Thursday, February 1, 2007

Deloitte's Crystal Ball/Guy Kawasaki - My Busy Day, Part 2

Before attending last night's launch, I was at a really great breakfast session put on by Deloitte. This was their annual Predictions event, and is my second one. Last year featured Jim Balsillie of RIM, and this year's guest speaker was Guy Kawasaki.

The market researcher in me loves these events, as it's a great showcase for Deloitte's research on the big trends they think will shape TMT - Technology, Media, Telecommunications - in 2007. I've maintained a dialog with their London-based research practice, and really appreciate all the work that goes into this. In total, they produce 30 key predictions - 10 for each TMT sector - and there's a lot of output behind these. I'm not going to get into it here, but if you want to explore this further, please drop me a line.

Nick Foggin, one of their Senior Researchers, did a great job highlighting the top 10 TMT trends overall in terms of impact on Canada. We could have been there all day, and I'll just give you the key takeaways now. Basically, the uber message is "power to the people". As we all know, IP has a lot to do with enabling end users to get whatever they want, wherever they want, whenever they want, etc. Sounds like Homer Simpson to me, and if aliens came to visit us, they'd think the planet was full of 2 year olds who only understand instant gratification. I'm being a bit cynical here, and maybe showing my age, but hey, that's reality, and it's tough to swim up the IP stream. So, as consultants would say - and as John Ruffolo noted in his opening remarks, the focus has shifted now from product functionality to the end user experience. No argument there.

Some of the themes that caught my eye from Nick's presentation was the greening of technology (where do all those spent iPods go???), analog media isn't dead yet!, and virtual worlds/user generated content are powerful trends from which great business opportunities will emerge. Yes, yes, yes.

Following Nick was Guy Kawasaki, who I have only recently begun to follow. He's certainly a big name and I'd love to read his books. As you can see from his website, he's a VC, author, speaker and one of the top bloggers out there. If you're not following him, you should.

His perspective is really great, and gave everyone food for thought on a few levels. He was particularly well received here as he is an avid hockey fanatic, and told us how he just recently took up ice hockey and just loves Canada. Whoo hoo!

He provided some highlights from his latest book, Art of the Start, and is real big on innovation. I really liked his message of striving not just to be 10% better than before, but to "jump the curve" and redefine your space. Canadians tend to be more conservative than Americans, and hopefully this message was well taken.

I'll say this much about that. As I'm writing this post, I realized that this is exactly what happened today, right here in Canada. This morning, Videotron and Cisco announced their plans to provide 100 mbps broadband service in the next few months. That's a good 5 times faster than any broadband service in Canada, and if that's not jumping the curve, I don't know what is. Of course, it remains to be seen how much bandwidth consumers really need, and if they're willing to pay for it, but no matter - it's here, now. And if I'm Verizon or AT&T, I'd be watching this one closely. Videotron is being bold and innovative here, and the spoils will be theirs in Quebec if they execute right. And if they do, Cisco will have a big green light to do the same with TWC, Comcast, Cox, etc. How's that for a game-changer? You can read more about it here.

Oh - Guy also has a great sense of humor, and had a lot of fun taking jabs at the woeful Toronto Maple Leafs. Best line - "Why do I believe in God? It's the only explanation I can think of for Apple's continued existence." Hah - that was great! Being an Apple Fellow, Guy knows of what he speaks, and gave many fascinating anecdotes about Apple's culture as well as the Silicon Valley psyche. Time well spent.

I'll leave you with some photos from my pocket pal, the Nokia N93....

John Ruffolo, Guy Kawasaki



To think differently, you need to look at things differently....


Q&A panel, w/John Ruffolo, Nick Foggin, Guy Kawasaki and Garry Foster


Hockey - the great unifier....


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ipcom said...

Posted by: Jim Courtney

So interesting to see a Sharks fan in a Leafs jersey. Gary spoke at the Banff VC conference in 2003 and was hosted in the area by one of the owners of the Flames. I still refer to some of his slides as reference material.

ipcom said...

Posted by: Erika Ujvari


I'm just a curious fan of technology and I happened to work with Nick Foggin once upon a time in Budapest for Orange.

Do you think you can put me in touch with him?
Just curious about the way he is and sees the world nowadays.


Erika Ujvari