Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Celtics and more

Just getting back from my trip to Boston. I had a long 2 days in conference meetings and discussion of text analytics. Three great recommendations/comments I heard from end users (customers) were:

1. Win big and win early...when winning big is not an option, still win early
2. Show - Don't tell
3. Don't follow the shiny object

I think the first one is self explanatory; the second one has to do with making people feel valued. How many times do you ask a hotel staff member where something is and they say something like, "down the hall up the first set of stairs and make a right". What would happen if they introduced themselves, asked you your name, and then walked you to the place you are looking for? This methodology and insight from Gaylord Hotels International is applicable in more than the service is a key nugget in life (more action and less words). The last comment about shiny objects was from Alessandro Zanasi of Italy who is a member of ESRIF. His point was know your mission, understand what capabilities/skills are required to meet your mission, and then identify what technology fits into that paradigm. To often people get off course and impressed by irrelevant items and forget what the mission is.I had two hours to get in a little sight seeing but this town is so rich with history, how can you get a taste in such a short time? I grabbed the nearest tour bus and did the whirl wind tour and take in everything from the Boston Massacre and Paul Revere's home to The Garden (Celtics) and the ever famous Cheers. I took tons of photos and tried to soak it all in but two hours just scratches the surface. Stories of the Boston Harbor and Old Ironside to all of the things going on academically (there are 67 colleges/universities in Boston) ...the most famous of course MIT and Harvard.

After the conference I found a local pub and cheered the Celtics onto victory along with several hundred other die hard fans. The food was good the atmosphere was incredible. With 4 minutes left they started singing "Na na na na...hey hey hey...good bye" with a minute left the high fives and noise level was amazing and when it was all over they started playing "We are the Champions" and the whole place joined in. It is one thing to watch the game on TV but to be around all of that energy was pretty wild.

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