Think Tank Review – Part 1

Last weekend I had the pleasure to attend the first Purpose Inc Think Tank which will become the new milestone for networking events. My body clock is still a bit screwed up and it will take weeks before my liver forgives me for a weekend of absolute excess but this was the most enjoyable and beneficial networking weekend ever. I had the opportunity to reinforce existing relationships, build new ones and make friends for life, it was awesome.

Day 1 – Thursday – The journey
Fly out of London with Virgin, flight was delayed 2 1/2 hours on the runway as some nutter had a panic attack and wanted to get off (bags needed removing), then the radar system at Heathrow got fisted up. It came over the tanoy if the delay had been any longer the flight would of been cancelled, phew!

Arrived LAX and well laid plans of getting catching the Amtrak to San Diego are now somewhat screwed so jump in a cab for a $320 ride, just seemed easier than waiting for another plane.

Found the hotel bar (what a hotel) and meet up with old friend Slaven from Elite Retreat, also met with the gorgeous Shannon and funny Sean from the SEM Journal (well worth checking out).

By 1AM we were all on the beach paddling as if we’d been friends a lot longer, a great end to a very long day.

Friday – Introductions
Throughout the day people started to roll in, over breakfast met up with fellow UK traveller Jon White (he needs to blog and Twitter), a very very interesting guy with some quality sites. Day was then spent in a gazeebo by the beach. I wussed out of the surfing lessons (last time I lost a chunk of tooth) but highly enjoyed the free bar and networking. Mind is a bit of a blurr on what else happened that day 🙂 .

Oh yeah party got gate crashed by Ed from Build Big Ships , check out all the work he put into getting on the guest list (at least temporarily), I hope he learnt a fair bit and got a few viral links [@Ed just seen you’ve got a few questions, I’ll answer them via email later]. Ed you are also the first person that has ever asked to have a picture taken with me, you’re strange man 🙂 .

Day ended with more drinking, networking, eating and a game of Vampires. Missed out on a game of poker but made up for that the following night. Ended up in some underground club, bought a silly round of paint remover and mind went a bit blank after that.

Saturday – Fight Club
Day started well with a somewhat unusual breakfast pizza (scrambled egg, bacon, etc.) actually tasted good, but stomach was not ready for much food. Then the highlite of the day was a workout and MMA training with Randy Couture’s trainer, Shawn Tompkins and MMA fighter Sam Stout. I sparred with Ryan “shark sealion attack” Quiel, an interesting pairing of “fat bastard” against “sports fanatic”, was continually barracked (a word unknown in the US) by Niel “We stole your land” Patel. I’ve got to thank Ryan for motivating me to stick with the session, I was very close to following an example of depositing breakfast in the boys room, instead I lost a gallon of sweat, nice.

After the training session it was back to the beach for a much needed drink and more networking. Also threw my first ever American football and took one to the nuts (thanks Ryan), crazy sport.

More drinking, chatting and stuff followed before heading back to the hotel where we got split into teams and were given a mission to create a site over the weekend which would auctioned with the winning team taking all profits. It was great having brainstorming session with some of the top minds in the business (), decide on domain and business plan, registered it and that was about it.

More drinking followed and finally got slurring chatting with the ever popular Pamela Lund, brains as well as beauty.

Finally managed to get a game of poker in and the poker gods were on my side, took Zac Johnson out on the river (sorry) and had pocket aces twice and both times they held up. I’d like to say I played well but it was more down to drunk opponents and a healthy dose of luck.

There is still another day to go so will continue this later after I’ve had a few more flash backs and memory holes filled, as you can probably tell it was an absolutely awesome event.

About Al Carlton

Al quit the 9 to 5 rat race in January of 2007, before then he was a software engineer and systems architect of financial system. Nowadays Al spends the days running his various businesses and experimenting with different ideas and opportunities.
Al can be found on twitter at AlCarlton.


  1. Al! Dude! Thanks for the post. Glad to see you made it back safely! I wanted to follow up on my offer to buy you a beer at Think Tank, but at that point, it seemed kinda redundant. About the questions – I was just kicking myself for not being more clever and witty and chatty at the event, but by that time, my brain had pretty much shut down . . .

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  2. Didn’t realize you hadn’t thrown a football before. Next time you’re stuck in LA (though I clearly don’t live there) I can suggest some easier options for getting from LA to San Diego. Whew,, a cab,, you’re the one that’s nuts there my friend!

    • You’re not the first person to say that, at the time it just seemed the easy option. I either made a cab drivers night or really pissed him off (he didn’t speak the whole way).

  3. Damn river…

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  4. Hey Al,

    What’s up man. Had a blast hanging out at Think Tank. Glad you are writing it all down, as I hit my head on Saturday and everything went black 😉

    1,2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4… Those numbers bring back memories of mixed martial arts or what. I think I threw in a few more 4’s for you too 😉

    Nice job throwing the America “Rugby” ball and glad you made it back to the UK in one piece.

    • Them numbers will give me nightmares, by the end of it instead of punching and nearing I think we were just touching pads. Crazy crazy days.

  5. Looks like you had a very interesting day!

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  6. Having read through the article slowly, I’m still scratching my head to figure out what the even was actually about 🙂

    Sounds like you had a great time though!

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  7. That has to be a good social networking trip; getting hooked up with people within the same industry (as what I would call that).

    Should be great to keep up with the latest trend in the web market.

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