We Aim to Fail

In a conversation with someone (outside the tech industry) the other day, I asked the question “Why do you think Microsoft holds events like TechEd at a conference centre like at the Gold Coast?” and his response, no lies, was “Because they want a junket.”

This from an accountant.

Of course this couldn’t be further from the truth. No-one gets to hold a $5m event, and justify it as a “junket.” Microsoft is the most metricised company on the planet. Everything gets measured. Every $1 that’s spent is accounted for across a number of metrics. And of course that leads to a culture of success. Inasmuch as “you have to be successful.”

Success has to be defined, then it’s tracked. And let me tell you, people’s bonuses are determined by those metrics. Hence the eval sheets for everything at a conference from the lunch, to the exhibition floor, to the speaker sessions (just ask any speaker and they’ll know their scores to 5 decimal points).

So it’s pretty counter-cultural to aim to fail. To put together a session that seeks to amuse, please, and yes, educate our audience. Where the audience’s delight and energy is valued more than the official metrics. Customer experience over Policy.

Welcome to, the Smack!Down…

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