TECH TALK: Demo 2007: The Empowered Individual
I like to track new companies and technologies. Demo 2007 is a great showcase for all that’s new in the world of tech. Since I could not attend it, I decided the next best thing would be, like last year, to read what others have written and put it all together to get a flavour of what’s hot in the world of technology. Let us begin with excerpts from the keynote speech by Chris Shipley, Demo’s producer:
Forget mainframes and minis and PCs and mobile devices. Forget even the Internet-based model of Web 2.0.
We are clearly and deeply engaged in the age of the Empowered Individual. No matter if for business value or personal entertainment, individuals You and I have tremendous power to choose which technologies we use and how we use them. We have a tremendous influence on what products will succeed and what comes next.
This people-centric focus is obvious in areas like consumer Internet sites or mobile devices and applications. Individuals are making personal choices about which applications they use, which mobile phones they buy, which services they engage.
Its evident when we think about user-generated content and social media we have moved beyond sharing of media to become designers and producers. Its no longer enough to post a photo, comment on a blog post, or add tags to a social taxonomy. As creating consumers, we ask: Whats Next? How can I do more? So we seek out sites that leverage our individual creativity, and our individual influence. Services that give us greater control of media, tools that enable us to customize and personalize our own experiences.
The Empowered Individual is easy to see in consumer markets, and most surely consumer products will garner a great deal of attention at this DEMO event.
But I also see the empowered individual influencing all aspects of the enterprise market. Empowered Individuals influence which business applications to adopt. They are purchasing for themselves mobile phones and laptop computers and portable storage, and a range of other products; their personal preferences drive those buying decisions. They are demanding performance, and ease of use, and reliability, and Web-like experiences with enterprise data.
Decisions are not taken in a vacuum; solutions are not imposed upon a work group. Instead they are driven by individual interests, requirements, and influence.
While not always self-evident, the thread weaved through each of these  companies is one of empowerment. The power of individuals to select and use specific products and services; The power of individuals to move markets; the power of individual expectation and the belief that new capability is possible.
Tomorrow: VC Ratings