I'm here in Austin. But first let me talk a bit about the final day at ETech. It really was a mixed bag. On the positive, it had some of the best presentations of the event, including one by Yahoo's Bradley Horowitz. I had many people come up to me and tell me how impressed they were with him and Yahoo as a platform. I also had some more good conversations with the Plum folks. Hans Peter, Julie, and Margaret.
On the negative side, things got messed up. First ETech had to move locations within the hotel because of another event coming in over the weekend. We were crammed into these very small meeting rooms instead of the nice big ballrooms as before. But worse than that was the wi-fi connection. I've hesitated commenting on it all week, but it was pretty bad. Actually it was non existent on Thursday. Of all places to have a sucky Internet connection.... All week presenters were making excuses, they couldn't show proper live demos, it was embarrassing. People paid a ton of money to be there and possibly a ton more to present... the fact that the wi-fi wasn't available is inexcusable. Hopefully they'll fix it for next year.
All in all it was a good show, great people were there and I came away from it inspired.
Now I'm in Austin. John C. Riley (boogie nights and chicago) was on my flight. I got to my hotel late. The hotel has spotty internet as well. Right now I'm in a cafe trying to catch up on two days of email. I don't have a car and I'm not certain if I'm going to regret that. The Convention Center is a couple of miles away and it's already pretty hot (at least it is for a Santa Cruz type). I understand that the have free public transportation, but I'm not sure if I'm going to have time to grok the schedule.
Tomorrow is a packed day. A full day of meetings. I'm going to as many social network and folksonomy presentations as possible. There's nothing here about e-commerce which should tell you about the state of things. (nothing at ETech either).
Comparison shopping is a commodity. It's our job to build a killer distributable platform and then layer on top the right differentiating technology. That's where my head is at...