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Exchanging Innovative Ideas - WCIT2006

Posted by johnreynolds on May 3, 2006 at 11:59 AM PDT

My memories of Tuesday's WCIT2006 Innovation Exchange are a bit of a blur, but it sure was fun. I volunteered to help out, and was assigned to help usher speakers to and from the podium... We started at 8:00 am, and ran non-stop until 6:00 pm... 17 speakers from Texas, Malaysia, Australia, Korea, Taiwan, Cambodia, Australia, Canada, and Mexico... and that was in only one of three meeting halls.

The Innovation Exchange was coordinated by Rebecca Judis... who volunteered for WCIT2006 last year but ended up as a Vice President for the convention ( you should always be careful what you volunteer for... it can end up taking over your life).

The pattern for the Innovation Exchange was the "Venture Capital Pitch"... 25 minutes to sell yourself and your idea to potential investors or partners. My meeting hall was filled with a mix of governments and companies... come and do business in our country, and come do business with my company.

I learned a great deal... Malaysia is like Silicon Valley but with Hawaii's climate; Koreans work too many hours a week, but that's changing; Cambodia is slowly but surely recovering from the Khmer Rouge; Mexico graduates 34,000 programmers a year. I took notes, but the sessions have still blended in my little gray cells, so I appologize in advance for any mistakes.

Some of the business pitches really roped me in... these were marketing pitches, not technical pitches... so they really focused in on relevence: Why is this technology useful? What problem will this software/hardware solve?

Joel Trammell did a great job of explaining NetQOS by using an analogy of "The mayor and city traffic": When a reporter asks the mayor "How's traffic today?" the mayor needs to be able to say "Pretty good" or "Really awful", and have a short justification... Outlining all the road closures and construction delays is overkill... the mayor needs something simple like transit time: "Traffic is pretty good, the average commute today is only 20 minutes".
NetQOS does something like this for networks... it can tell you the average transit times for messages in the network, and it can tell you where the time is being spent in your infrastructure.

Mark Spiloto pitched his company iKnowWare (pronounced "I know where")... a device agnostic view of what you need to know based on business rules, privledges and personalized views. Mark had a side-splitting video for their product... hopefully he will post it on iKnowWare's web site.


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