Next Stop - San Diego and KAZOOcon

With a name like that, how could you not want to be there?

This is my first time attending this event put on by 2600Hz, and I’ll be part of an analyst panel on Wednesday at 11:40, along with BCStrategies colleagues Blair Pleasant and Phil Edholm. Details can be found in the Event Calendar section of my website, and if you want to follow along, my twitter handle is @arnoldjon, and the event hash is #KazooCon19.

I’ve got yet another bi-coastal week ahead, so my travel plans need to be well-organized. Am flying to San Diego tomorrow morning, returning Thursday night, then flying to NYC Friday morning with my partner for a family gathering, back Tuesday night. Oh boy! Will try to dip my toes in both oceans, and if so, I’ll let you know which one is colder.

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Next Stop - London and Mavenir

My busy June continues with a short trip to London, for Mavenir’s analyst event. I’ve been to two events this week - one day for each, and Mavenir will be a day and a half. It’s a long way to go, but am sure it will be time well-spent, just like it was for the last Mavenir event I attended last fall.

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Next Stops - Toronto and Niagara Falls

No travel in May, but I have four events next month, including two next week. Happily, both are close to home, and since they overlap, I have the luxury of being able to attend both. As you may know, since I make my living largely from the US, I’ve long noted how few industry events there are here in Canada. It can be a full-time job hopping from event to event in the US, but I can count on one hand how many Canadian events there are for me to attend. Wouldn’t you know it, but there two happening at the same time next week. Life’s like that, and am really looking forward to both.

On Monday, I’ll be taking in Day 1 at the Canadian Telecom Summit. This event has long been the biggest and best industry gathering, and it’s moved to a bigger site now, which is always a good sign.

Then on Tuesday, I’m driving a bit further west to Niagara Falls for Day 1 of the MISA event. This is where IT buyers from municipalities gather to learn the latest on many fronts, including technology. There’s a bit more back story to this, and you can read that in the Event Calendar section of my site, where you’ll also find links to both events.

Slack Frontiers - Quick Takeaways - Every Picture Tells a Story

Rod Stewart’s breakthrough 1971 album of that name is still one of my all-time faves, and it’s the right point of reference for this post. Aside from being a music guy and an unconventional writer, I gotta fast-track right now, as I’m about to fly home from San Francisco after the latest Slack Frontiers event. This was my second time attending, and there’s a LOT to talk about. No time now for a thoughtful analysis - that will be coming early next week on BC Strategies, and later in other places.

So, as the week draws to a close, here is a handful my photos - I’ve got many more - and each one tells a story. This will give you a flavor of what was on tap at Frontiers, and all I’m going to say is that Slack has their mojo working. If you don’t know what a mojo is - well, then we need to talk.

I’ll leave you with two segues that tie all this together and then I hope you enjoy the photos below. Rod Stewart’s first two albums went nowhere, but he really nailed it with Every Picture. Likewise, Stewart Butterfield, Slack’s co-founder and CEO, has also nailed it with Slack. His previous ventures had mixed results, and when my writing comes along, you’ll understand why he’s got the mojo now.

Speaking of mojo, the blues guy in me makes an instant connection with my hero Muddy Waters and his signature show-closer, and yes, harp god Paul Butterfield and his killer playing on one of Muddy’s later records. Sorry, Stewart, your just name got me going on the music groove, but I think it all somehow seems to fit. Enough talking - hope you enjoy these pix.

How’s this for inspiration - Serena Williams opening the event, Guy Raz from NPR, and Kenyatta Leal of Next Chapter leading a panel with Common and others about how companies like Slack are supporting programs to give incarcerated people legit second chances after leaving prison. Amen.

I’ll have more to say later, but these images are pretty cool, and Slack’s use of visuals was highly creative, and to me reflects how a new language is emerging for how we collaborate. On this screen you can see real time transcription during some of the sessions. Am doing a lot of work in this area, so it got my attention. Finally, a nice photo with Kenyatta.

The big news was a formal partnership with Zoom, and here we have Stewart sharing the announcement with Eric Yuan, Zoom’s CEO. Finally, Dr. Mae Jemison, the first woman of color in space - wow. In true SNL style, cast and crew all up on stage taking a final bow, complete with the SNL close-out music. Love it. Also, on our first night, they hosted a reception at Slack HQ.

I love taking photos - here are two day-night pairings - Ferry Building and the Bay Bridge.

A bit of a different take - SF skyline as seen from the event site - on a clear day, and when the fog rolls in. To our right outside the venue, Coit Tower. And, best for last, my idea of a perfect mid-day break - chocolate ice cream, cappucino and the spectatcular view. Can you top that?

Next Stop - San Francisco and Slack

Am mostly caught up from my last round of travel, and starting tomorrow, I have back-to-back weeks of events to get to. This week, it’s Slack in San Francisco, and the week after will be Ribbon’s event in Washington, DC.

This will be my second Slack Frontiers event, and interestingly, it’s only been about 8 months since the last one. Usually these events are a year apart, but hey, things move pretty fast in Slack’s world, and I’m just glad to be part of it.

Doesn’t hurt to have Serena Williams on the roster, along with Common and NPR luminary, Guy Raz. I’m feeling hip just writing about this stuff, but will have more interesting things to say once I’m there - stay tuned. If you need to know more, details are in the Event Calendar.

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