Today I am at eComm, a reborn conference. Tim O’Reilly, who does the eTech conference (which just took place last week) used to run an emerging telecom conference called eTel. They decided not to run it again, so some of the participants who wanted a little more edgy telecom conference pushed to start a different one. I had hoped it would be an ad-hoc conference in the barcamp/unconference style, but instead it’s become a more traditional $1K conference like eTel was.
However, the result seems to be a success. Very good list of speakers (though some are just doing sales pitches as their talks) and a decent sized crowd. And even a few people who were also just at SXSW (as I was.) Some are calling the chain of conferences — eTech, SXSW, eComm, VON and many others as “March Madness.” It does seem possible to spend the month of March, if not your whole life, at conferences.
We’ll see what interesting develops here. Thom Howe spoke to try to convince carriers to become commodity providers, using the example of corn to say that it can be lucrative. He’s right that they need to become commodities but wrong that they can be convinced to want it.
(And corn turns out to be a terrible example. Corn is everywhere because of abuse of the law and corruption in government, in combination with sugar quota.)