by Esther Schindler

Innovation, Up to the Moment

Jan 29, 20072 mins
Enterprise Applications

This week is the DEMO conference. I’ll be posting blog entries live (or at least that’s my intent). I’m rather enthused about the whole thing, because DEMO is one of my favorite conferences. Each vendor gets seven minutes to demonstrate its latest innovation, and no PowerPoint slides are permitted; it’s the ultimate elevator pitch. To be considered for one of the 68 time slots, the product cannot currently be in public distribution, be an upgrade to an existing product, be in an already saturated market category or been widely covered in the media. In other words, it’s not the same-old, same-old. And if a given product manages to be boring (a rarity), it’s still over in only seven minutes.

It’s innovation that matters here, not its pidgeonhole. So you’ll have to suffer through me talking about some consumer product releases on the way to enterprise and security tools. (Not that I think you’re going to mind.) According to the press materials, among the technologies due to be introduced at DEMO 07 are:

  • A GPS product that allows users to control their vehicles wirelessly
  • Video ringtones [Esther’s note: is the world ready for this?!]
  • The ultimate mobile printer
  • A platform to improve developer productivity and product management
  • Online identity protection tools
  • Sophisticated data search technologies for businesses

As I prepare to drive to California, I find myself contemplating the difficulty of sharing your heart’s passion in seven short minutes. Any CIO has to do the same thing: explain something technical, into which you’ve invested hundreds of sleepless nights and deplorable pizza, to a jaded audience who doesn’t truly care about your architectural breakthroughs. Thus, you might find Chris Shipley’s instructions on how to give a great demo useful for your own presentations.

Now, back to packing. Camera? Check. Cell phone power cord? Check. Cynicism? Nah, I think I’ll leave that at home.—Esther Schindler