One of the powerful development tools an industry can have is events. From small, informal but regular gatherings to major multi-day galas, events are ways of connecting, galvanizing and guiding the overall growth of an industry or economic sector.
So guess what We don't have in Puerto Rico's Internet industry?
Oh, We do have "events," but beyond a low-level of "connecting," do they galvanize and guide? Please, a moment while The Jenius laughs to tears.
What passes for "events" in Our Industry are either sponsor-driven vehicles or sales pitch agendas, and are often both. Now, if the sponsor-driven vehicle opens new markets and ways of attacking them, bravo. But that takes vision and creativity, two traits sorely lacking in the "Company" events We are subjected to.
On the other hand, a sales pitch marathon is never useful. It has the whiff of desperation and the undertone of begging. When paired with "producers" or "event managers" whose grasp of technology is on the same level as that of an average (or even smart) Australopithecus, We have small disasters.
The Jenius has already advocated the creation of a small group to come together and discuss ideas and lend a visionary mind to the development of Our Industry. Now The Jenius suggests that Our Industry come together to create a large event, one that can fill the vacuum and feed Our professionals with the galvanic energy and guidance We need.
Here are the criteria The Jenius believes are required for this event:
1) It must focus on the overall picture of global Knowledge Economy development for Puerto Rico.
2) The conferences, seminars and workshops must focus on procedures, processes, techniques and solutions that help Our Industry compete globally. NO sales pitches.
3) The event must have an expansive agenda of 8-12 presentations so that a variety of topics are presented and viewpoints aired.
4) Technology must play a vital role in the event, at least at the level of archiving the knowledge shared. Attendees who may have to select one presentation over another will know that they can receive the material on a CD, flash drive or website download within 24 hours of the event's closing.
5) The event, once launched, must always have the next event in mind, not as a source of income, but as an ongoing element in the discussion, planning and development of Puerto Rico as a global Knowledge Economy player.
Would sponsors support this kind of event? Yes, eventually. At first they will want to play their "I sponsor so I want a speaker" card. Those that do will receive a "Submit their presentation and IF WE APPROVE, then s/he can speak.” And if they balk? Good riddance. As long as We act like sucking at their money teat is the only reason We survive, We will remain stagnant.
The Jenius Has Spoken.