A Visit to Pandoland, Where Silicon Valley Meets Music City

June 20, 2015 - storage organizer

I’ve lived in a Middle Tennessee area many my whole life, and over a years I’ve seen it develop from an oft-ignored flyover city famous usually for nation strain to a function metropolis. There’s maybe no improved pitch of Nashville’s rebirth than Pandoland, a record contention put together by a folks from Pando Daily, founded by Tennessee-born former TechCrunch columnist Sarah Lacy.

After my mother review about a conference’s troubles with a state (Pando Daily worked with a state final year to put on a Southland conference, a partnership that did not finish well), she wanted to go to uncover her support. The fact that a $699 tickets were offering to her for giveaway was also an inducement (see “Pandoland Conference Offers Free Admission for Women,” 12 Jun 2015). While a contention took place opposite dual full days, we were means to make it on usually a initial day.

The venue for Pandoland was a Marathon Music Works, non-stop in 2011 in a stays of a long-abandoned Marathon Motor Car factory. It’s mystic of a new Nashville, in that supposed hipsters have reclaimed neglected domain to found new businesses.

Pandoland was distinct any other contention I’ve ever been to. While many conferences are housed in waste office-like environments, with closed-off bedrooms for several events, Pandoland has one, wide-open space, dominated by a singular theatre with PANDOLAND in splendid lights. With 3 entirely stocked bars portion a engorgement of spirits, it felt reduction like a contention and some-more like a stone concert.

After an copiousness breakfast smorgasboard (in loyal Southern style, we could not go inspired during Pandoland), we staid in for a morning’s events.

The keynote was given by Andy Sparks, co-founder and COO of Mattermark, a startup that researches other startups. To be honest, many of it went over my head, and we found it a bit depressing, given his rankings of a tip startup cities didn’t even discuss Nashville. You can review a outline of his keynote during Pando Daily.

One thing in a keynote that did bother my seductiveness was a list of a startups Apple has acquired so distant this year: OttoCat, an App Store organizer; Dryft, that creates keyboard apps; LinX Imaging, a tiny camera company, Coherent Navigation, a GPS firm; and Metaio, that specializes in protracted existence software.

After a keynote, Sarah Lacy took a theatre to talk her guests. It was arrange of a tech chronicle of Johnny Carson’s “The Tonight Show;” Lacy quietly sipped whiskey (9 AM is a bit early for me, though I’m not judging) as a coronet rope welcomed a guests. They even speedy irreverence on stage, with a digital “swear jar” that charged $10 per swear, with all deduction going to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

The initial talk was with Michael Sippey, before of Twitter, and Marc Ruxin of Rdio, and Apple Music was a pivotal subject of discussion. The categorical crux of a review was: how do we get people to compensate for music?

“I consider it’s a calm thing,” Sippey said, mentioning that he subscribes to Netflix for “Orange Is a New Black” and to HBO for “Game of Thrones.” He suggested that services need to improved compute themselves with disdainful content.

Ruxin countered that Spotify had cumulative an disdainful streaming permit to a Led Zeppelin catalog in 2013 though over a 12-month period, a singular Ed Sheeran strain had been played some-more than a whole total Led Zeppelin catalog. Ouch.

“The bigger problem is 35 million songs and zero to listen to,” Ruxin said, suggesting that curation competence a pivotal to strain subscription services. If that’s true, afterwards Apple and Beats’s multiple of human-curated playlists and live radio competence only be Apple Music’s stairway to heaven. (Sorry.)

There were several other interviews. Most engaging to me was James Freeman, owner of Blue Bottle Coffee (which purchased one of a former sponsors, Tonx) and musician Annie Bosko, who discussed sexism in nation music.

At one point, we went to get a coffee from a pop-up cafeteria sponsored by Braintree, a remuneration use that allows merchants to accept a accumulation of payments, such as PayPal, Bitcoin, and Apple Pay. Oddly enough, nonetheless it was compelling a remuneration service, a coffee was free. And a cafe’s signs offering drinks like, “A Swipe of Coffee — A classical mix of credit debit” and “Cryptocino — Espresso underneath a covering of tawny Bitcoin foam.” It was a stage true out of Mike Judge’s satirical “Silicon Valley” uncover on HBO. But a coffee was flattering good.

Startup Competition — A vital eventuality during Pandoland is a startup competition, in that 10 competing startups contest for investments from a judges — much like a TV uncover “Shark Tank.”

Here’s what we saw in a initial round:

  • Haven, a floor-anchored smarthome doorway close that can also act as a heart for other smarthome devices.

  • Expo, a use that unifies several cloud storage solutions, like Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive into a single, appealing interface.

  • Ezra’s, that claimed to be a “Etsy of qualification spirits.” Given what we know about ethanol regulation, I’m vacant that this is legal.

  • Burro, that is radically Uber for relocating and home deliveries.

  • BlueLight, an app that is arrange of like a souped-up 911, automatically contacting a closest puncture responder, and pity your GPS plcae and other info.

Of those we saw, we concluded with Kelley Boothe of Southern Alpha that Haven was a best of a 5 turn one contestants. However, a eventual winner was Umano, a turn dual association that creates wardrobe with designs combined by impecunious kids. The association scored a $100,000 investment from a judges.

Unfortunately, we had to leave after a startup competition, so we missed a contention sessions that featured topics such as “Have Silicon Valley VCs mislaid their minds,” “What happens once weed is legal,” and “Dealing with it: Hacks for competing as a lady in a male-dominated business.” But not before we enjoyed a assisting of Hattie B’s chicken.

Beyond a Valley — Overall, Pandoland was a fascinating demeanour behind a scenes of a record business, one that many Tennesseeans would not be arcane to. I’m grateful to a folks during Pando Daily for bringing it to Nashville, and we wish they come back, notwithstanding my state government’s annoying behavior. It would have been distant easier (and expected some-more profitable) to put on such an eventuality in a San Francisco Bay Area.

However, we consternation how most longer Silicon Valley can sojourn The Valley. Increasing genuine estate costs are pushing out many residents and creation it scarcely unfit for newcomers to make an impact. Who knows, maybe a destiny is right here in Tennessee? Housing is cheap, taxes are low, and we have copiousness of water. And as a attendees of Pandoland can attest, a food is flattering good too.

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