The trend is small. But it’s growing. The concept is simple. So simple, in fact, that it’s surprising that it’s taken this long for it to bubble up in our own WordPress community.
But it’s powerful. And useful. And the financial benefits won’t be immediate. But they’ll be felt for years to come. So it makes sense that we should stop and take notice.
To understand it is to understand the nature of how most of us work in the community. We’re all over the map. We’re located across the globe. The person helping with support might be six states away.
In fact, at one point, for my day job, I hired a woman from another state, for a position in another state, both different from another state (the one where I was)—all without seeing her.
We’re remote. We’re distributed. And yet, we’re people.
And that means we desire to connect. That’s part of it, for sure.
But there’s more to it. Or at least there are more reasons why I think the consequence of this new trend will have significant fiscal impact in the future.
To understand that, we have to understand how great ideas come about. They’re rarely done in the single head of a single person with a single brain. Great ideas come from the clash of multiple people and their ideas.
When I have an idea and I share it with you. When you share the idea with someone else, only adding a new aspect to it because of how you think about it. When they hear it and adjust it again. When that all happens, we get really, truly great ideas.
And that’s part of it too. Everyone in our community loves great ideas. The truly fantastic ones are motivating.
But there’s more to it. Because our desire to connect and our ability to refine ideas still gets us nowhere if we don’t act. We have to be willing to turn ideas into reality—and that takes time. Time none of us have.
Except when you think about taking breaks. We all have time when we’re taking breaks. And when we’re rested, it makes sense that we have the most time to turn ideas into realities.
And I think that’s what has brought us to this trend. It’s a small trend. But that’s appropriate, because it’s a small idea. But a good one.
Gather people together.
Give them time to brainstorm.
Give them time to rest.
Make it a break from work.
Watch new relationships happen.
Watch new collaborations happen.
When it all works out, you end up with options.
What do we call this trend? I don’t know. It’s not a conference. It’s a gathering. A small one. A geo-centric one. A WordPress retreat.
BeachPress is a WordPress retreat for 10-20 people that has them rent a beach house and lets them co-exist in the same place for a few days.
Big Snow is another retreat in Vermont for people who like snow. Same size, roughly. Completely different context.
And yet, if you bring some of the smartest developers in our community into the same location for a few days to hang out, can you imagine the things that will come of it?
I predict we’ll see 2-3 more retreats in 2014 simply because they’re a lot easier to set up than conferences. And the output of the retreat isn’t just personal (rest, relaxation). I predict it will be revenue generating—as collaborations lead to successful projects, products, and maybe even joint ventures.
I for one will plan one in Cabo. Where will you plan one?