EDitorial ± 21-Apr-2004

Which Slide Are You On?

Ever since turning to the dark side of the IT industry, ie becoming (whisper it) a contractor, a trip out of the office has been as infrequent as a government U-turn or the Canaries winning promotion — hats off, BTW.

0645: view from Princes St bridge
Some houses

So yesterday's awayday in London was a welcome diversion from the norm in spite of needing to be on the Great Eastern before 7am. Two thoughts:

  1. I'm always surprised that any other people are, well, even out of bed at that sort of time,
  2. and can I easily be picked out as someone who doesn't do this every day? Consulting an A-to-Z and gazing anxiously at the tube signs are dead giveaways.

0715: rails at Manningtree station
Some rails

Posh destination: Institute of Directors on Pall Mall, a short stroll from the Ritz and St James Palace. All very la-di-da, from the cloakroom to the chandeliers to the sheer number of suits walking around. Introductory coffee, mingle mingle, chicken or salmon with new pots for lunch, afternoon tea, network network, plus a few talks thrown in.

Two slides to every story
Somebody had to stop me
— P.I.L., Public Image (1978)

0820: heading shakily towards the tube
Some lettering

In the above paragraph, the deliberately understated phrase "a few talks" should more accurately be expressed as "six hours of Powerpoint presentations". Not including lunch. Six, whole, hours. Enough time to:

  • play both semi-finals, 3rd place play-off and the final of a football tournament
  • watch every episode of Fawlty Towers back to back
  • feel your very lifeforce ebbing slowly away

My Good Housekeeping approved method of staying alert and alive in such a situation is to take notes, jotting down the odd choice phrase or indulging in buzzword bingo. Herewith my heavily edited highlights:

...live the values ...next generation portfolio ...M&A due diligence ...addressable market by customer segment ...channel partners ...visible workpacks ...control tower ...minimise cashburn ...best in class ...360 feedback reviews
...dreamteam pushback ...cloud scenario ...experience in productisation ...hotlist integration ...maturity staircase (must have mis-heard this one) ...grow value

1705: leaving the IoD on Pall Mall
Some building!

See, that's why they pay us the big bucks, to sit through a day's worth of that. Heck, at least I didn't pass out.

Be seeing you!