I got back from the 27 dinner at Relish about half an hour ago. I would have dived right into posting, except for a minor delay in sending a couple of scathing emails to Trafalgar for spamming me. I’m a client of theirs. I don’t expect junk mail. OK, well maybe that’s not quite true. But I certainly don’t expect junk mail where my email address is cc’d to all their other clients.
Luckily I can trash the unique trafalgar email I used (I love it when my unique email per recipient pays off), but their other unfortunate clients can expect a barrage of spam when the infected Windows machines start smelling the influx of new mail.
So, onto the 27 dinner.
Unlike others, I had a great time. Yes, the venue was terrible and cramped, there was no dinner, and seeing the speakers or slides was (literally) a stretch, but I loved the event.
There were three talks. All short. The first time any of the Geek Dinners or 27 dinners I’ve attended got this right. What bliss! And all good too. The 27 dinner wiki should list the speakers in advance, it’d make blogging about them afterwards, as I didn’t catch everyone’s name.
The first talk, at least what I could make of it craning my neck from the stairs, was a snappy look (20 slides in 20 seconds was the goal, I think) at perspective. One mans dolphins may be another’s amorous embrace (this about an image that to most of us look like a couple embracing, but apparently to those less experienced, or obsessed, in such matters, simply appears as a bunch of entangled dolphins, which it actually is).
I found myself going ‘yes’ to every slide, as the talk raced from education to new media, garbage to the modern day boardroom.
Henk Kleynhans of Skyrove gave the next talk, and it also worked well. Beginning by playing on the geeks versus marketers vibe, he looked at examples of terrible, and not so terrible user interfaces (microwave ovens and car radios). While conceding engineers may be guilty (slap on a new feature as a new button), he also gave some of the responsibility to marketers, who sell the overly-complex junk.
Finally, Rafiq Phillips, who Dave made everyone exceedingly jealous of by mentioning he’d been sponsored to attend the most recent incarnation of the phenomonal TED, in Tanzania, talked about the opportunities and inspiration coming out of Africa, while so many of us are focused on the latest trends from the US and Europe.
One of the talks used the old cliche the revolution will not be televised, which I found a timely reminder given my recent depression at the garbage we’re fed by so much of the old media.
After the brief talks were over, there was more meeting of all sorts of inspirational people. Conversations ranged from such diverse topics as attending a Fritjof Capra course (one of my ultimate gurus, casually dismissed by the course attendee as ‘a physicist. And an Austrian physicist at that’), to hot Danish women, Real Madrid as theatre, Synthasite, something tank which I knew I’d forget (sorry guys), organic wine, innovation in large organisations, etc, etc.
I really enjoy the mix of expertise and interest amongst people attending the 27’s, and usually come back buzzing.