Yesterday was the first day of our global sales conference (aka MGX) in Orlando. We sat in the Amway Arena and listened to our executives review the year, talk about our next financial year and recognize outstanding achievements. I was fortunate enough to have been in the outstanding achievement group which meant spending some time closer than usual to Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates and others. Quite a day with two highlights:
Yesterday showed me once again that I work for an amazing company with amazing people. To be in the presence of Bill was great but to get a photo with him was a fine,fine moment. You don't often get this close to your heroes!
I love Blaise Aguera's demos and this one of SeaDragon and Photosynth at WorldWide Partner Conference was as good as ever. His style is very humble and simple despite the fact he's showing off some of the coolest technology we have in the locker. SeaDragon feels like 21st century microfiche to me and there is huge potential in digital advertising and media.
[update] - even cooler demo from TED
Scott pinged this test to me. Clearly nonsense....it's Facebook I'm weening myself off. Having said that, Darren Strange did remark when seeing me in the atrium last week that he couldn't believe I wasn't blogging!
Want one? The easiest way to get one this week is to show up to my session at WorldWide Partner Conference tomorrow here in Denver. Just come up at the end of the session and ask me for a sticker - though you have to commit to put it on your laptop and share a photo with me!
My session is SM0014 at 3pm in Room 406 - Engaging Customers Using Web 2.0 Technology
Yep, this is a shameless plug :)
Blue Monster has had a good few weeks on tour. Philippa got some great shots during her road trip on the west coast and I hooked up with some old and new friends in Denver and Orlando to spread the word. Frank Arrigo spotted the Blue Monster twice during sessions at Microsoft's MGX conference and I of course used it during my own presentation at Worldwide Partner Conference. I also sent out some stickers to Sarah from 10 and Mary Jo Foley and Sarah pinged my back a photo of it on her laptop. That's all I ask of people if you have a sticker - put in on your laptop (ideally) and send me a photo (or just publish it to the Facebook group).
I also had a photo opportunity with Steve Ballmer, Kevin Turner and Jean Philippe Courtois and took the opportunity to hand Steve my Blue Monster business card. His words - "I love it - thanks". I didn't quite have the gumption to give it to Bill :)
What's been very interesting this last two weeks has been the amount of people who have seen the image and like it. I must have met about 30 people who said they loved it. Slowly but surely it's getting around the world and changing perceptions and starting conversations. I (and I know Hugh feel's the same) could never have imagined it would take reach this scale and if we compare it to some of our traditional marketing/branding approaches, you have to say it's pretty bloody impressive. I saw some things this week at our conference that make me think the company is embracing new ways to talk to customers and partners and I think we can teach them something with our viral movement.
For those of you out in Redmond looking for a sticker, the guys in my group are all at Tech Ready 5 this week and have stickers so maybe worth tracking them down. Ping me if you're a Softie and interested and we can setup a coffee meeting maybe?