Last week marked one year for me at Adobe. It’s been a good year where I’ve learned a ton about a new segment of the tech industry and the ways that different organizations work. I’ve also been fortunate enough to work a lot with our partners and customers, spending a lot of time with them understanding the various niches in the ecosystems they play in as well as the goals and desires across the globe. I’ve been lucky enough to do a fair amount of travel in the first year: 13 trips from far flung places like Kansas City and Newark to Seoul and Milan! In that year, groups that I’ve worked with (I can hardly take credit to any of this stuff) launched the Verizon Dashboard, showed a product concept for multi-screen widgets, and a bunch of other things. It has been a great year and here’s to the next!
Mobile World Congress starts today, it’s my first time here. This place is pretty impressive. The Fira, the conference center in Barcelona, is built to match the architecture style of the city and blends right in to the fabric of the area. It’s impressively large and as you walk in you’re accosted by all the biggest names in the industry, mobile and general technology both. It feels a lot like the first Comdex I went to in the 90s. It also feels like Burning Man for tech geeks. In the entrance pavilion (which is outdoors) are huge 20 foot TV screens showing interviews, etc and race cars and booth babes. And that’s just outside.
Our hospitality suite — which is basically an office building that was shipped and built here — is amazing. There’s a full kitchen, stocked with food and drinks for the employees. And that’s completely hidden from the meeting rooms that our awesome admin and show staff run with full coffee and food service. As one of the companies I met with in the morning said, “this temporary office is better than our regular offices on the peninsula!” Needless to say, it’s quite cool.
Adobe’s booth is in Hall 1, and I’ll be manning it for various hours of the day from today until Thursday. I’ll also be doing two presentations at the theater at our booth, “Delivering the Most Complete Web Experiences Across Devices” and “Deliver Seamless Experiences With Flash”. Come check them out if you’re here.
I arrived in Rome yesterday at 6pm from Milan taking the new-ish fast train (still 3.5 hrs). My flight out to Barcelona is tomorrow at 9:20am, so I had about 10ish hours of awake time to see Rome for the first time. Thus began my sprint across Rome.
Friday night, I left the hotel and walked down the Spanish Steps towards the Trevi Fountain. Very nice and pretty walk in the evening and there were a good number of people around. It was cold but I can imagine in the summer how crazy it must get here. From Trevi I walked to the Parthenon where I had dinner at the piazza. I got lost a bunch of times on the way back but managed to stop in for gelatto a couple of times on the route which made it enjoyable (altho freezing).
Today (Saturday), I started early and left via Metro for the Colosseum. I got there at 8:30 and to my disappointment they didn’t take credit card for entrance. Seemingly keeping with the time of antiquity there was not a single ATM around for what must have been two miles. Finding an ATM put me back at the Colosseum at 9:15, still early enough to beat the crowd. From there I went off to the Roman Forum, which was something out of this world. Standing at the birthplace of the republican form of government is pretty special. The day had blue skies, not a ton of crowds, and an overall ease to it.
From the Forum, I took the subway across the river to the Vatican and made my way to St Peter’s Square and Basilica. The scale of the building and plaza is unbelievable. It’s so imposing and feels built to make you humble in the greatness of the church. I took the audio guide while I was there and listening to the veneration of everything holy was odd — it was interesting to get preached to while having a history lesson.
By this time it was about 3:30 so I had enough time to go see the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. The museum was quite impressive on its own. The collection of Egyptian and Etruscan work is incredible. They had a set of Sumerian scrolls and writings that were unfathomably impressible. The Sistine Chapel, and the apartments that lead up to it were equally impressive. My favorite Renaissance piece outside of the Chapel was Raphael’s The School of Athens as well as the Belgian tapestries. Inside the Chapel pick any of Michelangelo’s works, they’re all beautiful. Creation of Adam is particularly striking.
I made my way back via Metro (not without sampling a local Italian digestive at a bar) and parked at the hotel for an hour or so letting my feet rest. I went back out and took a taxi to Piazza Navano, had dinner overlooking one of the fountains. Walking back tonight I had a better sense of direction than last night via the same route, stopping again for gelatto en route.
Tomorrow it’s off to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress. Hopefully a bit warmer than there than here, but either way I’m excited to go.
Echoing Omar’s post, I started using FriendFeed to aggregate my activity across various sites on the intertubes. I’m at hyperionab on their services. It’s quite cool. I have this blog, delicious, Facebook, Google Reader, last.fm, LinkedIn, Netflix, twitter, and Yelp plugged in to it. It’s really useful that I can flag something as shared on Google Reader and it shows up in my FriendFeed feed. They’ve done a great job of creating that Facebook style news feed that works to aggregate many services, not all of which are social networks.