This is really an excellent conference. I am blogging only the sessions that I believe my readers have a direct interest in, but it should be noted that the many interesting sessions are in topics OUTSIDE of what this blog typically covers. I’ll try and summarize some of those events, and add some color to my experience here.
The most surprising aspect of the conference was the high degree of technical aptitude among many of the attendees. I was concerned this was going to be a popcorn tech conference but the discussions and the attendees are of high technical caliber.
I had dinner with several sharp folks from EZ-Chip (LNOP) and sat at a table with an Intel Senior Fellow and a researcher from Hughes Research Labs. I had lunch with folks from Infinera and a company I wasn’t familiar with that sounds interesting – Equinix (EQIX). I spoke with their Chief Technologist and learned more about data centers and carriers. Very nice guy, very sharp guy.
The most mentioned company? YouTube.
There was a presentation on Very Light Jets (VLJ’s) and how they could disrupt air travel. The concept is to have small, cheap, fast aircraft that allow people to bypass the carrier hub-and-spoke model. It struck me as being analogous to migrating from a circuit switched network to a packet switched network… maybe I’m stretching a bit there. Air Taxis cannibalize car travelers or trips that would never have taken place in the first place – not necessarily commercial airline passengers. Air Taxis even convert some of those passengers to learn to fly (Not for me, I’ve run out of gas on the road too may times). One thing struck me- there were lots of heavy financial hitters in the audience- what a great advertising opportunity for the VLJ guys. They were literally mobbed on stage by the audience at the conclusion of the panel.
Michael Milken made a great presentation about how America must adapt to a world rapidly evolving due to financial and medical revolutions. Some quick factoids from his pitch:
While readers may disagree, I have always admired Milken as a financial innovator. He is also an excellent speaker who is pursuing initiatives that I agree with wholeheartedly (Teacher merit pay, privatizing education).
There were more presentations on Medical technology after dinner, a very straightforward and moving pitch by scientist Arthur Robinson.
I don’t feel like I am doing justice to the simplicity and clarity of Mr. Robiinsons arguments.
That’s day one. I have two more session summaries to write up, very interesting discussions about data center hardware and ‘The Death of the All Optical Network’. You really get your moneys worth with this conference – it runs 8AM to 9PM. It leaves little time for getting work done, and getting blogging done.
This post is one of a series as I blog the Gilder Telecosm 2006 conference. All posts can be found by searching for ‘Telecosm 2006’.