I can tell you, if I worked at Google Kirkland, I would have plunked down some cash for Gnomedex and taken a vacation day to go to Gnomedex6 to simply enjoy the love and adoration of my fellow attendees. Even if all I did was clean the toilets at Google. Heck, the Yahoo! employees invoke your name as a way to be looked up. After scanning through the attendee list and building up my Outlook contact cards, I had hoped to run into Googler Scott Laird but failed to. Well, there were a lot of people I wanted to run into, but I discovered there are so many fantastic people to meet that there's just no way to meet them all. Next event, or next year.
Personally, I plunked down my own cash and took a vacation day to attend Gnomedex just as an individual... who happens to work at Microsoft. I can't say I was aglow in the love of my attendees - other than the occasional kind comments about the great new Office 2007 UI - but I got to:
It was a fantastic investment. Thanks Chris! Thanks Ponzi!
Matt Cutts made a comment on Scoble's blog saying that the Googlers were too darn busy coding to attend Gnomedex or any other conference. As a developer, I can't begin to explain how important getting out of the building and into an engaged, non-corporate idea-driven environment is. Yeah, yeah, Google is all that internally, sure. And Microsoft is all that internally, sure. But without seeing where the influencers are going and understanding their needs, how can you be sure what you're building is the least bit relevant to them?
And the more you meet and talk with each other, the less you become win-lose-lose competitors and the more you become win-win-win collaborators (my three point system: competitor-competitor-user).
User driven feature sets. I'm open to it.
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Disclaimer: The postings (and comments) here represent personal point of views and in no way represent the point of view or official opinions of my employer (Microsoft Corporation). The postings here are provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. And if you're reading this blog, you're not only incredibly discerning, you're also knee-weakening good looking.
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