I found these guys via Ernie the Attorney via Scoble's Red Couch. They're GREAT! Three patent attorneys sharing a blog that are themselves blawgers (which must be punny to lawyers who are wordsmiths by trade). I'm barely through the first few posts and I had to share. Part Seth Godin (in calling the value question), part RedMonk (questioning the status quo business model), and very funny. They're latest posts:
Matt Asay blogs that the presentations from OSBC are going up online. The keynotes are here. For other presentations, start here on the tracks page, and when you bring up the abstracts page you'll see the download presentation link if it's available. Jason Matusow and r0ml's talks are up as well as the keynotes, with lots of legal talks in the queue.
As well the recordings of the keynotes are beginning to appear on ITConversations (with an RSS feed).
IDG really really really needs to learn how to publish a conference website. Putting the author's name beside their talk like this or this would be incredibly helpful. Having a conference at a glance page (again with the authors) would be really helpful. As a company that does this professionally, one might think they had learned this.
I'm trying something new with the presentation format here. Historically I've wrestled with slides that were boring lists of bullets with the occasional animation, that evolved to a style while at Microsoft of incredible text density and layout work where PowerPoint had become a page layout tool for paper presentations rather than a presentation tool. I'm trying to go "more visual" and simpler in the slides, and actually present the material while on stage. Of course that means the slides aren't necessarily helpful after the fact because the examples and context are missing. So I've added the "notes" sections directly to the slides and I'm hoping the deck now stands alone. Comments would be most welcome.
All the presentations and articles from Optaros employees are being archived here.
The second Open Source Business Conference took place last week. First, an apology. I really had every intention of blogging live as I did at the OSDL Enterprise Linux Summit in January and the conference simply got ahead of me and then I was in catch-up mode. So instead I've pulled together a summary of all the brilliant links with some commentary along the way. If you missed the conference this will give you the flavour of it all without the bad hotel coffee at break time.
The conference kicked off with an opening keynote from Sun's Jonathan Schwartz. His blog entry covers his keynote on the Participation Age. Overall a mostly entertaining keynote, (I've not seen him speak before) but you've probably also seen it reported as Schwartz "attacking the GPL." The Groklaw coverage is here although it's a bit extreme in lambasting Jonathan. Of course he is essentially being a senior vendor executive delivering the company message so one has to take the message liberally salted.
Here's the ZDNet coverage of Jonathon's keynote as well. As reported, he also did the tired dance around not opening the source of Java because it might diverge from the "standard". I had the pleasure of having that same discussion in a panel at OSBC last year with SunSoft CTO John Fowler. At the time when Mr. Fowler tried that line on the audience I pointed out:
Apache hasn't diverged off the HTTP spec since it was created.
sendmail hasn't diverged off the SMTP spec since the software implemented it.
The flip side IS true: at least one key OEM vendor in the mid-nineties shipped a C compiler that broke conformance with the ISO/ANSI C specification and didn't discover it until post-release. They were very quiet about it until the next release cycle when they could re-align with the standard.
Sorry Sun, you'll have to do better than that excuse. And since Java isn't a de jure standard and you control the community process and the branding program, I still can't see how you'll loose control of the name and the spec and the implementation, etc. etc.
Jonathan's discussions around other topics were insightful, but you certainly had the feeling throughout that you were only seeing the large-vendor-approved-message without some of the context or concerns. It would have been nice at something like the Open Source Business Conference to see the complete discussion that went on inside Sun. A little bit of opening the kimono would have gone a long way.
Jonathan was followed by Larry Augustin in his new role as CEO at Medsphere. Here's a good blog summary of his presentation. The most fun was when he pointed out that if you take a traditional software company's SEC filing, and reduce R&D expense, dramatically drop sales and marketing costs (because customer's self select when they can try for free), and drop licensing revenues, you can still apply the typical MBA ratios and the numbers don't look bad.
Day one was also the day we got another r0ml presentation. (Please remember I have the extreme pleasure of working with r0ml at Optaros.) As always, he forced us to think about things differently with a discussion around the Paradox of Choice, starting with some thinking from the book of the same title. The finest bit of brain manipulation he did was to begin the conversation around organizing your IT software portfolio like a financial portfolio (i.e. diversity is good), which means you can actually apply some risk and option analysis to it. Then start thinking about your enterprise support agreements from your large vendors and bond laddering to manage the future risk. There could be a whole new set of financial tools for the corp procurement staff to use in their next discussions with vendors. r0ml's slides are here (938.8K).
Another classic keynote was Geoff Moore of Crossing the Chasm fame. Ross Mayfield took exceptional notes and has posted them on his blog. They capture the presentation perfectly. One fun thing done at the start of the keynote (with a hat tip to James Surowiecki's The Wisdom of Crowds) was Mr. Moore put several OSS projects up on his modified bell curve representing the tech adoption life cycle and asked for the audience to confirm where the projects sit today. Read Ross's blog to see the results.
Ross Mayfield's blog has a couple of different OSBC entries covering the areas in which he was interested or directly involved. You'll find some great reads:
Larry Lessig gave a keynote again this year. This is the fourth time I've seen him speak. Every time is a genuine pleasure. He covered familiar ground on the coming battle where large vendors will attempt to use patents and a patent system that's under siege to control innovation and creativity to protect their businesses. In the questions at the end, when asked what we can do about it all, he reminded us (again) to consider how much we give to the cable company on a monthly basis versus funding to non-profits like the EFF that are fighting the battle for us in the courts.
Mårten Mickos (MySQL) gave a keynote during the second afternoon, and it was as thought provoking and entertaining as always. He remains one of the few CEOs that seems to give a real presentation on his business (as he did at LinuxWorld) and how they think about open source at MySQL. You get the feeling he really is presenting the thinking and not corporate speak. The topic at hand was Lagom, the Swedish concept of finding balance — neither doing too much or too little of something. The MySQL Users Conference is coming up next week and he'll be presenting there as well.
The idea that large companies can present a real and balanced discussion
without messaging to us still seems lost on them. Why do the big vendors
continue to think this is appropriate? I missed the opening keynotes
the second morning. (I attended the OSI board meeting and met the new board). There was some infomercial work apparently going on in the keynotes based on the hallway comments later. Large vendors still don't get it. Even when they blog, an audience can still smell messaging. Give me company CEOs with real discussions like Augustin and Mickos every time, even if they don't have time to blog.
Here are some excellent wrap up links:
Matt Asay (conference creator and organizer) summarized his experiences here.