While Comcast is best known these days for sponsoring youth technology programs, we remember adults need technology too! Today we’re one of the sponsors of the tech conference Deploy 2010 at the Bell Harbor Convention Center.
There are people from large companies here, like Microsoft and Amazon, but most of the couple hundred folks in the crowd are men and women with entrepreneurial dreams. They’re fueling all sorts of ingenious technologies companies than range in size from just a couple people to medium-sized corporations.
Much of the discussion flew over this poster’s head – as I type this, the speaker is talking about protocol buffers which I assume has something to do with bumper cars – but there was also a lot of practical advice. The conference is led by Jennifer Cabala, former TV journalist turned startup guru, who works at Seattle 2.0, and Chris Pirillo, the tech pioneer.
There’s a moving record of the event available on Twitter, and an even more amazing map of the content by Jeff Barr. I’d refer you to those if you want depth. But a few things caught my eyes and ears. A number of startups were showcased, and I was intrigued by one that says it will tell you how to appeal if you are paying too much on your property taxes. Just goes to show there’s always going to be something new coming around. Other companies highlighted at the event range from Maptini, where you can alter and share maps in real time with friends over all sorts of devices, to BigDoor, a company that says it can help a business’ customers play interactive games on websites (which if you think about what people are doing on Facebook with all those &%%$ farm animals and mobsters, seems like a good thing to offer)
One thing that’s clear is that the iPad and pads in general are booming, with a significant percentage of people at this conference carrying those around the room. I’m glad Comcast is building for the iPad as well. There’s been a lot of talk about how smart tech developers are building applications for mobile phone and the iPad.
It’s the lead speakers who’ve inspired a lot of thought. What sticks in my mind are the comments by the first speaker, Bob Walsh, who warned the audience that technical competency is not enough. You have to get noticed, and right now, with phones, televisions, computers, not to mention real people, howling for your time, the big commodity is attention. “Attention is the new scarce resource. Compared to 2000 we have an infinite number of users (on the Internet,) but what we don’t have is their attention,” Walsh told the audience. And so he told the audience that the secret is … develop a compelling story. I was happy to hear that. The concept of telling a compelling story goes way back before technology, way back even before Homer and Shakespeare.
There’s never been any time in history when you could learn more than you can learn now. What are you choosing you learn? How are you spending your time?
Chances are, you’re doing what people having been doing throughout history: choosing to spend your time on the basis of what’s of greatest interest to you right now. And that’s the basis of conferences like Deploy: matching the truth of human nature with the incredible potential of technology.