Business of Software, Day 1
I am on CalTrain reflecting on Day One of the Business of Software 2009 conference. No wifi on CalTrain. Lame, but not the fault of the conference.
The day started off with a surprisingly yummy eggs, sausage, ham and fixins breakfast. I gobbled up the food and got my badge. The schwag was different than any I have seen.
They handed me a 15 pound burlap sack with handles. I can’t even fathom this choice, but it’s different for sure. Inside was a giant Snuggie that had the conference logo. That’s right, a Snuggie. Additionally, there were several magazines, a nice t-shirt and cool notebook. But WTF with the snuggie?! Seriously, people were walking around with it on. It looks like you are dressed as a cheap wizard for Halloween. The name tag/necklace they gave me is the kind that often flips over. I suggested they put the name on both sides.
The first talk was Geoffrey Moore. Excellent presentation. Then Paul Graham, who honestly, I had alot of trouble following. He was all over the map. No slides, either. Wow, bold choice! Heidi Rozen was next, whom I thought was interesting, but I didn’t quite connect, maybe because I am not one of those people seeking VC funds.
Lunch was OK, breakfast was better. (I care about food!) Dharmesh Shah was pretty good. A quick tour de force of the SEO industry. I blogged previously about the cool tool he pointed out. Right before Pecha Kucha was Mat Clayton who ran through hacking social media…not sure what that has to do with business software.
Finally the big moment arrived. A few presenters went on before me. One was OK, and then another was really funny. He had them laughing in the aisles. I thought, “Oh great. I gotta follow the great comedian!” I gave my talk and it seemed to go well. They laughed at the right moments and nodded their heads in unison. I didn’t flub anything horribly. I got a nice round of applause (like everyone else). I was pleased. Tomorrow, I need to get feedback from some people and see what they thought. I’ll post video when I get a hold of it.
Lastly, Don Norman came up. He is a genius. I love him. He actually made the suggestion onstage that they should print the name tags on both sides. I thought, “HEY! That was my idea”. Then I thought that if Don Norman wants an idea of mine, he can have it. I claim plenty of his ideas for myself, so it’s only fair. He pointed out great insights. Don Norman is my strongest influence as a designer. Read his books.
Overall, excellent day of conference. The breakout session was OK, possibly a little stilted. I met some people that I didn’t expect to be there. Like a guy who makes a programming language for chip manufacturers. Not Intel, but the little chips they put in devices and cars. Why was he there? I have no idea, but it was interesting. Alot of strange attendees, in fact.
I am excited to attend tomorrow and see Kathy Sierra and others. Hopefully, I will be good and network some. If you see me, talk to me. I am shy about breaking the ice.