#Grok17 Is All Wrapped Up

Grok is over! I just sat down at my home studio desk after a night out with Grok attendees and friends. My mind is still buzzing even though I’m exhausted, so I want to download.

Running Grok 2017 has been an amazing experience. I’ve run workshops and project kickoffs, but never a conference. Of all the rewarding parts about Grok, it was chiefly satisfying to share some of my favorite Atlas Local friends with such a talented audience. In an effort to keep doing that, I want to highlight some of the conversations, talks, and people that most inspired me:


Aeryk, Robert, and Jay told the story of Nicer; from the publicity stunt of Apple Plugs through Blox and their first paid product, Smallchat. Their collective drive and finesse are daunting, not to mention their raw talent. Each of them holds a job on top of all the work I linked here. Witnessing their pace and output is convicting — I should follow through on my aspirations better.

Ian relayed his experiences getting fired multiple times before starting Hines Digital. When talking with him you realize he never stops pushing, sometimes too hard. It’s what made him fail so spectacularly at some things and succeed spectacularly at others. I want to believe in myself and push for my goals like Ian does.

Chris talked about the unnecessary over-complexity of front end code in 2017. A lot. I found him bringing it up with Matthew, James, Mark, Paul, Robert, and others. Chris sees patterns, identifies good ideas and talent, and responds precisely faster than anyone else I’ve talked to in recent memory. He’s also astonishingly kind. I want to be perceptive and articulate like Chris.

Anthony was somehow everywhere I looked. He listened to understand and conversation with him seemed effortless. I wish I had more hours and opportunities to sit and talk with him so that I could ask about Underbelly.

Cannon was an enthusiastic volunteer who coordinated the efforts of roughly 15 other volunteers to logistically make Grok happen. I’m amazed at his energy. I wish I could thank by name all the “mint people” in green shirts who volunteered, but I’ll settle for finding them individually and shaking their hands over the coming weeks. I owe you people, and your commitment to the ethos of the AtLo community is impressed on me.


Chris Merritt worked his butt off making Grok happen. We put in some long hours together making this conference and I’m proud of it. Matthew, Chris, and I are honored to host and work on Grok, and we are driven to continue making it bigger and better.

I’m looking forward to Grok 2018 already. We have a lot of learnings to apply and a lot more still to learn. I’m hoping to keep hearing thoughts and reactions from attendees, so please reach out if you have ideas.

Last thing, I can’t thank our speakers and volunteers enough. You all were amazing and this could not have happened without you. ❤ I’m disappointed I couldn’t hear each speaker’s talk, but I know they were amazing and well prepared — the attendees keep telling me so. Thank you.

Find more recaps and write-ups of Grok 2017 talks here: