I hadn’t been able too make that many PC Forums, despite having booked for quite a few. It wasn’t just a conference, it was a rite of passage for the industry. So farewell PC Forum; and a big thank you from me to Esther and the team.
Some of you may have seen Chris Messina’s recent post about conferences and gender diversity; others may have followed the hullabaloo about Office 2.0 in a similar context. Now I don’t believe that it was ever done from a viewpoint of political correctness or anything as orchestrated as that, but it’s worth taking a look at the speaker lists at past PC Forums. I think it’s a worthwhile soft indicator as to how things changed over the years, in terms of real diversity in all kinds of things: age, culture, gender, discipline, perspective, you-name-it.
One thing I will be doing next year is attending Flight School, especially now that I know the dates (June 21 and 22). I’ve been lucky enough to make the first two. Why? I don’t know how to fly. I don’t make enough money to rent a plane, much less buy one. In fact I don’t even know how to drive. So why would I go to Flight School?
Simple. Passenger aviation shares a number of characteristics with other markets, characteristics that make it a very interesting petri dish:
- A fundamentally bankrupt business model
- A model architected on hub and spoke rather than distributed
- An oligopolistic market
- The potential for significant impact on environmental issues
- Regulatory overflows and conflicts all over the place
- State interventions and protections all over the place
- Pretend-competition as a result
- Outdated concepts of information technology and its value
- Tired and frustrated customers held to ransom
The list is the same for many other industry segments or markets. Financial services. Telecommunications. Healthcare. Aspects of welfare and education. Even government.
But there is hope, as we learn more about P2P models, more effective forms of communications, more affordable infrastructures, safer ways of doing things, better ways of doing things.
There is hope, as we find that this time around, everyone is involved. Almost everyone. As with any other market the elephant that isn’t in the room is the incumbent.
There is hope, as we find that this time around, issues are global, as are their solutions.
So I will be at Flight School. To learn about many markets.