Written By: James Lingle, an official guest blogger for HITEC Houston 2018
It is hard to believe that HITEC is over. If you had the chance to read my pre-HITEC blog, you might recall that I was fretting about being ready for HITEC. Now that it is over, I cannot believe how fast it went by. HITEC this year was a great show for me — and I am going to imagine for a lot of others as well.
Here are a few of my favorite (HITEC) things.
Entrepreneur 20X. Every year, this pitch competition gets bigger and bigger. Not only in attendance, but in the creativity of the pitches. While I give kudos to all the participants, there are a couple that, for me, stood out:
- Zendility — I know that this one isn’t the sexiest of the group that we saw. What I really liked is that they really were, in my opinion, the most ready for prime time. I know that 20X is about innovation and the new and that a product this ready doesn’t always feel new, but I think there are a host of real operational challenges they can tackle now.
- Sencity — So now that I told you we need to look towards practicality, I am going to tell you that this one captured my imagination the most. It all surrounded one simple concept I took away from their presentation — encouraging and rewarding positive social behavior. A business not just finding a way to engage people, but using that engagement toward a positive end.
AI. AI was big this year, bigger than I think I ever remember. We saw AI at E20X, on the sales floor and in the educational programming. I think one thing I picked up on this year was that the term “AI” today is much like “Cloud” five years ago — everyone seems to have their own idea of what it really is.
Trough of Disillusionment. This came out of the blockchain session moderated by Mark Haley on Wednesday morning. This may have been my favorite concept for the entire week. The idea is Gartner’s and it was applied to the Technology Hype Life Cycle (find the whole life cycle and explanation here).
Theresa Payton. Thank you HFTP for bringing Theresa back to HITEC. What a strong close she brought to the show this year. Hopefully it won’t be five years before she comes back. She brings a new way of thinking about our security and “hygiene.”
Networking. I think sometimes we all end up getting lost in the day-to-day challenges we face. When we come to HITEC we have the opportunity for some white space time. We re-engage in relationships with friends and colleagues we see all too infrequently. Honestly, this may be the thing I enjoy the most about HITEC and I will share a quick story to illustrate my point. I had lunch early in the week with a couple of industry colleagues. There was someone with them I did not know. We started talking about his company and I found out that he grew up and works in the same small town in North Carolina that I grew up in! To quote, “It’s a small, small world,” and now I have a new industry friend!
I hope you had as great a HITEC as I did if you were there, and I hope you are already looking forward to Minneapolis like I am! Thanks for sticking with me on this and feel free to sound off in the comments section.