Boiling down the feeling of energy here at Lotusphere2009

January 20 2009

You might have heard this on other blogs that are reporting on Lotusphere2009, but there is a change in the energy this year. It is almost like someone spiked the water that has in the bottles the executives are drinking. But then again, how does that explain the energy that is showing up in all of the IBM Lotus staff? EVERYONE here from IBM is far more upbeat, excited, and confident. And I think I figured out why.

IBM came to Lotusphere with a message they believe in. They are excited about what they are showing and have a road map they plan to travel in 2009. That road map has things for the Notes faithful and for companies that are on the bleeding edge of Web 2.0. I may not agree with everything they are doing, but I love the confidence, detail, and passion they are moving forward with.

More importantly, they are not here playing defense to any of their competitors. You do not hear "Well, Company X is doing this, so we are doing that." IBM Lotus is on the offensive. They are not being cocky about it but they are also not sitting in the corner. I am not sure where this came from, but playing offense is what we have wanted Lotus to do for YEARS. I am not asking Lotus to throw the first punch, but what I want is for them to throw the last punch and be the last man standing. That is the vibe that came out of the Opening General Session.

In this economy, there could be some serious doom and gloom hanging over Lotusphere. I am sure there will be some cost cutting at IBM in 2009 that will effect Lotus. No company is immune to the rough economy times we are in. That attitude could have clearly been in the body language of the Lotus executives and the Lotus technical staff in the Meet the Developer rooms. You do not see that anywhere. The best analogy is that they are playing like a sports team where winning is important, but how they play the game is the true goal. And from the coach to the leaders on the field to rookie just happy to be along for the ride, that attitude is there across the board. That is how Lotus is coming across this week.

Lotus has started 2009 on a high note. Classy and confident. The challenge for Lotus is to do that away from Lotusphere. Keep up this attitude and energy for 52 weeks a year. If they can do that, Lotusphere 2010 could be something none of us can predict.