I hate exclusivity. I would never suggest to anyone that they shouldn’t come to San Francisco for WWDC/AltConf. At the same time, I have to acknowledge that coming to San Francisco in June, especially for a guy like me who doesn’t even bother trying to get a ticket to the WWDC itself, is becoming less justifiable from a business perspective every year. And thus, it’s getting harder and harder to recommend to others.
Folks say that WWDC is the one time where everyone in our community can get together, but frankly, the price of hotels in San Francisco has made that statement a bit disingenuous. Many—if not most—of us can’t afford to make it to this party, so maybe this is no longer the party for “everyone.” Maybe it’s time we acknowledged that WWDC has become a bit of a luxury, as much as that pains me to say.
I will be in town during WWDC this year, but mainly because 1) I booked a hotel back in November, when the rates were more than $100 per night cheaper than they are now; 2) I have found a roommate who is willing to share that hotel bill with me; 3) I have a special affinity for a city that I lived in for 13 years before leaving for New York; and 4) I have certain musical reasons for being in town that week.
Without all four of these factors, I’d have to seriously consider the cost of this trip and what it means for me and my household.
And that’s why I was immediately on board with the rest of the great conferences who wanted to get together for this initiative. Of course Charles and I want to participate with these other events (most of which I will be attending, by the way) in offering people an alternative to the high price of WWDC. You could very likely attend two or more of the participating events for the cost of a single trip to WWDC.
Again, I’m not suggesting that anyone “sit out“ WWDC. This is certainly not a protest against Apple, or even the city of San Francisco itself, which I have loved like a second home for the majority of my adult life. It’s just an acknowledgement that if we’re all going to invest our time and money in networking within this community, it pays to maximize the return on that investment.
I hope to see all of you somewhere at one of these events, or in San Francisco in June. Please introduce yourself if you see me and we haven’t yet met. Or, if we have met before but see each other infrequently, come say hi, too. We live and die through the connections we make with real humans at events like these. Our goal in offering this discount is to leave fewer of us are priced out of the community.