Thursday, January 25, 2007

Open Source conferences are boring

Yesterday, I spoke at the "Open Source meets Business" conference in Nuremberg. The atmosphere was magic, since it snowed the night before and the city was all white (a bit of a change from the meeting I attended in Miami last week, where we had dinner pool-side). They had to postpone the program for an hour because of the snow, which forced lunch at 2 pm. I am Italian and I adapt easily, but you do not want to talk at 1:59 pm in front of hungry Germans...

Everyone in open source was there. It was amazing how many people they were able to get together. However, it felt kind of boring... Been there, done that. With the addition of 90%+ of the people in a dark suit, the highest percentage I have ever seen. Even more than at 3GSM, where half-naked girls in the booths balance the dark of the just-male visitors. Political incorrectnesses at his highest.

Open source conference smell of deja-vu. Same stories (we are good, they are bad - we are conquering the world, they will all die), same people. All the time. I wrote this before. This conference was flawlessly organized. The place was great. The castle at night was fantastic, as it was the beer (and the bratwurst). The right people were there. All perfect. But still boring...

In open source conferences, the excitement is gone. Open source is mainstream. It is everywhere. It is not news. In particular, when we preach to the choir.

On the contrary, it is still very exciting when you push open source in front of an audience that does not know about it. Such as 3GSM and CTIA for us, coming up in the following weeks. That mobile crowd finds open source interesting. Mobile open source is exciting stuff. They get excited. I get excited.

So... you are all invited to visit our booth at 3GSM in Barcelona next month. And no, sorry, we are not going to have half-naked girls in the booth (however, Daniele will be there). Sorry, we are open source, we do things differently. We are fun. We are not supposed to be boring.