Cloud Four Blog

Technical notes, War stories and anecdotes

Final Responsive Field Day Speakers!

When we tell people about Responsive Field Day, the most common response we get is, “Wow, that’s amazing lineup.”

My response has been, “And we’re not done yet.”

That’s why I’m so pleased and honored to get to share with you our final speakers:

  • Val Head, our favorite guide on how animation can be used effectively and how it adapts in responsive designs.
  • Steve Souders, whose persistent and patient advocacy for web performance has made the web a better place.
  • Olawale Oladunni and Mini Kurhan, who will share the innovative solutions they designed for Walmart’s responsive hero images.

Val, Steve, Ola and Mini join an already stellar cast:

Thirteen terrific speakers. One amazing day digging into the depths of responsive web design. All for only $175.

If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, what are you waiting for?

Responsive Field Day Speakers, Tickets and Community

Late spring. We are now officially entering the marvelous season in Portland. That means gorgeous weather and cheerful citizens from now well into October. This part of the year is why everyone wants to be here. Let’s forget about the rest of the year (hint: dim, misty). Let’s just talk about the wonderful things.

Like Responsive Field Day, this September 25 (Friday) at Revolution Hall here in marvelous-season Portland. We announced the event back in March, but now it’s time to up the ante with some real details.

Responsive Field Day


The first half of our confirmed speaker roster looks like a dream team of responsive all-stars.

  • Stephanie Rieger, consummate researcher whose humanist talks explore anthropological and technical realms
  • Ethan Marcotte, who, you know, invented Responsive Web Design. And who also weaves a riveting presence in his talks.
  • Jeremy Keith, whose impact on web practices are legion, and who spices up the discourse on any panel.
  • Yesenia Perez-Cruz, who synthesizes her talents in writing, communication and graphic arts for a nuanced perspective on responsive challenges.
  • Jen Simmons, whose powerhouse weekly podcast _The Web Ahead_ is on the required listening list for those who build the web.
  • Brad Frost, whose bounding enthusiasm and thought leadership have helped to lead us toward a clearer responsive future.

And that’s only the first half! We’re kind of giddy with excitement right now. Stay tuned: we’ll announce the rest of our speakers soon.

Tickets and Community

Tickets will go on sale soon. They’ll be $175. We are keeping ticket prices low so that more of you can join us.

Any proceeds from the event will be donated to programs that support open web technologies, the tech community and education.

The whole Cloud Four crew hopes you can join us for Responsive Field Day!

Responsive Field Day Portland!

For the last two years, I’ve devoured the podcasts from Responsive Day Out—the conference that Jeremy Keith and Clearleft put on across the pond in Brighton.

I’ve encouraged anyone who would listen to subscribe to the podcast. It is my favorite conference that I’ve never been to.

That’s why I’m so thrilled to announce that we’re bringing the Responsive Day Out format to Portland!

Responsive Field Day

We’re calling it Responsive Field Day. It is a one-day conference on responsive design. It will take place on September 25 at Revolution Hall.

We plan to continue the spirit of the Brighton event where Jeremy famously said that “every expense has been spared.” So you can be certain the event will be affordable and inclusive.

Lyza, Aileen and I are traveling to Brighton for Responsive Day Out 3: The Final Breakpoint to watch the masters and learn how to make Responsive Field Day a success.

We’ve already got some fantastic speakers lined up. We’re not ready to announce the lineup yet though, so you’ll have to trust us when we say, “OMG! OMG! I can’t believe they said yes!

So mark September 25th on your calendar and start planning your trip to Portland. Sign up for email or follow us on Twitter to receive updates when the speakers are announced and tickets go on sale.

Finally, thanks so much to Jeremy and Clearleft for inspiring us and sharing what they’ve learned.

The End of Mobile Portland

In December 2007, Lyza, Aileen, John and I decided to start Mobile Portland so we would have place to talk about mobile.

After eight years, Mobile Portland is coming to an end. Tonight is the final meeting.

Over the years we’ve had some amazing speakers and topics. I’m proud of the quality of the talks and the community we built.

We also inadvertently started a worldwide open device lab movement. It’s been amazing to see device labs spread and know they started in Portland.

I’d like to thank everyone who attended a meeting and those who helped out in any way. Every small contribution lifted a huge burden off the shoulders of frantic organizers.

I want to extend a special thank you to my co-founders at Cloud Four for helping get Mobile Portland off the ground and funding it; Matt Gifford for organizing so many meetings; Seth Shikora for recording nearly every meeting we’ve held; and to Elia Freedman, Dylan Boyd and Rob Mills for being the best board members I could have asked for.

Tonight’s meeting

But before Mobile Portland rides off into the sunset, we have one final meeting tonight, and it is going to be the best one yet!

I can’t think of a better speaker and a more fitting topic than Josh Clark talking about Magical UX and the Internet of Things. This is the next frontier of technology and mobile plays a bit part in it.

This will also be our largest meeting ever. We’ve had to create a waitlist for the first time so if you’ve already RSVP’d and are unable to make it tonight, please update your RSVP so people on the waitlist can attend.

What’s next?

Since we announced the end of Mobile Portland, people keep asking me two questions. First, “Why end Mobile Portland when there is still a lot of interest?”

Because eight years is a long time to do anything and instead of the group gradually winding down and losing relevance, we made the decision to go out on top.

The second, inevitable question is, “What’s next?”

I’m pleased to say that I can finally answer that question. Let me tell you about Responsive Field Day.

You have an idea for an app? Come to Mobile Portland on Monday to learn what it takes.

Out of all the conversations I’ve had with individuals who have had ideas for apps, the one I had with Miloš Jovanović stands out the most. That’s why I’m so pleased he is going to be telling his tale at Mobile Portland on Monday.

Most of the conversations about app ideas have similar characteristics. Someone has an idea for an app. They think it will be a hit. They don’t have the technical abilities to build the app. They don’t know what it will cost. And they’re trying to figure out how to make the app a reality. So they ask me for advice.

I start by sharing some articles that I’ve found that describe how much app development costs.1 We’ll talk about how it isn’t enough to simply build an app. You need to have a business plan. That you need recurring revenue to maintain the app. What happens if you build it and they don’t come?

And that is often the last I see of the individual. The app never gets created. I always feel bad to see their ideas die, but simply having an idea isn’t enough to be successful.

Screenshot of SpaceView appMiloš was different from the beginning. Yes, he had an idea for an app, but he set himself apart in our first meeting by demonstrating how much research he had already done. He had domain expertise. He wanted to learn everything there was about how to build an app and a business.

He had even gone so far as to hire someone to build a crude, throwaway application just so he could see what the process was like.

And Miloš didn’t just distinguish himself during our meeting. He has shown perseverance in his pursuit of his vision like no other person I have met. He has been working on making his vision a reality for two years now.

There are many points where it would have been easy to give up. And even now, I don’t know if SpaceView, that app that Miloš is building, will be successful.

What I have no doubt about is that Miloš will be successful in whatever he does.

And I now have a simple answer when someone asked me what it takes to build an app: you need to be as persistent and dogged in pursuit of your vision as Miloš has been.

If you have an idea for an app and you’re wondering what it takes to build one, I highly encourage you to come listen to Miloš on Monday at Mobile Portland. It’s not to be missed.2

  1. In case you’re curious, here are the articles that I’ve found do a good job of describing how much it costs to build an app.

  2. I realized as I wrote those words how sad I was that I’m going to miss the meeting. I’m going to be in Boston speaking at An Event Apart. I’m always sad when I miss Mobile Portland, but this month is a double whammy. I’m not only missing Miloš, but I’m missing out on an opportunity to see Urban Airship’s new offices. :-(