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Harper Reed at Dent

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, April 25 2013

The folks who put together the DENT conference in March have posted the fireside chat that I conducted with Harper Reed online. Reed was Obama 2012's chief technology officer. In this talk, Reed explains why the campaign built its own technologies, how his team dealt with demands to get everything done all at once, how they made their systems failsafe, and the importance of Ushahidi to the future of fair elections.

DENT is a new conference put together by Jason Preston and Steve Brobeck of the Parnassus Group. Its goal is to explore the process of how well-known innovators execute their ideas. Other speakers this year included Alvy Ray Smith; the co-founder of Pixar, Oren Jacob, Pixar's former chief technology officer, and founder of a startup called Toy Talk; media designer Roger Black (responsible for designing Rolling Stone and Newsweek;) blogger and author Robert Scoble and Amazon's former chief of worldwide operations and customer service Marc Onetto, among several others. Photographer Doug Menuez shared his photographs and told moving stories of what it was like to spend three years photographing Steve Jobs as he tried to build NeXT. The organizers of DENT even had Eugene Burger, a magician, give a talk. I hope they put all the other talks up: They were thought-provoking and inspiring.