Note: This post was first drafted on 3/8/2021.
What Is Nerd Nite?
Tomorrow night I am giving a talk at Nerd Nite Austin. Nerd Nite is “an event usually held at a bar or other public venue where usually two or three presenters share about a topic of personal interest or expertise in a fun-yet-intellectual format while the audience shares a drink.”
Generally I don’t enjoy public speaking or being at the center of attention. I can do a passable job, but I’m really not into it. Like how I feel about cauliflower. If it’s on my plate I’ll eat it but I’ll never order it.
My friends Erin and Mickey help run Nerd Nite Austin and were looking for people to speak this month. Since event has gone online for the pandemic, it’s harder to get speakers (and attendees) interested.
Since my plan this year is to find a space to test run the Eureka Room, I thought Nerd Nite might be a good outlet to introduce the Eureka Room and solicit for possible affordable, unique commercial spaces.
What Will I Talk About?
Last week I outlined “A short history of the Eureka Room”. I could tell the 13 year history of the Eureka Room and share my failures and lessons learned. I think it’s an interesting story and it has lots of twists and turns that I could recount for people. Here’s some of them.
Potential “Short History of The Eureka Room” Topics
- Rock Yoga (The original idea)
- Built black plastic room (Fail!)
- Pivot to Happiness Interactive Lab (Fail!)
- Pivot to Mindfultainment room and Scope creep. (How the room went from a few LEDs to 15000 LEDs)
- 2018 East Austin Studio Tour experience (Success!)
- Mindfultainment (Fail!)
- 2019 East Austin Studio Tour experience (Success!)
- The Future (?)
Or, instead of a historical talk, I could talk about IRLXD and the many lessons I’ve learned in that domain over the years. I could use the Eureka Room as a case study, but it wouldn’t really be a full history. Just cherrypicked anecdotes to help explain concepts.
If I talked about IRLXD there are loads of possible options.
Potential IRLXD Topics
- The Experience Economy (Pine and Gilmore)
- “Start With Why” (Sinek)
- Have a disputible purpose (Parker)
- Aiming for the emotions you want to give
- The Experiencescape (Rossman and Duerden)
- Experience begins when you first hear about a thing. (Parker)
- Emotional maps
- Status (Johnsone)
- Well-being (Seligman)
- Levels of participation (Simon)
- Moments and “Aha!” (Heath and Heath)
- Stories “Raise the stakes” (Heath and Heath)
- Novelty (Various)
- Foreshadowing is there to make you feel smart
- Good random and bad random
- Testing and Agile methods in Eureka Room design
- Bored? Exhausted? Frustrated?
- Flow (Csikszentmihalyi)
- The new photographer effect
Clearly the IRLXD list is long. I can see that the talk I would want to give on IRLXD would take more time. Since I can see last month’s Nerd Nite only garnered 20 viewers, it’s not worth it for me to synthesize a IRLXD into a 20 minute talk when I know a good story about the Eureka Room that I can get done much faster. So a short history it is. Maybe when we go back to IRL I can talk about IRLXD.