12 People I Want to Meet in 2008 / by Nate Westheimer

Handshake One of the things I did to ring in the New Year was compile a list of 12 people I want to meet in 2008 (one for each month, duh). By meet, I don't mean "shake hands" and move on (even though my awesome Microsoft Word clipart above makes it seem that way). These are people I hope to sit down with and pick their brain about something specific. Here, I'll list my 12 folks. I'd be interested in hearing who you'd like to meet (this would actually make a great BricaBox site, but I'll leave it up to one of my readers to make one if they want). I'll also provide a sentence or two on why I really would like to meet these people this year (in no particular order at all):

Esther Dyson -- As David Rose put it on the Alley 100 People's Choice entry for Dyson, "Esther has become one of the most prolific technology angel investors in the country." Not only that, she's also dedicated to being ahead of the curve on important issues like health care (see my blog post here).

Matt Mullenweg -- I got to meet Matt when Kyle and I found him lost between our hotel to the Blog World Expo, nearly late for his keynote address. While we got to chat for a short while then, I hope to follow up sometime while I'm out in the Bay area this, perhaps at Web2Open. There are huge parallels between Wordpress and us, and I imagine we'd have a lot of ideas to bat around.

David Hirsch -- I first heard about David from this article on SAI. According to the article, he's leaving Google and interested in "helping incubate and accelerate the early stage game," with a focus on NYC (awesome!). If this is true I think we'd have a lot to chat about (re: my company, but also the broader NY tech scence). Plus, I love the advertising guys (it's a bias I have from working with the fine folks at NPB and eMediaRep). They, after all, know how to make actual money.

Greg Verdino -- Mark Greg down as "WhyTF haven't we met yet?!" -- as I think we've known of each other and Twittered back and forth for about six months now (since nextMadisonAve, I believe). I've even visted Crayonville in Second Life and chatted with Greg on his company's island. But we have yet to meet in person and I think 2008 is high time we do that. Greg has a ton of insight into the future of marketing and seems like an all around great guy.

Alex Iskold -- By all accounts, Alex Iskold knows his shit. Alex is one of the most prolific bloggers in the Semantic Web space (something I'm very interested in and a space BricaBox will play more and more in). Back at Blog World Expo Alex's company, Adaptive Blue, was stationed next to our booth, but we never got to chat very much.

Bernard Lunn -- Bernard is another NY-based Read/Write Web contributor. Since I'm a long-time RWW reader, I'm surprised his name only caught my eye in the last few weeks. It was with this article about Google's Knol that my ears perked up. It was with this definition of Web 3.0 I thought to add him to my list: "The combination of Web 2.0 mass collaboration with structured databases.”

Kevin Ryan -- I think Kevin is the only founding member of Silicon Alley Insider I have yet to meet. I did see him present the publication at a NY Tech Meetup and enjoyed his presentation and enthusiasm for New York's tech scene. In fact, while he's not best know for his angel investing, he may be involved in more startups than any other person in the Alley. That being said, meeting him would be a pleasure and I intend on using my status as an SAI "up and comer" to get some face time. ;-)

Marc Andreeseen -- From what I can tell, Marc is the Founder I hope to be. He's been behind billion dollar hit after billion dollar hit, and helped transform the Web in many ways. In developing BricaBox, we've kept Ning in the back of our minds most of the way, and many of Marc's blog posts have been guiding lights in the startup process.

Ed Costello -- Here's another case of "why haven't we met yet?!" Ed is an active member of nextNY and best known as the first webmaster for IBM's corporate site. Ed has been around the block and frequently offers to meet with folks in the NY community and pass on some hard-earned wisdom. I think it's high time we end up on the same block.

Chris Sacca -- I have ranted about the mobile industry for quite some time. I really started hating it when I was doing mobile research for NPB it's one of the issues I'm talking about at this year's IMA Conference. Why am I mentioning mobile in Chris Sacca's entry? Because of all the things he's remembered for at Google (mostly business development), his work to open the wireless carriers was the most heroic and under-celebrated feat. Now that Sacca has left the GOOG to do some angel investing of his own, I hope we cross paths.

David Weinberger -- I first heard about David at a NY Tech Meetup last summer, when he came to town to talk about his new book, Everything is Miscellaneous. After his talk I introduced myself and told him the 30 second about BricaBox. In November, he and I spoke on the phone for quite some time, but I'd like to follow it up next time I'm in Boston with a real face-to-face. For anyone interested in how information is organized, and more specifically how computers allow us do revolutionize this organization, read Everything is Miscellaneous.

Evan Williams -- Ever since I realized that BricaBox's eventual success will take the same trajectory as Blogger's, I've wanted to meet Evan and others from the founding team. From all accounts, it sounds like the days leading up to Google's acquisition of Blogger were pretty grim, and I'm interested in how they saw themselves through it all and to the light. This article in the Economist is a really great depiction of how this guy thinks and I'd like to talk to him about my company and what's next for Obvious Corp.