I had an intense three days in San Francisco and the Bay area, ostensibly here for Web 2.0 Expo but in the end deciding that my time had better uses.  I was indeed at Web 2.0 Expo on Tuesday, but other than some digerati interactions and a few interesting customer/prospect conversations, I didn't get much out of it.  The conference did not quite seem to have a clear focus, and I say that with respect to the organizers (having been one of the advisory board members).  They received over 1000 session abstract proposals, and have many, many competing interests and topic areas.  I hope that they'll narrow a bit for future events.

Having determined that my time in California this week could be better spent elsewhere, I did a whole bunch of meetings in Silicon Valley.  I'm not the type to kiss and tell, but I will say that I met with Apple.  Twitter followers saw me ask this for this already -- I'm looking for companies that have done significant iPhone (or iPad) deployments using Lotus Notes Traveler.  Just via Twitter, I received many responses to this, so thank you.  The opportunity is an interesting one around telling the story of the power of the two together, so if you fit the bill, do let me know.

It's clear to me this week that iPhone and iPad are core to Apple's future, and to what I need to think about as we evolve our mobile strategy -- heck, our client strategy -- for Lotus solutions.  Apple has set their goals and is driving towards them, as Seeking Alpha commented earlier today:

In an environment in which the force of progress is based on perfection, evolution, and smoothing of edges, as opposed to, say, replacing the typewriter and calculator with a computer in every home, the trait that may have been negative thirty years ago could be a valuable asset now. Control, attention to detail, a closed architecture based on superior design and quality manufacture, are good things when the object is not a new technology as much as a superior alternative.
I also stepped away from my meetings for an hour in the sun, working with IBM communications to create a few short video-blogs about stuff going on with IBM Lotus.  Here's one:

We filmed these at the Hakone Gardens in Saratoga.  Just unbelievably beautiful on a perfect spring day.  En route to my next meeting, I was distracted by a banner for a restaurant called "Shanghai Dumplings".  A few u-turns later, I was eating steaming hot "dragon dumplings" (Xiao Long Bao), which are pork dumplings that somehow have a soupy filling along with the meat.  Only white guy in the place, so I knew it was going to be good, though I was incredibly surprised when the waitress asked me "first time here?" and then proceeded to make sure I ordered the correct little pillows of heaven.

As I said in my previous blog entry, I need to spend more time out here.  I want to get connected to new Web 2.0 companies that we should be integrating with Notes.  I need to spend more time in meetings with key partners.  And I need to do this all in May and with family and a few days of vacation tacked on, as I am doing now in a beautiful hotel room overlooking Monterey Bay.  The personal side of this week has been so good, several friends have asked me when I'm moving out here.  It can't happen, but when you bring your wife to San Francisco for her first visit and it's absolutely perfect, the bar is immediately raised.  I guess I'll be back, soon.

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