Wednesday, August 15, 2007

pshifting money at Gnomedex 7

These last few weeks have been different. BarCampBankSeattle, July 21-22, was both productive and entertaining. A few days later I was invited to speak at Gnomedex 7, Aug 10-11. Podcasts from the previous year clearly showed I had to change my usual game to play to this audience.

Diligent research discovered the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint on Guy Kawasaki's "How to Change the World" site. Good advice - only 10 slides, in 20 minutes and use 30 pt fonts. As it happened, I used over 60 slides, and spoke for nearly 40 minutes before opening for questions - a factor 12 variation from the Kawasaki model - so I certainly didn't do it his way.

However, as Chris Pirillo wrote later
" while Michael Linton’s presentation on Open Money was a bit less concrete. Both had roots in technology and community, but it seems that a large part of the Gnomedex audience wanted less high-level assertions. Asking Michael to sum up his studies and experience in :45 was an impossible task, and asking him to (likewise) summarize the concept in a simple sentence or two is tantamount to a developer trying to put a finer point on the complexities of any scripting language. “Sound bytes” do not do justice to incredible concepts - and in an age where microblogging is the norm, extended critical thinking often takes a backseat to incomplete satiation. "

I think that's very fair. I had estimated I would only make sense (this time) to 15-20% of audience, and I wanted to feed their thinking rather than try to move that of the other 80% (this time) out of the box.

When you're trying to move a mind (of self or another) there's shift, phase shift and paradigm shift. Shift itself isn't all that interesting - it's gradual at best, and the mind is "open" only within its usual boxes. Shift is comfortable, because it isn't a challenge to established views.

A paradox of pshift is the question what kind of pshift is happening. Phase shift is more exciting than shift, but it's generally reversible - solid -> liquid -> solid - perhaps a quick flash in the brainpan and then a fall back to devils well known. However, paradigm shift is subversive, disruptive and permanently marking - and that's what I was working for.

Reviews (google: gnomedex linton will get plenty) were every bit as mixed as I expected, but better than I feared. And, most importantly, several commented that although they didn't "get" it all, they sensed some sense in open money and intended to look further into it. That's what I was aiming for on the day, and will be supporting through this blog and other channels.

However, in the (interim) final analysis, it was the Kawasaki 30 pt rule that really worked for me. I found I could read my own slides on the prompt screen, and didn't have to keep looking back to see where I was trying to go. Thanks, Guy, you made my day.

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