Hundreds of techies trade ideas at Compute Midwest

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Who designed the computer, tablet, or smart phone you’re using to read this story? Or the technology that allows you to do so? A Kansas City event this week has brought together some of the best and brightest in the technology world to brain storm, bounce ideas, and bring the focus to the future.

Compute Midwest is a two-day technology expo. Nearly 700 attendees will hear from more than a dozen speakers, including Andy Grignon, who worked with Steven Jobs on designing the first iPhone. Grignon said, “The phone seemed like a good thing to be working on but we didn't really know, and we didn't know the impact it was going to have.”

The iPhone has had a global reach since its creation more than a decade back. Grignon says Jobs was a challenging person.

“He was always trying to get the best even if he didn't exactly know what it was. His other, kind of, gift was listening to smart people and their ideas.”

And founder Michael Gelphman said that’s what Compute Midwest is all about: sharing ideas, trading thoughts, and challenging one another.

“The future is a place everybody should be looking because that's where our opportunity is to change the world. Technology just helps drive a lot of them [ideas] much faster because of software and all of those things,” Gelphman said.

Though Grignon took the stage Thursday, he said, “It’s the discussions that happen at the tables and in the hallways. That's why you come to these things. You get ideas from other people.” No one knows better about the need for collaboration, communication, and conviction. He said of his iPhone efforts, “It was hard technologically. It was hard emotionally. It was hard physically. Do I want to top that? No. But I do want to do some other new things. I've got a couple things up my sleeve. We'll see where it goes!”

Blood sweat and tears turned into a worldwide phenomenon; all stemming from a simple idea, like the ones bouncing around the Municipal Arena at this year’s Compute Midwest.