Seattle Lunch 2.0 just let out and the one thing I love about startups is that there is a lot of enthusiasm for what they are doing that you just do not see in larger companies. Today I finally made it to a Seattle Lunch 2.0 and got to meet some very incredible people who are doing some very cool stuff.
One developer is making a data visualization engine that works with any database using regular old database indexes. This means that it should work off of data warehouse systems with complex keys to allow someone to visualize data in new ways that current systems just do not. The system he is building is a desktop application now with the full intention of porting it over to the web as soon as he has the bugs worked out.
Met two people from the now defunct WaMu who want to be involved in the community, one works in ecommerce and one works with payment processing systems. They have decided that they just want to do their own thing and help other companies with tricky problems. The coolest part is that they are not just standing by waiting for someone to hire them as a consultant, they are out there growing their own skills and learning how to manage systems that gives them a better overall ability to understand how smaller companies must work.
Another company that grew from 60 employ
ees to 150 employees in 2009, yes the same 2009 when large companies were laying off people, the Seattle startup scene was able to absorb some of the people who got laid off. The more interesting part is that they were able to grow during a down economy. Much like my own business, some of the other startups in town saw the same 200-300% growth rates as companies cut back on in-house staff and purchased systems and consulting services to fill critical skills that were lost during the layoffs.
Finally got to hook up again with Josh Mayher who is the person who coordinates and manages to put together Seattle Lunch 2.0. His web site is right here.
What was interesting though is that from the staffing and consulting side, most of the people in the audience are experiencing a solid growth curve and the need for new employees as well as consultants since November 2009. That is in contrast to the general economy, which has been hovering at 10% unemployment officially. With the tech industry unemployment rate at 5.2 to 5.5% (2009 is the latest public stats on this number) or about 45% lower than the rest of the general population it is no wonder that Lunch 2.0 is an important networking event. There is still a clamor for the best of the best in terms of IT employees and plenty of employment opportunities for those who are the “rock stars” of the industry.
Lunch 2.0 Seattle provides an important outlet for people who are working on cool projects to get out and meet other entrepreneurs and their associated hangers on or people who will cover their projects in blogs or in the press. Josh does a great job of putting these together, and it was well worth going to. The next event is March 3rd and more of a happy hour event than lunch, but a great way to network and meet a ton of very cool people who are seriously starting to grow and sustain their own companies.
(Cross-posted @ TechWag )