Just finished the first day (well, half day to be more exact) of the Fortune Brainstorm Tech Conference. As they stated in the description,
Fortune Brainstorm: TECH is a marketplace of ideas that assembles the smartest people we know – the world’s top technology and media thinkers, operators, entrepreneurs, innovators, and influencers. These leaders inspire a conversation that informs Fortune’s editorial coverage throughout the year.
Brainstorm began in Aspen in 2001, and Fortune is delighted to be returning to our roots in 2010. We know from experience that Aspen is the ideal – and idyllic – setting to exchange ideas and build relationships, the hallmarks of the Brainstorm experience.
Real People in the Real World
There are many people I read about on news papers, and magazines (including Fortune Magazine). They become real in this conference.
At the small airport of Aspen, Hotel Jerome arranged nice complimentary pickup service. In the cool, beautiful dawn, the husband driver with a western style cowboy hat picked up three persons for that flight UA6118 from LAX. It was then I met my first buddy in this conference, Alex, CEO of WebTrends. Then I met with Susan who later introduced me to Eva Chan, founder and CEO of Trend Micro. We are maybe the few people in that conference who speak Chinese (at least I don’t know the third person so far yet). Of cause, I am so happy to meet with Maynard, who was the COO of eBay, and someone I respect a lot, and Adam Lashinsky, from Fortune Magazine, who was so kind to invite me to the conference as a speaker (so effectively saved me $3000 entrance fee for the conference).
Maybe I am more an entrepreneur from inside, the conference brings more “enterprise” favor to my world. Many people are senior in some of the most “senior” companies in the field. I didn’t see “founder and CEO” of the really big companies, but many SVP, or CXO from big companies like Microsoft, Google, and HP. Being senior in a senior company is a good thing, and they are doing the job I cannot do well, but I enjoy sitting in the same cubicle with other energetic people to build some junior company which will eventually senior, I hope.
The best part is the Startup Idol section (again, I am the startup type of guy). I enjoyed the Badgeville idea (to help companies to give incentive badges to visitors), and the Miso idea (I don’t think they have a website yet), about giving the second screen for people watching TV. The Flipboard demo by its founder and CEO Mike McCue is so cool. Hardware like iPad unlocked people’s imagination, and the application developers should follow very fast, and the applications will continue to inspire and push for better hardware. That is the circle of how innovation works.
Aspen is so beautiful. I would say, it may be second most beautiful place I have even been to after Daocheng in Sichuan. However, I am not so optimistic about the future of Daocheng without the local community’s protection effort after their first airport is built…
Aspen is also the name of the tree. I just collected some nice heart-shaped leaf and put it into my Moleskine notebook (as many book holders suggest others to do with travel and leaf). Even in summer, Aspen is great, not to mention the wonderful slop for ski in winter.
I cannot end without mentioning Palm. Palm’s CEO Jon was here sitting together with HP SVP to talk about the HP, Palm acquisition. I never used a Palm, and I even confused it with BlackBerry. (Well, it is purely my ignorance, not their problem). What Todd and Jon did today was to announce that they will give a free Palm Pre Plus to every attendance. I could imagine how crowded and maybe messy it is to handle the logistics, but it turned out that the process is very elegant. When I return to my hotel, a big box of gift sits on the bed with some warm light turned on to highlight the gift. So, I have a new Palm. The problem is, shall I open it and use it, and maybe switch to Apple iPhone 3GS, or 4G (depending whether I can get one), or just keep it new and share it with friend, or the best possible outcome is, after I use it for few days, I cancel my idea of buying an iPhone? Any suggestions?