At Cameo, Boom Times Give Way to Sharp Sales Slowdown

Feb. 24, 2022 10:00 AM PST

“You can’t help but walk around here and go, ‘What the fuck is this?’”

John Paller is sitting in a small, white-walled meeting room somewhere inside the century-old Denver Sports Castle, a six-floor, 35,000-square-foot former Chrysler showroom that’s overdue for a renovation. The longtime Denver entrepreneur says that the venue is a “total pile of shit,” barely equipped to handle an 8,500-person tech conference. But for the thousands milling around, taking in the immersive art installations, puppy-petting areas, live music, non-fungible token art galleries, and “zen zone” for sound baths, massages and oracle readings, the building’s griminess is an afterthought. "People come here for the vibe, man,” Paller tells me. “They come here because it’s chill as fuck and people want to be a part of it.”

Paller, sweaty and breathless as he sips on a yerba mate, is the founder of EthDenver, a nearly two-week-long gathering for devotees of the Ethereum blockchain. The conference began last week with seven days of technical workshops and fireside chats with Ethereum founders like Vitalik Buterin and crypto-adjacent celebrities like Andrew Yang and Kimbal Musk (brother of Elon), and continued this week with a retreat to the nearby ski town of Breckenridge, Colo. Paller organized the first Ethereum-focused conference in 2018, envisioning it as a mix of Burning Man, South by Southwest and the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, all themed around Ethereum, the blockchain that paved the way for the rise of NFTs and helped birth the Web3 movement. EthDenver, he said, is an “experience of the future.”

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
Opinion AR/VR
VR Is Failing the Very People It Could Benefit Most
Art by Mike Sullivan
Consider this: In The Climb, a popular virtual reality game, any user can virtually scale skyscrapers and majestic cliffs simply by turning their head and gripping a trigger—any user, that is, except one with a muscular, skeletal or neurological disorder that makes even those movements impossible. Or consider this: In January 2020, MIT Media Lab researcher Arwa Michelle Mboya traveled to...
Latest Briefs
 
Meta Merges News, Media Partnerships Teams Under Campbell Brown
Cisco Systems Forecasts Revenue Drop, Blames China Lockdowns
Ex-Apple AI Director Goodfellow Returns to Alphabet
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Apple's Tim Cook (clockwise from top left), Bob Iger, Al Gore and Mike Rockwell. Images by Bloomberg, Shutterstock. Art by Mike Sullivan.
Exclusive Facebook Apple
The Inside Story of Why Apple Bet Big on a Mixed-Reality Headset
In 2016, Apple’s board of directors gathered inside one of its buildings in Cupertino, Calif., for a glimpse into the company’s future.
Elizabeth Spaulding, CEO of Stitch Fix. Photo by Bloomberg.
Exclusive E-commerce
How Stitch Fix Fumbled a Make-or-Break Pivot
Stitch Fix planned to revive sales growth by turning its original strategy on its head. Inside the company, there were warning signs that the effort would struggle.
Photo by Bloomberg. Art by Clark Miller.
The 1:1
‘I Don’t Know How Steve Jobs Would Survive Today in This Environment’: Tony Fadell Has Opinions to Share and Scores to Settle
Within Silicon Valley power circles, being “on the beach” is a euphemism that covers a continuum of unemployment, from “retired rich” to “brief pause between high-powered jobs.” Tony Fadell has been metaphorically on the beach for six years, ever since leaving Google, which paid $3.2 billion for Nest Labs, the maker of smart thermostats he co-founded, in 2016.
Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo by Bloomberg.
These Enterprise Software Firms Are Top Targets for Private Equity Takeovers
Big deals are on the way. The sharp drop in tech stocks over the past six months, making companies cheaper to buy, is likely to trigger an increase in merger activity, bankers say.
Sundar Pichai, Mark Zuckerberg and Rupert Murdoch. Photos by AP; Bloomberg. Art by Mike Sullivan
Opinion Policy
Meta and Alphabet Should Get Used to Paying for News
If you’re concerned about dreadful trends in the journalism business, such as mass layoffs and private-equity takeovers, then you’ll probably like the scheme Australia devised last year to funnel funding from platforms to traditional media.
Data Point Entertainment
Netflix Cancellations Rise Among Long-Standing Subscribers
Netflix is losing its grip on long-standing subscribers. New data show that people who have been subscribers to Netflix for more than three years accounted for a significantly greater share of cancellations in the first quarter than they did two years earlier.