I was seriously bummed this morning when Al Zollar announced that Michael Phelps would not be speaking at the Pulse conference. Al explained that another exciting keynote speaker was on the agenda for later, but wouldn’t tell us who it was. The Twitter crowd immediately started speculating who it would be--Chris Rock?
And a series of Pulse speakers proceeded to joke about the possibility of Al speaking in a Speedo as a Phelps replacement. With the anticipation building, it was hard to focus when Jim Logsdon, from Alcatel-Lucent (Diamond sponsor of Pulse), spoke about his long-term partnership with IBM.
Chris O’Connor’s discussion on why being Green is important was fascinating. He highlighted four key reasons to focus on energy and efficiency: money, risk, compliance, responsibility. He basically argued that we need to reduce wasting energy in the data center and use the cost savings to invest in better tools to save money, comply with regulations, avoid severe punishment, and act responsibly as world citizens. He definitely caught our attention—and it wasn’t just due to the totally cool green tie he was wearing. Chris used some simple math to show that we could save $750/year just on better managing two servers and $750K/year if we were dealing with a 1000 servers. The Twitter crowd really enjoyed his presentation.
Finally, the moment had arrived. We were all awaiting with excitement to hear who the new Pulse keynote speaker was for that morning. The crowd showed their excitement when Al announced it was Magic Johnson!
Magic Johnson came off as a darling to the crowd. He was very intelligent and personable—walking amongst the Pulse attendees, asking them to stand up, giving them long hugs, speaking and engaging with them directly, and encouraging personal photo opportunities. And his talk was both humorous and informative. Demonstrating a strong business acumen and industriousness, he spoke of his foundation and the unique perspective he brought to incorporating ethnic and urban consumer tastes to coffee shops, movie theatres, fitness centers, and real estate projects. He also encouraged the audience to stay positive and embrace a winning spirit in the face of current economic challenges. He was met with a standing ovation! Once again, the Twitter crowd went wild!
Thanks to IBM and to Magic Johnson! What a great treat and surprise!