Day One at OnDemand 2007

Arriving in Boston

After a long delay, I arrived at my hotel at about 2am this morning, and was leaving for the OnDemand show by 10:30. I felt pretty good despite the travel and weather, and was really looking forward to it. I was not disappointed.

The Digital Print Podcast

After spending a little time on the show floor, barely enough to get disoriented, I participated in the podcast that Xerox hosted on various issues surrounding digital print. It was a pretty good time, though it was a bit journalist heavy. There weren’t any printers there. Still there was some interesting dialog.

It was less than an hour long â?? a bit short I thought â?? so the answers to Gavin’s questions were kept short. Some major items that shook out were whether or not printers had to become â??solutions providersâ?? who did way more than print in order to survive. Some said yes, others said printers had to concentrate on doing what they did best. I think the truth is that all printers will have to adjust and find new things to be good at, but they won’t all have to be good at everything.

There was also discussion about how pricing tactics among quick printers were very destructive, and they need to learn to price on value (along with learning what value it is they provide) and thus preserve that value. Otherwise they are going to live a life of pricing torment.

There was a lot of other discussion, and you’ll be able t hear the whole thing at In The Balance.

Xerox lays an egg with second life

I was at Xeroxâ??s very swanky get together this evening at Fenway Park. On the quality of the outing as a whole, Xerox gets an â??A’. No cost cutting or schmaltzy efforts to make things seem fancier than they were, and quality goods all around.

But, the press conference was a different story. First Mr. Firestone delivered a pretty typical speech about the blah blah blah about their products. I donâ??t mean to be negative about Xerox here, all speeches of this type are too detailed and lack really grabbing value statements that connect with people. Hence the blah blah blah. Lots of companies do it, usually because they employ people like me who feed them a lot of detailed stuff and they just pass it on to the masses.

The rest of the presentation was in â??second lifeâ??, a virtual world where avatars in a virtual world were purportedly interacting with Xerox equipment. It was actually more like a spoof of a spoof of faculty put on by a bunch of middle school nerds, actually put on by baby boomer nerd wannabes. The characters were not flattering, the script was stilted, and overall the effect was very, very poor.

The consensus between Adam Dewitz, Frank Cost and I was that if theyâ??d hired a few 14 year olds they could have saved a bundle and had a funnier show. Maybe a giant dragon pooping out Kodak logos or something.

On the bus back to the hotel, I ran into a Xerox guy who explained that the point of the presentation was to poke a bit of light-hearted fun, not to be a cutting edge marketing masterstroke. In that it succeeded somewhat, but it still felt like old-media people clumsily using new media.

[UPDATE] I spent some time the next day with Xerox’s PR folks, and learned some interesting stuff.

So tomorrow I have the day to look at the show and learn what’s new.


4 thoughts on “Day One at OnDemand 2007

  1. Xerox Round Table
    It certainly was fun. I too wish that we had more time on the questions at hand. I knew going in that getting to all those questions would be hard pressed. The good thing is the diversity and experience surrounding the table gave us a lot to agree about and disagree about. I am sure our good friend Mr. Alin Jacobs of DME at the table might like to remind you he is a printer. At one point it was â??the Printer vs. the Educatorâ??â?¦ I was tempted to throw in the foul card but the talk track was engaging. Nonetheless, Xerox cannot thank you enough for participating.


  2. Gavin,

    It was my pleasure to participate! I agree on educator vs. printer.

    I also agree on Alin being a printer, but it was pretty clear that printing was added out of necessity, not their core business. But as you say, he’d be quick to remind me 😉


  3. I can’t take credit for the feces spewing dragon. The credit goes to the hooligans that ransacked John Edwards’ Second Life HQ a few months back.


  4. Hello Gavin,
    A blast from the past! Great writing and interesting reading!… Looking forward to hearing from you. Annie Hume-Almeida. England


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