App Carousel review of GigaOM Roadmap conference: part 1

Today I attended the inaugural GigaOM Roadmap conference and I am reporting on the conference in two parts;

Firstly, I have to say it was one of the best conferences I have attended in quite a while.  That doesn’t surprise me, because for some reason Om Malik and his GigaOM team put together some of the best conferences in the business (I have previously attended Mobilize as an example of another great conference).  What amazes me most is the level of speakers that Om manages to attract … here goes;
  • President of CBS Interactive
  • CEO of Airbnb
  • Chief Creative Officer of frog
  • CTO of Pandora
  • Walmart’s SVP of Global eCommerce
  • Jack Dorsey, inventor of Twitter and now founder of Square
  • The designer of the iPod
  • CEO of (however he couldn’t make it .. shame)
  • CTO of DreamWorks Animation
  • Founder of WordPress
  • Founder and CEO of Dropbox
Yep, they managed to cram all of those thought leaders into one crazy day!
What I liked about the conference is that it wasn’t about technology (per say), it was about humans and the future of humans’ interaction with technology.  That was a brave mandate for a conference but GigaOM pulled it off!
They tackled deep subjects including;
  • open source
  • digital media
  • the cloud
  • content consumption
  • e-health
  • the future of retail
  • the future of books and publishing
  • industrial design
  • democratization of everything
  • connected consumers
  • broadband and what that means to TV
Yep, all in one day!  The format that is Om’s trademark, of “fireside chats” with the thought leaders, kept me engaged and interested.
However …
When I arrived I decided to sit on the very back row because I wanted to conduct an experiment.  One of my sons has ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) so I wanted to see how many people are affected by that when they are in a conference setting.  Here are the results;
Within my field of vision in front of me were around 40 people.  During the morning sessions, around 25% of those people were logged on to their devices, looking at their personal Facebook pages, tweeting, doing business emails, in fact doing anything but listening to these great speakers.  To be fair, people can multi-task, they can listen and type at the same time, but did they have to?
During the afternoon sessions it went from 25% to around 50%; yes, half of the people I could see were doing stuff on their PCs, Macs, netbooks and tablets.
Now I do accept that people are busy and have to respond to emails, however ordering skis online and reading about Rick Perry on CNN; really, did you have to do that during what was a really interesting conference?
I guess that what I was witnessing was the very thing that the conference was discussing; the democratisation of communication, where people can communicate wherever whenever, about whatever, so in that sense it was all good, but did you really have to spend time creating a birthday card for your mom while you should have been listening to the President of CBS Interactive?  You know who you are ;-)
I also looked around to see what devices people were using.  It broke down as follows;
  • 40% laptops
  • 10% netbooks
  • 30% tablets
  • 20% smartphones
So 50% of the people were still using power-hungry keyboard-friendly PC type devices to do their errands while sitting there in the conference.  Tablets are getting there, but most people still preferred a “conventional” device to do their typing (tap tap, click click, how annoying) during the presentations.
Here’s what shocked me the most … one guy, immediately in front of me, was busy typing emails on a … BlackBerry Curve!  Not a new one either, but the 2007 model.  It was badly beaten, with keys missing, but he persevered.  What was he doing in a GigaOM conference in San Fran with a Curve?!  To prove it, I had to snap this picture…
Anyway, check out my GigaOM Roadmap review Part 2 for the deeper dive into what was discussed.
Congratulations to Om and the team for a really compelling event.  And thanks to Kathy Osweiler for the invite.  See you next time for sure!  If you are interested in a really different conference, Roadmap is for you.
Terry Hughes
Managing Director
AppCarousel – the content you care about showcased to your audience

2 Comments on “App Carousel review of GigaOM Roadmap conference: part 1”

  1. […] visit us on the web and on Twitter … App Carousel review of GigaOM Roadmap conference: part 1 […]

  2. […] App Carousel review of GigaOM Roadmap conference: part 1 AppCarousel By Terry Hughes November 10, 2011 […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.