Well I met Martha Stewart... check that off my list of "things to do"

George Lucas checking out the action with the HP team

A few of us are currently attending “D” in San Diego – a yearly event hosted by the Wall Street Journal. I really had no idea how awesome this event actually is until we arrived and saw the people funnelling through the doors of the four seasons hotel in Carlsbad, California.

Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher host somewhat of an entertaining talk show where they interview people like Steve Balmer, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Steve Case, the CEO for Cisco (what’s his name again?), and many others, in a live unrehearsed non-PowerPoint manner. This is apparently THE show to go to – sold out months in advance, and I was fortunate enough to be invited along with small handful of people from HP.

Thanks to the great marketing & PR people at HP PSG, Voodoo also has a major feature area outside of the “Science Fair” – where we showcased some of our existing systems, including OMEN, and some of the new HP displays we have both in labs and available commercially. I tried to get Martha Stewart to sit in the chair, but I guess the idea of sitting in “the chair” didn’t seem to appealing to her.

HP is also positioned strategically throughout the event -- great job by our PR & marketing team, these guys really know how to make it work.

The event is limited to around 400 people, give or take, and there is a science fair during the show as well. Yesterday I met George Lucas, Martha Stewart, Steve Balmer, and the founders of Youtube – and the event just started. Today also I met Steve Jobs during lunch after he delivered a very compelling presentation on Apple, Apple TV, and the new iPhone.

As usual he has me thinking – I am pretty sure iTunes will help to proliferate the use of the iPhone. I tend to agree that people who currently own an iPod are going to look to upgrade their device to the new iPhone which Steve touted as “the best iPod ever.” I don’t own an iPod – I personally use a subscription based device, which I much prefer. Regardless I personally think the iPhone is going to seriously surprise some people, namely Microsoft and a number of others. People keep hacking on the “lack of keyboard”, but little do they realize that Apple has probably already thought of this --- so the proof will be at the end of June when they finally launch the thing.

For those of you who have had the pleasure of meeting Phil McKinney, my boss, and the CTO for HP PSG – I always joke that he is somewhat understated, and soft spoken. This is absolutely not the case, Phil’s voice goes through walls as thick as schools – and I have yet to see him get angry. That said; I saw Steve Balmer kicks things off in the morning with a very entertaining interview, and surprisingly Steve Balmer is the loudest guy I’ve met, and he too is extremely nice.

I thought for sure he would come off as a bit aloof or arrogant, but it was the total opposite. He’s really a nice guy – I just think he underestimates Apple too much, and that should be somewhat troublesome to those who work for and/or support Microsoft.

Next up is Bill Gates, who I have not bumped into at the show just yet -- although he is scheduled to come by here and see us. Later he will be joining Steve Jobs on stage in a no holds barred interview. I can’t wait. That will be tonight at around 7:15PM. I will write more later.


Satish K said...

Sounds pretty awesome Rahul, keep us updated on those keynotes and any interesting HP notes from the conference!

Kempton said...

Now, this is probably not going to be possible but is there any chance to get a video clip of Gates & Jobs talking on stage? Regardless of the length, I think that will be a cool video to watch.

Sounds like you are having an awesome time. Now may be you can wear one of those Steve Mann camera/glass (EyeTap) and transmit part of the event to us. (smile)

Anonymous said...

That would be so cool.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see what Jobs has to say about the iPhone these days.