By all accounts, the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference was once again a tremendous event. (And once again, I couldn’t make it!) I’m filtering through the blog coverage, though of course that’s no substitute for being there.
As a conference organizer myself, I’m delighted to see events like ETech be so successful. It confirms the convictions that were my basis for starting “Supernova.”
- Contrary to popular belief, innovation hasn’t stopped. There are exceptionally exciting technologies and companies out there. Some are solving new problems, while others have new approaches for big old problems that haven’t gone away. Why did we ever think the NASDAQ index was a proxy for the health of the technology industry?
- The exciting innovations are inter-related, in ways we don’t yet have words for. Social software, Weblogs, rich Internet applications, Web services, unlicensed wireless, grid computing, digital identity, broadband media. We keep seeing more connections pop up everywhere. I believe decentralization is the most useful prism with which to understand these developments, but it’s not the only one.
- We’re experiencing a generational shift. "Yesterday" now means the emergence of the Web, not the PC industry. It’s time for a new crop of innovators, leaders, and conferences. Of course, some of those who grew up in the prior era will make the transition and offer their valuable experience. But the reference points have changed.
I don’t see O’Reilly as a direct competitor. Our audiences are different, our formats are different, and there’s room for more than one killer tech conference on the calendar. I hope we both experience continued growth and success.