I can’t say it has been easy to find someone to keynote at
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. this time. I rejected more speakers than any in our 5 year history combined. It
gets harder and harder to select the right person for the right time. Generally
few understand our picks anyway. Barbara Corcoran was a good example and now
she is in the big leagues simply because she has a unique understanding of
business and like us, she is a renegade investor.
So I went through hundreds of possibilities. Funny enough, even
Tony Hsieh of Zappo’s was offered to us. But we were looking for something a
little different. So we opted for folks like Jeffrey Jordan the CEO of Open
Table, Matt Mullenweg of Blogger fame and an old friend, John Reese of
Income.com. However all had conflicts. But I expect we will see these folks as
keynoters at future TRAFFIC events and eventually it became a real blessing in disguise.
We really had some great speakers offered to us but none
really fit what we need to accomplish at this point in time. Time was running
short. I was prepared to go up on stage and tell folks I would rather have no
speaker than to present a speaker that did not accomplish what we need to do at
this particular moment in time. That was what I was prepared to do. But I would
not give up and kept looking. Finally I reached out to Owen and he had an idea.
It was one of those regular Owen “Let’s jump on this windmill” suggestions. But that did not mean it was not a great idea. It was brilliant. It just meant that the odds were 100-1. But it was time for the long ball.
So I contacted the folks I need to and was even told by them that was a long
shot and explained why. But nonetheless, would make the offer. Well to my surprise,
he accepted. YES!
So another speaker may come to TRAFFIC and few will understand
why until he leaves. Not really. I think you will understand his choice and the reasons behind it. I expect to announce that person as early as Friday once it clears the hurdles and approvals that speakers like this need. So not a done deal, but we are very hopeful that everything will fall into place.
I believe the Internet is about the consumer and how he
thinks and how he uses the net and how folks are evolving. In my case it was
something forcing me to come online once a day. Just one time a day back in mid
1995. We all start similarly. Once a week. Once a month. Then the metamorphosis
happens. It turns into daily minutes. An hour. A few hours. And as we all know,
it finally consumes you! The social networks like Twitter and Facebook have
driven the initial push and in the last couple years have changed how the world
interacts. I watched my friends that have no association with the Internet and
how they evolved. How they changed. How they use it. How often. I started doing
that back in 1995 with my own father. Then my mother. Then my best friend that
hated the Internet and would never use it. (He uses it everyday now too)
Sometimes you can learn more from the man on the street than
all the experts in the world. Experts get too close to a situation and can no
longer focus on the BIG picture. Too much information.
So as we celebrate our 5th anniversary with our
17th show, I think you will see TRAFFIC take a much different course
than any other show. That is until they follow in our footsteps. But we are headed to the other side of
this mountain. Isn’t it time to meet your surfer? Meet your customer?
Have a GREAT Day!