Trevor Baylis and Virgin Galactic – huh?

I just received an email from Mike Southon famous for his book The Beermat Entrepreneur and his regular evening network meetings. Mike could sell, as well as talk, a hind leg off a donkey and he is always an inspirational speaker in his own right. In this month’s newsletter, he provided a link to an MP3 interview with Trevor Baylis.Of course, you will remember Trevor as the inventor of the clockwork radio from a few years back. In the free podcast you can hear about his early life, but if you want to get up to date you will have buy the full interview.

That interview reminded me of the IT Futures conference for CIOs that I attended in November. It wasn’t so much the formal technical presentations that stuck in my brain, but the two special presenters they brought in.

The first was Stephen Attenborough who had the fabulous job title of VP, Astronaut Relations! The company? Virgin Galactic of course! If you go to their web site choose the flash version (Now that is definitely a first for me).

Virgin Galactic is the world’s first spaceline.  Giving you the groundbreaking opportunity to become one of the first ever non-professional astronauts.  Virgin Galactic will own and operate its privately built spaceships, modelled on the remarkable, history-making SpaceShipOne.

Virgin’s vast experience in aviation, adventure, luxury travel and cutting-edge design combined with the unique technology developed by Burt Rutan will ensure an unforgettable experience unlike any other available to mankind.

Stephen’s presentation was one of the most entertaining I’ve seen for years. It had nothing to do with IT, but I guarantee everyone in that audience of CIOs will remember the IT Futures conference for years.

You can see the movie about the $1,000,000 X-prize and even book your $100,000 seat for your personal trip into space! SpaceShipOne made three flights into space with altitudes greater than 100km during 2004, culminating with X Prize winning flight on 4th October 2006. Quite mind blowing and such positive PR for Richard Branson as the sponsor and for entrepreneurial UK.

The second guest speaker in the lunch break was Trevor Baylis and I had the luck (or initiative?) to sit next to him for lunch. Trevor now focuses on helping inventors, entrepreneurs and designers to evaluate ands protect their ideas. His business is called Trevor Baylis Brands.

If you ever have a chance to meet Trevor you will certainly have an experience to remember. He is brilliantly outspoken, non-PC, opinionated, full of anecdotes and totally passionate about what he does. He said “why shouldn’t I be?”… “I’m beholden to no one, in my 70s and I want to prevent other inventors from being screwed.”

He’s had other ideas than the clockwork radio but the mobile phone charger built into the heel of a shoe “wasn’t received too well” several years back!

That conference was organised by Richard Tribe of Revolution Events and if you need a memorable conference you couldn’t do better than to give him a call.

Now what was it that Sun was talking about after the Virgin Galactic presentation? SOA something? No, I’m only joking. As Sun was one of the sponsors of this excellent conference I was all ears…

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