Thursday, July 29, 1999

More predictions from the Valley for "The Next 20 Years"

So if the Silicon Valley writers predict a world where Microsoft is not king, and is (maybe); and no one gets burnt-out regardless of race or age and the Internet babies can recall the thrill of owning a Ferrari, then what else do we have to look forward to? Well, Bob Ayres and his "Next 20 Years Series" continued on its world tour with a stop in NYC on Thursday, July 29th at the Roseland Ballroom.

Hundreds of industry people (where did they call come from?) came to hear Denise Caruso of the New York Times, Anna Winblad of Hummer Winblad, Paul Saffo of the Institute of the Future and Dan Farber of ZDNet speak. Denise had a grim reality check for all those in techno-bizzy-buzz and spoke of poverty and population problems. She heralded Austinian Bruce Sterling's Viridian group, which is a design company focused the Greenhouse effect and its influence on design. One cause she said we as consumers can rally for is centered on privacy issues. If we have no privacy online, then we can demand that corporations too don't have rights to privacy and we can request similar information on our corporate neighbors. Paul Saffo spoke for a bit about Broadband and the advantage of its always being turned on--if you combine that with wireless technology, we're back at the ubiquitous computing predicion of Kara Swisher's, where when you approach the ice box you could get an AD for something you might need (or be craving). He also spoke of cellphones that could buzz you with a special from a Chinese restaurant that's just three blocks away. The real revolution? Biotechnology. And with those meaty words, we were introduced to Anna Winblad. I was having trouble hearing Anna from my post on the far side (where I had a sponsor's table where I was explaning my site to people yet unfamiliar with it.

Afterwards I chatted a bit with Seth Palmer of Viant, Phil Lam of Scient, Andrew Gelman of NBC, Amy Fried of Roz Goldfarb and Steven Glass of Kindgon Capital. Shondell Mance of Signal Core, Larry Cox of his own company and Alice Dysart of Events Marketing Consultants also introduced herself. John McCrea of Renaissance Resource Group introduced himself to me and Joseph Murphy and I spoke for a bit about patenting and trademarking issues. Just before leaving, I met and talked about cable modems and digital set -top boxes with Senior Editor of "Cablevision" Simon Applebaum and introduced myself to the speakers and David Berlind of ZDNet. A full evening with lots to look at, touch, taste and sample -- digitally and figuratively. There's a lot going on tomorrow, let alone "Tomorrow." But it never hurts to hear what some people think about for the Next 20 Years.

The same night, just down the street…. The Art Directors Club had a big bash at their fabulous gallery space on Thursday, July 29th. Starting as a discussion on Behind-the-Scenes of The ADC 78th Annual Awards and with a classic wild party afterwards, the ADC is hip for me!