Webstock 12 launch

When we started Webstock in 2006 one of the things that drove us most was paying tribute to the people that had inspired us — people like Russ Weakley, Doug Bowman, Steve Champeon, Kathy Sierra, Kelly Goto and Joel Spolsky. We’ve tried to keep that attitude with each subsequent Webstock, finding people who are doing bold, inspiring, amazing, awesome work and bringing them to New Zealand to share, and teach and, yes, learn.

So we thought it would be nice for this Webstock ’12 launch to bring it back home and feature some inspiring, bold and boundless Kiwis. And we’re taking a slightly different tack to our usual format. Each speaker will have 20 minutes to share with us something that’s inspired/challenged/influenced them. It may be a piece of music, a person, an activity, a book etc. It may completely unrelated to their work. But from it, they’ve gained some sort of inspiration, excitement, perspective that’s affected one area of their work/life, or perhaps that carried through to all aspects. We’re excited about what we might hear!

Three of the speakers are proving that the geographical isolation of New Zealand is no barrier to being world-class.

Rich Chetwynd is the founder of Litmos LMS which has been recently acquired by Callidus Software Inc (NASDAQ: CALD) a big kahuna SaaS company in the US.

Layton Duncan (who has one of the coolest company names ever – Polar Bear Farm) has been building cutting-edge, kick-ass iPhone apps since before the iPhone was officially launched!

And Vaughan Rowsell, sometime cycle tourist and possessor of a world-class mustache, is doing something potentially very big and disruptive, and certainly very exciting and innovative with VendHQ.

The fourth speaker is Pip Adam, current holder of the NZ Post Best First Book awards for Everything We Hoped For. Currently working on her PhD she’s one of those rare and wonderful people who cross the geek/creative divide. (Ok, it’s really a manufactured divide, but you know what I mean!).

And we’re also excited to announce Nicky Hager as our fifth speaker. He is the author of four best-selling books and has been described as, “quite simply one of the world’s best investigative journalists”.

His 1996 book, “Secret Power”, which probed global intelligence systems, was described as a masterpiece of investigative reporting. It won a US journalism award and led to a year-long European Parliamentary inquiry.

Hager’s 1999 book, “Secrets and Lies” exposed unscrupulous PR campaigns. In 2002, “Seeds of Distrust” caused a political furore with its revelations of the political management of the genetic engineering issue. His fourth book, “The Hollow Men” which exposed the internal workings of the NZ National Party, prompted the resignation of the Parliamentary Leader Don Brash on the day that the book was released.
– Scoop

But wait, there’s more…

Those who rock up to the Webstock ’12 launch on the 15th will be challenged to pit their wits and strain their brains to decipher another type of code – (think Da Vinci) – and the ultimate Code Cracker of the evening will win a free ticket to Webstock ’12! Instructions will be handed out at registration and the winner announced at the end of the evening.

And, of course, those at the launch will get the FIRST SNEAK PREVIEW of the Webstock ’12 speaker lineup!

So, things to do:

Find out more about the launch.

Go register!

See you at the Paramount on Thursday 15 September for the launch of Webstock ’12.