I've long thought that the missing ingredient from Tim O'Reilly's geek empire were the boring business suits that would turn geekdom into cash. Tim's conferences have increasingly spotlighted rising startups in Web 2.0 and open source, but not to the extent apparently envisioned at the O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures Startup Camp, which is scheduled to precede this year's Foo Camp on July 10-11 in Sebastopol, California.
Tim describes the idea thus: "This startup boot camp will consist of sessions led by startup veterans and other experts in a roundtable discussion format on various topics important to founders." Interesting and useful to get feedback from fellow entrepreneurs and Tim, but I'd recommend taking this one step further.
I'd actually find it fascinating for Tim to plumb the depths of the geek sorcery that will descend upon Foo Camp and align technical founders with experienced businesspeople: a "dating" service for technology startups.
I'm not sure of the best way to stage it, but how about having the techies first present their technological innovations, and have a panel of business veterans offer up counsel on how to turn these ideas into fundable startups, and then Tim can host offline conversations between interested businesspeople and the technology founders to look for matches?
Just a thought, but perhaps the primary value that Tim has always provided is connecting great people with each other. He's a visionary in his own right, but his best talent is in connecting other visionaries. What better place than the O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures Startup Camp?