February 1 2011
I've never been in the Lotusphere opening general session and don't have any plans to anytime soon. The senior execs take the stage, the product managers do the demos. Middle management -- we sit up front and shake hands, and for several years I've also done the blog and tweet thing. That's good enough for me. In fact, I don't watch rehearsals, I don't ask who the guest speaker will be, and I -- like you -- am generally seeing things for the first time in that session. A ton of work goes into it -- Chris Reckling has been blogging about what the OGS team does, for months before the conference -- and I have much respect for what they accomplish.
In previous Lotuspheres, I've presented breakout sessions from the main stage. At Lotusphere 2010, Kevin Cavanaugh and I did the messaging and collaboration strategy session together. There were two key differences this year -- the room divider about halfway back was not up, meaning there were 2000+ mostly-filled seats in one room, and Kevin is in a new role. Yesterday, walking out on that stage alone, despite all my professional speaking experience, was a bit intimidating. Oddly, in some ways I was more nervous about the session after it was done, because I was able to find out through Twitter, blogs, and hallway conversations who was in my audience. Press, analysts, friends, senior executives from IBM, competitors. It was actually much easier to just look out at a sea of humanity than it was to think about those individuals whilst on stage.
I felt the session went well. We came in at exactly 60 minutes, though with the late start that meant running over time and a few people had to leave early. With the big room, it was hard to gauge reactions. What I was told throughout the afternoon was that you all were paying attention. I did from time to time see a heck of a lot of cameras pointed at the big screen, so some of what we were talking about must have been interesting or relevant. I heard applause and shouts. I saw the blogger den busily writing. And I heard the laughter as I squinted at monitors that seemed stuck in the display mode that would work for slides designed for the 100 foot big screen, not a 16:9 ratio.
All the comments on Twitter about content and attitude were most appreciated. Regarding the teleprompter, it wasn't an option, even if I had wanted it -- which I didn't. I was confident in the content of the session, though I left out two things. One I'm going to save for later in the week -- you won't leave Orlando without hearing it -- and the other was added into a different session. Unscripted, I hit 95% of my objectives.
I think the format of bringing up business partners as punctuation to specific chapters worked. I'm not a panel discussion guy, and I felt like my team has enough stage time in their own sessions that you didn't need to see them in the INV105 setting. These business partners -- Marc Gingras of Tungle, Eddie Hasicka of Synaptris, Nathan Freeman of GBS, and Eileen Fitzgerald of GSX -- exemplify to me the community and passion that has been the core of the Notes/Domino community for well more than a decade. It was a privilege and an honor to have the opportunity to invite them -- friends and colleagues -- to the stage. And to the cynics, no, GBS's sponsorship had nothing to do with Nathan being there--it was important for me to highlight their XPages modernization approach, and I would have done it if it was from Bobs-your-uncle consulting.
So here are the slides. I've even flagged them as available for download from slideshare. We don't often post Lotusphere segment strategy presentations as available, but you all need this content in your daily work. I'm happy to take questions here, or you can save them for Thursday's Ask the Product Managers session. Once again, thanks for attending, for your feedback and support, and for your friendship. Being center stage is not a responsibility I took lightly -- and you made it all worth it.