It's a multiple conference day for me today (Monday the 19th of March, 2007), and I hope my regular readers will forgive me as I divert from my normal printing and imaging beat to devote my personal attention to two (semi-)related topics of the two conferences, with a look ahead to a third event, the upcoming Kickstart entrepuenuer event in Boise on April 18th and 19th.
First, I spent the morning at the Cendesic Findability SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Conference at Boise State University, co-sponsored by Balihoo and Blueline Grassroots Marketing. That conference covers the "how" side of what I do -- content creation (formerly known as writing) and especially blogging. I won't cover more about that here, though if my readers know what to look for they may see some results of my learnings in the near future.
My next conference of the day is of the virtual variety, the Microsoft Small Business Summit, which I'm attending as an online participant. I'll be "there" all week, sporadically at least. I hope to gain insight on Small Business best practices from a distinguished series of practitioners assembled by Microsft and co-sponsored by Compusa, Visa, and Dell. Regular readers will know that like much of the economy, many printing and imaging trends are driven by innovative small businesses. These include HP's (NYSE HPQ) and others development of do-it-yourself marketing and Eastman Kodak Company's recent announcement of small business print outsourcing.
Today's keynote is by none other than one of my favorite business writers and speakers (and bloggers), Guy Kawasaki. Guy's a long-time friend who was the also our original keynote speaker for the original Kickstart conference, in 2005. He's presenting an updated version of "The Art of the Start" titled "The Art of Innovation" and it's a classic Guy presentation, complete with a Top 10 list. He does his usual great job, though he's got less time for both the remarks and Q&A parts of his show.(He also seems a little less relaxed than he was at The Morrison Center two years ago, but maybe that's because he's in Redmond speaking at a Microsoft conference, a company he's been known to diss a little from time to time).
Content includes his "DICEE" theory of what makes great products (deep, intelligent, complete, elegant, emotive), and his famous 10/20/30 rule for presentations. (That's 10 slides, 20 minutes, 30 point font. And I love a new twist on the latter from today's Q&A -- as a "pitcher" of a new company, your effective PowerPoint presentation just, best case, keeps you from being eliminated from the process, and not from breaking through for funding or whatever other form of acceptance or recognition you seek. That takes personal relationships and 1:1 time following the PowerPoint phase.) And the final key to the Art of Innovation -- don't let the bozos grind you down!
A Great Monday start...and I'm looking ahead to Friday when The Sloan Brothers of Startupnation.com will present on the last day of the Summit. Coincidentally, Friday, and will be in Boise on April 17th on the first night of the Third Annual Kickstart! So don't miss them, live, in a month, at Kickstart!
Technology note on the Microsoft summit -- the streaming video presentation from Redmond was superb. Large screen, great sound, smooth video. Technology has come a long ways. (Though I must add to this comment, written during the presentation, that the video ended up freezing twice before the end of the Guy Kawasaki session.)