AlwaysOn Live webcast 29th-31st January now!

January 30, 2007

A bit late but…

AlwaysOn is pleased to be broadcasting its entire AlwaysOn Media NYC event from January 29 – 31st to an online audience all over the world at no cost to viewers. Today’s program is posted below.
AlwaysOn Media NYC -- January 29-31, 2007

The Webcast is live today from 8:30am – 6:00pm EST. Viewers can join in the discussion by asking questions and sharing comments and see them beamed up on the big screen at our event.

Click here to watch the
webcast and join us in NYC!

All the presentations will be archived on this site as well.

Trevor Baylis and Virgin Galactic – huh?

January 25, 2007

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…

MobileMonday theme, Bubble 2.0?

January 17, 2007

Along with a colleague, I attended the London chapter meeting of mobilemonday whose raisin d’etre is to be a community of mobile professionals.

They describe themselves with the following words:

“The open community promotes the mobile industry and fosters cooperation and networking among people in the industry and their companies by providing opportunities for personal and virtual contacts.”

If you click through to the London site you can sign up to their newsletter and see the proposed subjects of future meetings.

Tom Hume (thanks for the link Sam) has provided a content thread of the event so I’ll not duplicate that here.

The subject of the panel was concerned with whether we were experiencing a bubble 2.0 along similar lines to bubble 1.0. Although the discussion was erudite, due to the quality of the panel members, I can’t say I gained a lot of additional insight to the chosen theme.

We should not forget that it was a mobile oriented event and not one looking at Internet-based Web 2.0 stuff, so listening to the discussion with a mobile filter switched on, I had the most curious feeling of deja vu throughout the evening. Having sat through many such events and vendor presentations on the subject of WAP services during the late 1990s it struck me that there is a view that not much has changed in the intervening years.

One of the aspects of bubble 1.0 that was not mentioned, was that were back then oodles of start-ups trying to force fit services onto an embryonic Internet infrastructure that could not support them from a performance perspective at the time. The service concepts were fine but they were just a decade too early! Two examples of this are video telephony and ASP services (services hosted in the network rather than running on your local PC).

Nearly all of these ventures were doomed from the start because performance and reliability of the extant IP networks turned out to be marginal at best (this was one of the contributing factors to the subsequent market crash, along with much too money being invested in these non-workable concepts). With Internet services, all that is pretty much behind us now that we have such a high penetration of broadband in homes. Perhaps if, like Snow White, those entrepreneurs had gone to sleep for a decade and woken up in 2006 they would now be in a position to really deliver all those innovative services of yesteryear!

It strikes me, if we can put 3 / 3.5G to one side for the moment, that in this sense we are replicating bubble 1.0 again. It could be conjectured that this is where we are again with today’s mobile data and content services with many good ideas being stifled by:

  • the poor level of mobile network infrastructure performance.
  • the severely limited capabilities of the mobile phone itself – principally screen size.

Today, mobile service evangelists are busily developing sensible content-based services but take up is constrained because of poor user experience. This leads to poor revenue which is compounded by the perceived need to make services free with a contribution to cost derived from advertising.

Overall, it was an enjoyable and useful evening and it’s always pleasing to see how buoyant the UK really is with entrepreneurial energy.

Maybe today’s mobile entrepreneurs should go to sleep and wake up ten years from now to find that much neeeded mobile infrastructure that could deliver a user experience that would be second to none?

Let’s hope that bubble 2.0 is different from bubble 1.0 and this is not required!