Wednesday, May 25, 2005

VON Europe - Day 2/3 Update

My previous posting was very rushed at the end of Day 1. Day 3 is just about done now, and the show has been great so far. The show floor opened last night, and the energy was really strong. Lots of exhibitors and traffic, and as you may heard by now if you're following other coverage, this is the best VON Europe yet, and people are here from over 65 countries. That's a pretty good cross section of the global telecom marketplace, and no doubt, there's a lot of good learning going on.

The only issue for me has been the spotty WiFi access, which is the main reason I haven't been able to post since Monday. Just have a few minutes to post, so here are some highlights to pass on...

Jeff's keynote - Shift Happens. Love the title, and it reflects what's happening now with IP. He gave a great example of this in his flight to Stockholm last weekend. Flying at 35,000 feet, he was able to make Skype calls with great sound quality and minimal delay. Gives a whole new meaning to the mile high club, and really shows you what mobility can mean these days. For more detail and photos of his experience, check out Jeff's blog posting.

Also, I thought Jeff made a very cogent point towards the end of his talk. As we slip into parenthood, it seems inevitable - no matter how hard we try - that a generation gap develops with our kids. When we were kids, Jeff noted this gap was shaped and based on things like music or politics or fashion. Well, today that gap is about technology, and I totally agree with that. This is not a trivial point for anyone connected to IP, and it reminds me of one of Jeff's famous messages from a recent VON - if you have product managers over the age of 30, you're in trouble. As they say on the Simpsons, it's funny...because it's true.

Speaking of being on the wrong end of the gap, my battery is dying, and there's no way I can finish my posting now. Will be back as soon as I can - want to share my thoughts about presentations by Niklas Zennstrom and James Enck.

Until then, I just had to share this photo with you. I don't have Jeff's mega digital camera - it's pretty cool, but check this photo out. It's a really neat public art installation - floating serenely on the water just outside the Royal Palace. Don't see stuff like this every day. Thanks to Robin Batt for taking the photo!

Apologies - the photo below is cut off on the right side, so you can only see part of the image. There is also a floating nose, believe it or not. I don't have access to a photo editor right now, but will fix this and re-post in the next day or so. Hope you come back - it's worth seeing!

Ladyinlake VON Europe[1].jpg

1 comment:

ipcom said...

Posted by: Ronald Gruia

Hi Jon -

You mentioned the following statement:

"...if you have product managers over the age of 30, you're in trouble. As they say on the Simpsons, it's funny...because it's true."

I disagree, and let me explain to you why. I am still a thirty-something year old, but dispute the above statement, and more - I would say that someone in their fourties who is a techie at heart would make a darn good product manager. The reason why I say that is that the 40-somethings that were teenage hacker kids back in the late 70's had to put computer systems together around that time. They are pretty knowledgeable and can catch on the wave, and I would argue, have the benefit of experience on their side (besides being extremely well versed from a technical standpoint). And even going above and beyond that age range, there are always exceptions to these so-called "rules" of "conventional wisdom". Case in point: Dr. Henry Sinnreich, who is absolutely a "young kid" at heart, and whom I constantly see testing the latest gadgets.

The above quote actually is symptomatic of something which I find quite disturbing here in North America: the lack of respect for more senior/experienced people. Youth certainly has a lot of value, but I think it is also very important to respect the opinion of more experienced people. The problem: the latter seldom happens here in North America. It is a completely different experience from other regions of the world, including Europe and Latin America, where that input is valued a lot more.

Enjoy Stockholm and be sure to visit Gamla Stan and the National Museum!