Dear tech-event, I’m breaking up

It’s not me, it’s you: You’re boring and uninspiring.

“Same” Collage by Marie Kjær, Photo from NY Public Library’s digital archive

I will no longer go to a tech event, in the hope of getting inspired. I can only hope to find confirmation in things I already know. I can only hope to be surrounded by the same buzz-words, the same type of conversations that I’ve listened to too many times.

I long to be inspired. To listen to a talk that makes me think.

It’s not that the speakers at tech events are wrong or unintelligent, they seem very smart, passionate and into their own thing. But they don’t inspire me. They don’t stand out. They don’t make me reflect.

It’s not that I’ve never been inspired at a tech event. The last time it happened was at Tech Open Air in Berlin this summer. I coincidentally listened to Cindy Gallop’s talk, and I got inspired. Cindy’s talk made me think. Not because I necessarily agree with her in everything she said, but because she’s original. She seems to be speaking from the heart, in contrast to the vast majority of speakers at tech events. Her passion and originality made me listen to her, it made me reflect on the things she had to say. But those kind of talks, that stay with me, happen too rarely at tech-events.

Yesterday I participated in yet another tech-event.

I should have know better.

I’ve been to so many of these things that I should have known what to expect — or what not to expect. But I went, hoping that this time there might be a shimmer of something interesting.

Unfortunately there wasn’t.

None of the people on stage said anything that seemed inspiring or new to me. None of the participants seemed to stand out in any way. The only inspiration I felt all day, was an urge to jump on stage and yell: 
“I’m so bored!!”.

I stayed in my seat though. I sensed that the people around me didn’t agree with me. They eagerly clapped and yelled “DISRUPTION!!” in a unison choir. It made me feel scared and alone.

Why are so many people talking about innovation, creativity, originality at these events, when nothing is different, nothing is original? It’s all the same: The same buzz-words, the same subjects, the same format.

Where are the originals, where are the freaks, the outside-the-box thinkers? Those who have something new to say, those who make me reflect and are not just singing the same song?

I realise that I’ve been expecting too much of these events, that I hoped they would do something for me, I have to acknowledge that the inspiration comes too rarely and disappointment too often, so I’m out!