For me, events like the Mozilla Summit are much more about getting to know new people and building rapport. Even given my focus on that there's lots of interesting and random things that made an impact on me over the past week:
- Webmaker and Appmaker could be incredibly important. Someone in Santa Clara made the analogy of these tools being like simple tools like hammers, screwdrivers, etc. that let anyone create things from scratch - whether it's for just themselves, a small group of people, or the wider world.
- Matt Thompson made a great point about "Reinvest[ing] in mentorship" in his recent blog post. My originally involved with Mozilla probably wouldn't have gone anywhere if it wasn't for people mentoring me. I've done my share of teaching and helping within my own group at Mozilla, but Matt's post made me realize that I've never actually paid this forward elsewhere.
- I had a conversation with someone about a request for input I got from someone on a complicated topic. I've grown hesitant to reply to these in recent times because I'm afraid of wrongly committing myself or others to work. The person I spoke with reinforced with me that I shouldn't ever be afraid to comment on technical things because of this. This seems like a simple thing upon reflection, but it really adjusted my perspective.
- All the face to face time - both with the people I talk with daily and with those I barely know - is very useful. I got new perspective on people I've known for a long time, built rapport, and was able to thank a lot of people for things they've helped me with over the years. I also learned a lot of things I wouldn't have otherwise by talking with people I've never met. For this reason alone I hope we can find ways to have larger Mozilla events more often (that is, larger than a team's work week but smaller than a full Summit).