I spoke today to Dan from ConnectNZ. He’s coming to BarCampChristchurch on Friday and was ringing to get a little guidance as to what he should talk about and how he should pitch the level of his presentation.

I tend to push boundaries and BarCamp is no exception. I told Dan that I’d like to see him go beyond the usual BarCamp geek-focus and look at product-to-market issues.

All too often the geek fraternity gets all focused on technical issues (and why wouldn’t they – technical issues are what they do). The strength of events like BarCamp I believe is to take the technical abilities, and open dialogues whereby those abilities and ideas can be bought to market.

In other words BarCamp can be BootCampCommercialization 1.0

My presentation, for example will look at SaaS, but rather than talking about technical ways to achieve SaaS brilliance (you’ll see no “data centre optimisation and how it relates to google gears implementation for scalable SaaS architecture” monologues from me!), I’l be looking at business design strategies to achieve business brilliance.

Some might say my attempt to bring an implementarian viewpoint to BarCamp is a subversion of the stated aim but I’d like to think differently. At the end of the day technology exists (or should) to function as an enabler for the people who use it – to this end it needs to work and be created to fulfil a defined problem. Sure there is a large space for R&D conceptual work in the industry, but startups (and that’s where I’m pitching) need to get viable before they get into “blue skies” thinking.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

1 Comment
  • Personally I think the BarCamp format is flexible enough to get away with almost anything being presented so long as it’s being presented with a spirit of “Open Learning” and is at least vaguely geeky. Certainly the commercialisation of innovation would be on topic. I invited a friend of mine who’s been a geek (by most reasonable definitions) since before there were computers, and he’ll probably be talking about his sustainable housing concept (it’s a bit like mechano, with wood). And another friend who’ll hopefully be along at some point to talk about the new tax law for Research and Development (he’s a tax lawyer).

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