Charles Engelke's Blog

May 31, 2008

The Conference T-Shirt Economic Index

Filed under: RailsConf 2008 — Charles Engelke @ 3:04 pm
Tags: ,

The economy as a whole might be slow, but the Ruby on Rails sector of the tech economy seems to be on fire.  One measure is how much money vendors spend on t-shirts at conference like this one.

Back in the late 90s, I remember a relatively small O’Reilly Perl conference where about two dozen different vendors were handing out t-shirts with abandon (Sun was giving handsful of OpenOffice shirts to each person, instead of one shirt at a time).  The next year, after the tech bubble burst, not a single free t-shirt.

This year at RailsConf, t-shirts are back.  I think there are six vendors giving away shirts, and most of them are pushing them on anyone who even walks near their display, even if they already have a shirt in their hand.

Consider this a leading economic indicator



  1. […] hall and get some snacks.  The hall was pretty big and there were lots of t-shirt giveaways, just like at RailsConf.  I still view this as a tech economy indicator.  For at least open source related efforts, […]

    Pingback by First OSCON Afternoon « Charles Engelke’s Blog — July 23, 2008 @ 7:50 pm

  2. […] a view blog posts on the “economic t-shirt index” on by Laura Thomson and another by Charles Engelke. Both posts talk about how the amount of t-shirts that are given away at tech conferences is a good […]

    Pingback by aaronGetzDotCom — July 28, 2008 @ 1:10 am

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