Since handing over the organising of OpenCoffee Manchester to Paul Robinson and given the success of collaboration during the past events (e.g. founding of edocr), Paul has decided to combine OpenCoffee with Co-Working, an original initiative by Paul. The next event will take place on 22nd January 2008 at MDDA in Manchester. The details of the event can be found here. I have not finalised my plans for 22nd, but hope that I could attend at least the OpenCoffee session.
Whilst I believe this creates a new type of event, my suspicion is that this might end up becoming a development event in the medium term unless the right balance is reached between business and software development. The OpenCoffee component of the day could also be overrun by the Co-Working concept, reducing OpenCoffee to a coffee break. In my opinion, one way to avoid this happening is to preserve the original venue of OpenCoffee, so that Co-Working participants would have to physically move to another venue where businesses could easily interact.
One of the reasons I handed over OpenCoffee to Paul is that I could not unite business and developer community. Paul has vital connectivity and trusted by both communities which meant he is in a better situation to unite the two communities and increase attendance. I hope my reservations will be proven wrong with respect to OpenCoffee becoming a coffee break. I would like to see the original concept of Saul Klein preserved but at the same time more collaboration taking place with real interaction between the two communities.
I hear you say, come on Manoj, give Paul a break! The event has not even taken place. Bit too early to judge! With that thought, let’s make it a successful event overcoming any potential negativity.