December 21, 2004

Open Source Business Conference, 2005: What price integrity?

Author: Matt Asay

Last year I co-founded the Open Source Business Conference. The conference was a major success but, as I reflect, not as successful as it should have been -- and as it was meant to have been. We raised gobs of sponsorship dollars, had high-profile speakers, and a 96 percent approval rating within our attendee base. What's not to like?

As it turns out, the sponsors.

As my friend (and critic) Phil Windley opined in his blog, whereas much of the content was exceptional (Lessig, Clayton Christensen, etc.), a significant amount felt like it had been bought and sold. And it had. Sponsors demanded (and got) speaking slots based on their willingness to pay. While we tried to hold to editorial values, once the money was in our bank, it changed everything.
For the worse.

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