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Jessica Hagy, artist in residence at Dent 2015, doesn’t just hear insights.

She sees them.

Hagy, author of several books and the popular Indexed blog, sketched out her takeaways from 14 sessions at Dent 2015 in the simple charts and diagrams she’s known for.

We’ve included just a sampling here. For the full gallery, check out her sketches from Day 1 and Day 2.

Big thanks to Jessica for the awesomeness. We’ll be re-posting them as we tell you more about what a great time we had at Dent 2015.

We’re just getting started…

P.S. Jessica’s latest book diagrams a classic. “The Art of War, Visualized,” is exactly as compelling as it sounds. Check it out.


Many Denters got behind the wheel of a 2015 Buick Regal GS at the Dent 2015 Buick Autocross event just for kicks.

Not Joshua Decker.

Decker, first-time Denter and CEO of Tagboard, completed our timed course in 35.88 seconds.

By the sounds of that squealing in this video of his winning run, that was not a casual drive.

Courtesy of Buick, Decker won a trip for two in November to the L.A. Auto Show press days, including flight, lodging and inclusion in Buick’s events

Thanks to our friends at Buick for once again going above and beyond as a Dent 2015 sponsor.


ellen_rocksIt’s handy to be reminded once in a while that life, and in particular your happiness or satisfaction in life, isn’t about collecting stuff.

I love this little nugget from Fast Company’s story:

Another reason is that shared experiences connect us more to other people than shared consumption. You’re much more likely to feel connected to someone you took a vacation with in Bogotá than someone who also happens to have bought a 4K TV.

In my own life, I have always felt like sharing experiences is the best way to make friendships (talking is good too, but something magic happens if you just do stuff together).

Another bonus of collecting experiences instead of stuff:

You’re also much less prone to negatively compare your own experiences to someone else’s than you would with material purchases. One study conducted by researchers Ryan Howell and Graham Hill found that it’s easier to feature-compare material goods (how many carats is your ring? how fast is your laptop’s CPU?) than experiences. And since it’s easier to compare, people do so.

“The tendency of keeping up with the Joneses tends to be more pronounced for material goods than for experiential purchases,” says Gilovich. “It certainly bothers us if we’re on a vacation and see people staying in a better hotel or flying first class. But it doesn’t produce as much envy as when we’re outgunned on material goods.”

Of course, you CAN brag about being at Dent, because the experience is just a little better than all those other gatherings :)

(photo by KK)


According to data released (as an infographic) from Women Who Tech, VCs are crazy not to be investing in startups founded by women.

Infographic past the jump, click through to see the bigger one.

[click to continue…]


Wow. A letter to Denters

by Jason on March 31, 2015

makingrocksYou know how after you throw a big party, there’s this beautiful mess? Plates and glasses cover the tables, everything smells like wine and so many meaningful conversations are replaying in your head that as you load the dishwasher and wipe off the counters, you’re already planning the next party?

Sitting at my desk in Seattle today feels a little like that, only better.

You made Dent 2015 unforgettable.

From Laura and Scott Jordan’s epic opening party to that killer un-conference (er… back at the same place). From laughs and applause in the session room to late night chatter at the Sun Valley Inn. Learning parkour, competing on the Buick Autocross course, admiring Jessica Hagy’s cartoons, captioning David Horsey’s…it was a blast.

Dent 2015 was a wonderful opportunity to meet new and fascinating people, reinforce great friendships, and begin new partnerships.

This year we were able to open registration to attendees for Dent 2016 while we were still there in Sun Valley. Only a few days later, 21 folks have opted to join us again next year…so I guess we have to do it again in 2016. See you there, March 20-23rd!

It’s also worth noting that we made 35 “Limited Edition” registrations available, and 15 of those have been snagged already. They’re notably cheaper, but they’re non-refundable. If you know you’re going to be there, ti’s a great deal. (Need an invite? request it here).

(Photo by Kris Krug)


Want to join us in Sun Valley? Request an invitation here.


A few years back, Jason and I had the good fortune to sample the wines from Ketchum-based Frenchman’s Gulch Winery, and last year we visited their facility to chat with winemaker Charles Smasne (and to check the winery out as a possible locale for a Dent-related gathering.) As you can see from the photo, it’s really a neat little spot, and the wines are terrific. For the past year we’ve had the place bookmarked in our mind as a potential location for an intimate gathering.

When our partners at the social impact company GOOD asked about possible locations for their dinner on 3/23, they indicated a desire to do something different and that they hoped for a location that was truly unique. Frenchman’s came immediately to mind.

This location was further reinforced when GOOD asked us about food truck options. Coincidentally, denter Leigh Barer had just mentioned to us that she had sampled the offerings from the local food truck “The Haven” and was much impressed. Frenchman’s does not serve food, and The Haven has no wine, so like peanut butter and chocolate, it was a marriage made in heaven (“haven?). The icing on the cake is that the truck’s home base is literally a stone’s throw from the winery!

HavenThe Ketchum Keystone describes The Haven as offering “good, thoughtful food with no limitations. Vegetarian sandwiches with Portobello mushrooms, goat cheese and arugula, meatball sliders with provolone and parmesan, herb chicken and bacon salad, Verde pork and black bean tacos, mac and cheese, brown rice caprese and so much more are all made fresh daily.”


jessieEvery time I turn around, I discover that someone from the Dent community is doing something new and interesting. No doubt Jessie Woolley-Wilson, the CEO of Dreambox Learning, is not the only Denter presenting at SXSW this year. But she is the one I just learned about :)

If you’re going to be in Austin this coming Tuesday, March 10th, be sure to visit Jessie during her panel at 3pm. According to an announcement from Jessie:

On Tuesday, March 10, at 3:00 p.m. (Central), I’ll be joined on stage by three innovative leaders in the field of education and education technology: Sehreen NoorAli, Head of Business Development at Noodle Education and Founder of EdTechWomen; Dr. Christine Johns, Superintendent of Utica Community Schools; and Teri Rousseau, President of Educational Services at Reading Rainbow. This is a passionate group of individuals from diverse backgrounds who are deeply engaged and invested in this important topic.

The session is called EdTech for Educational Inclusion, and you can find it listed on the SXSW schedule here.

We love sharing what Denters are up to. Please don’t be shy about letting us know what’s going on in your world.

Jessie will back back in Sun Valley with us this year for Dent 2015. Don’t have your ticket yet? It’s not too late to request an invitation.



I love discovering ways in which members of the Dent community, without any additional nudging from us, find ways to work together throughout the year. In this case, Denter Mark Anderson, who gave a great presentation last year at Dent, will be keynoting Cofes 2015, a conference produced by Denter Brad Holtz that’s now in it’s 16th year.

Cofes, for it’s part, has been called an “edges only brownie pan” by attendees, and like Dent is a neat, curated experience in mid-April. If you’re looking for more experiences, it’s probably worth sending Brad a note and asking for an invitation, or just use their web form.


Use the power of silence

by Jason on March 4, 2015

sunvalleymtsI came home to discover a really interesting article sitting open on my browser — no doubt left there unintentionally by Denter (and spouse) Monica Guzman, thanks! — about how to be amazingly good at asking questions.

Frankly, I think that asking good questions is a pretty fundamental life skill, and one that it not all that difficult in the grand scheme of things. People like to talk about themselves, and appear smart, and asking good questions can allow them both of those opportunities.

But if you’re actually asking to learn about things, whether it’s about an industry, a piece of history, a trade secret (you jerk!), or anything else, then don’t forget about the power of silence:

Start getting comfortable with asking a question, waiting for response, listening to the response and then waiting some more. Many times the person you are questioning has more information and will bring it out when you wait for it. You have to be comfortable with that silent period before the dam breaks. Police and military interrogators use silence very effectively. People feel a need to fill the holes in the conversation and often they will then bring out the critical bit of information you seek.

You’ll note they mention law enforcement here. I’m pretty excited for the session at Dent this year with Mark Duncan, who employs this and many other methods on a regular basis to solve cold cases, rather a lot like Sherlock Holmes…

If you would like to join us at Dent this year, please request an invitation! There is still time.

(Awesome photo of Sun Valley by Thomas Hawk, circa Dent 2013)


We love hearing about (and sharing) the really cool stuff that members of the Dent community are doing. Stefania Pomponi, Denter and one of the Founders of Clever Girls Collective (the agency that architected the now-famous #batkid escapade in San Francisco), had the idea to create a new influencer network when she saw an American snowboarder move to Russia because that’s where he could find a sponsor.

The new network, called Team on 3, is designed to connect brands that want to advertise with the huge pool of athletes outside of the Russell Wilsons and Kobe Bryants of the world, who often have even more intimate connections with their fans that can be a real boon tot he sponsors. In their words:

We’re innovating the way athletes obtain sponsorships. While brands often use athletes in ad campaigns to increase brand exposure, fan affinity, and sales, they typically focus on the top 1% like Peyton Manning or Richard Sherman. In contrast, Team On 3 delivers access to the other 99% of professional athletes who are arguably more influential because they interact directly with fans, friends, and families with authentic, entertaining, and brand-safe content.

Congrats on the launch Clever Girls… and by the way, when are you going to add e-sports athletes to the list?