Friday, April 11, 2008

The Next Bigger Thing

Two years ago I was a speaker at the first conference devoted to a promising new technology. Delegates were enthusiastic techies and generally represented smaller quirky companies with a taste for early adoption of risky "bleeding edge" technologies.

There were also, I was told, a smattering of blue-sky thinkers from consultancies and large companies looking for their "Next Big Thing".

On Thursday I went along to the third conference. Five times the number of people and the customers speaking about their experiences were from a major world Stock Exchange, one of the UK's largest retailers and one of the UK's largest banks. I also completely misjudged the dress code - every one had pricey suits and there seemed suddenly to be a lot of tall, confident people with great hair from the leading consulting groups in the room.

I felt greatly ambivalent - on the one hand there's pride in seeing your hunches being proved right, but on the other, there's a feeling of losing "your" little secret.

It was bizarre hearing the senior guys from these huge companies saying exactly the same things I did two years ago, the only differences being the price of their suit and the quality of their hair.

The good news is that there's gold in them there terabytes. The bad news is that tailoring and coiffeur are probably going to be more crucial than technical skill in the next phase of the product's life-cycle.

Plus I have this insane urge to shout out "I've been saying that for years ! Years, I tell you !".

So now I'm on the lookout for the next, next big thing. If you have any ideas, do tell.

1 comment:

Kenny said...

One word: plastics.

Seriously though, even though I was a relative newcomer to that particular niche, I had enough general tech savy-ness to see this happening too.

I think rather than donning an Armani suit and Kate Moss hairdo, you'll find that you'll get a choice of who to work with now.

For the record, Stan's rates have just doubled. ;)