Being one of the late arrivals on Monday afternoon, I’ve pretty much missed all the great introductions with the many bloggers that HP sponsored. I quickly check into my hotel room, run to registration, just to barely make the initial Opening Keynote for Monday night.
“Opening Keynote - Kunal Nayyar”
FANTASTIC opening! Kunal Nayyar (from the Big Bang Theory) was the initial opener. A video of him played at first, using scenes from "A Space Odessy" and "HAL 9000". He was overacting to be funny, HAL was implying that he no longer works for us.... that we have to do something for "him".
Funny and open guy. Loves technology. Talking about stories about sitting ‘Indian Style’ (but where he is from, it’s just called ‘sitting) and hearing stories about how spoiled he is from Technology from his parents.
“Main Speaker - Chris Andersen”
The main speaker was Chris Andersen, Editor-in-Chief for WIRED magazine. This guy not only knows technology, but has the charisma and thinking of Steve Jobs. He isn’t the editor-in-chief for 812,000 readers for nothing! He's also a public speaker, written 2 books, and is the founder of "DIY Drones and 3D Robotics".
“Consumer services are better than the enterprise”
He talks about “Big Technology Trends”. He reminds us that prior to (circa 2007) enterprise technology was greater and more outpaced than that of consumer devices and services. Businesses had all the cool devices, the fast servers, the high-data-storage. However, a shift happened, and consumer services have now out-paced the enterprise.
If you don’t believe me, just look at your corporate email. Storage limits, right? Maybe 1 or 2GB? Gmail: 10GB. Open your web browser at work…. can you get to “questionable sites”? You can from home. How about your personal devices? iPhone, iPad, playstation…. not at work. Even some people would rather work from home because “they have faster internet access”. Chris explains that in order to be successful to our end-users, this trend MUST change. I would submit to you that it’s not a question of whether you should change, but rather, how to change.
Instead of forcing end-users to the age-old paradigm of “Enterprise Policies”, we need to give the users what they need. Information, when THEY need it, and HOW they want to get it. That makes them productive. It gives them flexibility. It gives them freedom. Because if we, the company, do not give it to them, they’ll just find a way themselves anyway, probably causing more grief in the long run.
Not an easy feat. Have you met us IT people? We love control! There is a compromisable (did I just make that word up?) medium, we just have to get creative to find it.
“Technology is a personal statement”
Mr. Andersen then goes on about how Technology is a personal statement. His statement that I love is, “Pull a phone out at a bar, and you will be judged”. He’s right! People judge you on the personal devices that you carry. What you carry determines your personality, and who you are. Are you a blackberry, an iPhone, an Android? If you are still a “flip phone”, people will probably make snark remarks and determine you “not fit” in the social circles.
“Be Open to new ideas and employees”
“We hire people with ‘filters’”, he goes on. These filters are based on the school they’ve attended, the certifications they’ve received, . He recommends that we hire young and fresh people. These are the “digital” people. The ones that know how a digital world works, and can move around technology like we navigate the browser. You listen to them, and feed them your challenges. You might just be pleasantly surprised.
He concluded with his “Top 10” list:
- Tablets/Mobility - Everyone is carrying them. It’s the “instant-on” effect. It fits into their lifestyle. We must adapt.
- Openness - Be open to people you are hiring or need to listen to. Unfortunately, the best person for the job does not work for you; Whether it’s because they are too young, live in a different country, etc.
- Technology is a personal statement
- Featherweight Apps - The best apps are the ones that do one thing REALLY well, versus an app that does many things but only mediocre.
- The Cloud First - Bring technology to the users…. don’t bring the users to the technology.
- Sync’ing - It’s thoughtless. You do it once, and it’s everywhere. Evernote and Dropbox is an example. You can use it as implicit communications. Tell you when your team does something, instead of having your team tell you. It’s there, quick, and real-time.
- Social Media - Use the masses to gain valuable data
- Evernote - Unstructured data, but usable information.
- Security - Trust and scale matters. Chris then explains to put your trust in the large companies. This is because they are attacked all the time, and require the best security engineers.
- Blurred Lines - The line between work and play are blurring. Make data available everywhere.
In conclusion, the first day of HP Discover was absolutely phenomenal. Being my first time here, it may be easy to impress me. I have been to many conferences before, but nothing at this scale. HP truly has a story to tell, in every aspect of your business.