So Handheld is over, forever.
Over just two events, Handheld has evolved from a small community event with 170 attendees to a behemoth of a gathering with over 1000 attendees from over 23 countries. The Handheld alumnus of speakers is full of my heroes, people who have shaped and influenced the industry for the better. I will always be grateful to those that shared their knoweldge to the Handheld attendees.
A lot of people have asked why I have decided to bury Handheld when there is obviously an audience for such an event. The answer is simple, integrity.
I have been a 'web maker' (i'm not too keen on a label such as designer or developer) since I was 18. Working for many years as a lone freelancer, dabbling with the odd agency and even working on native iOS stuff for a brief stint. Over the past two or three years, my working life has changed dramatically. I no longer take on client projects and have never been so busy. This year in particular has been incredibly busy for me. As well as this years Handheld conference, I also put on the much smaller Foundersconf, been travelling around Europe on Besquare duties, and opened an open-studio and event space at Foundershub. This has all been alongside moving house and having a few health issues which led to me being rushed to hospital on a number of occasions.
All of this extra activity has made me question what I really do for a living. I spend more time answering email than I do in Sublime or Photoshop. I have become an admin guy. This is not what I wanted. I am no longer the target demographic for Handheld.
So I am paring things down a little, giving myself more time to just make stuff. Instead of Handheld, Foundersconf, and a hundred other small projects this year, I will be doing just one thing. Handheld is dead, there will not be another Handheld, but I will be replacing Handheld with something a little broader. Don't worry, I won't be announcing AdminConf, but it will be relevant to me - and hopefully to you.
I have a great print at Foundershub which reads 'Do one thing well', that is exactly what I intend to do. One conference which will top anything I have ever done before, and I can't wait to share the details with you.
The official photo's for this years Handheld by @iamashley can be found on Flickr as well as some amazing shots by @de on Exposure. Video from handheld will be available soon on Besquare, but you can see some already here, here, here and my favourite, here.