Final Thoughts on Lotusphere2009

January 28 2009

As I sit here back in Chicago, dealing with the exceptional cold weather we are having , I am still reflecting on Lotusphere2009. What an amazing time in Orlando this year. We can all find things that could have been better, but can anyone really complain about the conference? Nitpicking aside (and I give Bob and Ed both major credit from bringing the issue of the wireless network to the forefront, not hiding behind it) I think everyone had an energizing week.

For me, I personally over extended myself in 2009. 4 sessions (OK 3, but one of those is a repeat of the Jumpstart - and Alex and I had to do one version in 90 minutes and another in 120) and lots of new content. I got to do a major preview of the Lotus Symphony LSX for LotusScript in my session. I had a great conversation in my session "The Document Format Dance" and really brought out this idea of Application Automation vs. Document Generation. I was also part of the first Lotusphere Blogger program and had so many scheduled events that I typically did not attend. Add on top of that meetings with IBM and commitments for winning the Lotus Award. No complaints but I really did not have much time for sessions this year. I went to the Lotusphere Idol session and a couple on Thursday. I need to rethink how much I attempt in 2010.

What got me thru the week was the energy that I got from those around me. Lots of people have written about the Lotus General Manager, Bob Picciano. The most outgoing, friendly, and  smart executive of Lotus I have ever met. He understands that the Lotus community is something to encourage and foster. Bob felt more genuine than any other executive I have ever met. At the Lotus Award reception on Wednesday night, he listened and shared my passion for the Zain Africa Challenge made me want to go out and do more. I am not sure how to do it, but Lotus needs a find a way to have Bob's energy fill the entire Lotus Community, even if they did not make the trip to Orlando.

It did not stop there. The rest of the Lotus Executive team seemed to have gotten the energy boost as well. They were also more open, friendly, and just willing to talk about the Lotus products and the people involved. They say passion is infectious and it showed this week.

I think the key message I got out of Lotusphere is that Lotus was here to compete and to deliver great products. IBM might get in the way of this at times, but for the first time in 14 Lotuspheres, I come out of Lotusphere believing that this year will be better and different.

The Lotus Community needs to figure out how to keep this energy, passion, and excitement at this level all year long. That is an incredible challenge ... but isn't anything worth doing?