I'm an aviation enthusiast. Any aviation enthusiast will marvel at the launches from an aircraft carrier. And of course, any aviation buff will agree that the Tomcat (Star of "The Final Countdown" and "Topgun") has reached the myth state of the Ford Mustang car.
So, this is the picture I have in mind when I think about the community and you in it. The community is first and foremost a group of people in which YOU play an equally important role as the guy or girl next to you regardless of which role you play or on which payroll you are. I made it my mission in life to make sure you get 'safely launched and airborne" with SDL. Of course many of you are already underway and some for quite some time. All the more reason to accelerate you even further.
The Dutch are known for many things and one of those things is that they are known for throwing "straight balls". They call it as they see it. Not always a good characteristic but in the context of building a community it comes in quite handy. We call good things "Good" and bad things "Bad". And we are open to talk about both. Good thing I'm dutch, so I can take it.
The San Francisco Innovate event will, for the first time in SDL history, have a true community event attached to it for our Users, Developers and Architects. This is prior and next to the - to be expected - market updates. It contains a Pre-Conference User/Developer/Architect day and a second coding-only Hackathon for Developers on the first Main Conference day. It is the first evidence of the big shift within SDL towards our community audience. It is first and foremost a "marketplace" where true supply and demand are meeting. That is different from a program that is crafted and honed to perfection upfront. Of course we'll deliver a jam packed solid program. Yet for us it is the start of a multi-year long lasting and continuous dialog on how to make you successful.
The San Francisco Launch
So, the San Francisco Launch is designed to support you to be successful in your business challenges. But it is a launch. A start of a conversation. Something we want to do both online in this platform and in person every time we meet for years to come. When we we talk you should feel free to talk about our successes and also our failures. When you walk away from a meeting with any one of the SDL community, we like you to feel enriched and supported; That something is happening and it is good for you. That is a big shift by any standards but very necessary. Why? Well like SDL, you have customers and they demand the same from you. It's time to provide you with the right network of people, a modern and open way of communication, the right knowledge and the right software to make you successful and to be proud of it.
If you can't make it to San Francisco, then do not worry. We will continue to iterate this message - and act accordingly - across SDL and hopefully way beyond. There are still tickets for Innovate San Francisco and when you register, you can use the “InnDev” code to get 15% discount. I really would like to meet you and talk to you. A community is not a website. It is a reflection of reality. I need you to tell me where to drive it.