We said the word all week – Lotusphere. We all knew it was the last. We knew for sure when the bartender and waiters at Kimonos told us we weren’t coming back next year. Absolutely no one was surprised when the closing session announced “we’ll get back to you” as the date and format of the next thing.
Still, we showed up didn’t we? More people than any of us expected. There’s been enough said about the limitations of the show, so I won’t go into details. But if it looked from the outside like things were a little chaotic, it really wasn’t. From the inside it felt like this:
And what did we do? We presented, we attended, we drank, we hugged, we cried, we shook it off and put on our big girl panties and big boy long trousers and moved on. There is work to be done. With that said, there are the thanks:
To Gabriella Davis, who trusted me enough to work outside her comfort zone with a speaker whom she’d never even met. That’s a stretch for any of us, and it worked great. Thanks for the trust and the hard work as always. All of your sessions were great – even when someone started frying fish behind the wall one day. I value your friendship more than you know.
To Francie Tanner – who signed up for my annual road trip and endured 9 hours in the rain on the way down, and created a duct-tape rain jacket for my stuffed ape out of creativity and boredom – and who survived the digestive insults of Waffle House and Krystal. It is amazing to me that our friendship survived the ride home on 7 hours of sleep. Between us. Thank you.
And to Mary Beth Raven, Mike & Sue Smith, Carl Tyler, Andrew Pollack, Steve McDonagh, Wes Morgan, Paul Mooney, Frank Pavelski, Rob Gearhart, Terri Warren, Kristin Keene, Todd Krewson, and others through the years and all that I have failed to list here. THIS is what I always looked forward to at Lotusphere. You are really all that matters to me about the show. The rest of this stuff is just software……
Thanks to Mitch Cohen and Colgate for the Wisps and toothbrushes for the Gurupalooza attendees. We were gifted with vintage show swag by John Allen of IBM, and I can’t thank you enough John – I’m wearing a DevCon shirt right now and all of the other goodies got swept up (the ones I didn’t take for myself anyway).
Mat Newman, my friend, thanks for agreeing to own the BP track and Guru for the future. I trust you to bring the passion to the community and keep the flame alive. I chose you because I think you care as much as I do. I love you, little brother.
To all of the Best Practice speakers this year and in the past – who made this track THE reason for many attendees to show up. You are the most professional and smartest bunch of people I know. Thank you for all your efforts.
At the end of Gurupalooza, I remember Mitch saying some words, and everyone standing and applauding, but I couldn’t hear because my eyes were full of tears. I’m going to miss my role with the community and I will miss speaking and working the show. Thanks to everyone in that room for that wonderful energy – you have no idea how good that felt from where I stood.
Wherever this community’s next gathering ends up, I will be there as a customer or a biz partner after I leave IBM this year. Keep the User Groups going and PLEASE attend those. I was a member of the cult of Lotus before I joined Lotus and I still am. I thank all of you – customers, business partners and friends for allowing me to do what I do. Thank you to everyone who gave me hugs all week and left tears on my shirt. I held it together until Wednesday, then we *all* lost it a little. According to author Isak Dinesen, “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” We cured some things this week friends, so let’s move on together – with the memory of, and pride in what we all created in Orlando over the years.
Wipeout media from http://abc.go.com/shows/wipeout