank you for such a lovely comment. Really appreciated on what is a duff day today