Reflecting on the State of Now

Last Monday, I had the pleasure of participating on a panel at Jeff Pulver’s #140 conference in Des Moines. The conference, billed as State of Now, is in its second year.

The format of the conference was 40 or so presentations that each lasted no more than 10 minutes. The 10 minute time limit keeps the program moving at a crisp pace, and requires the presenters to tell a story in a clear, concise manner.

My favorite presentation happened in the afternoon. It was by Rachel Buse. Rachel told us about her passion for houses. Her site,, is a collection of houses she has found by searching online real estate sites. Houses that have one thing in common. They are interesting to Rachel.

At this point in my story, a little self-disclosure is due. You see, they also don’t really have breaks during these conferences and I had to use the restroom and missed the first couple of minutes. That’s beside the point. In the time I watched, what I saw was a level of authenticity, enthusiasm, and humor, that shattered the nervousness on the surface and drew us into the conversation.  I was looking at the site on my phone before she finished, and have been back several times since. That is exactly what was supposed to happen.