For those who haven’t caught the dozen or so self-promotional references, Oracle hosted Lunch 2.0 this afternoon at the silos in Redwood Shores. I struggled to explain to people what Lunch 2.0 is before the event, not having attended one myself, but now I have a better idea. If you’re interested, the San Francisco Chronicle ran an article on Lunch 2.0 in May, giving a nice history.
Their unofficial slogan is “We really want to eat your lunch.” What started out as a way to get free lunch from the various techno-plexes around the Valley, has become a networking event where people go to network, share ideas, and recruit. Oh yeah, and eat free food.
Back in August, Jeremiah Owyang called out Oracle for not getting community, and he suggested Oracle should host a Lunch 2.0. We took his suggestion, and he was among the attendees; his name tag read “Jeremiah Instigator”. I’m not sure of the official count, but you can see from the pictures, a lot of people. The guesses put it over 200, which is a nice turnout.
In addition to Jeremiah, I met Robert Scoble and Joseph Smarr, one of the Lunch 2.0 founders and currently at Plaxo. Kind of weird to meet people you “know” virtually from your Interwebs life in the flesh. The short demos were from the Web Center team and the Field Sales team, who showed their Google Maps mashup, and apparently, I missed the Siebel widgets demo while I was busy blabbing in the hall.
We (AppsLab) decided not show Connect because of the sensitive information, i.e. it’s the employee directory. That, plus we’re pretty lazy, ask anyone. We did show Connect to Jeremiah and Robert in a side session; Lisa Amorao captured that side demo here. That’s me on the far right, looking like a complete tool. She has a nice recap too.
Robert posted video of the end of that session here, which features Rich laughing, a lot. They seemed favorably impressed, but who knows, maybe it was the sugary goodness of free dessert talking. I guess we’ll see what they blog in the next few days.
Funny side note, Rich and Robert had a laugh about a blogging dust-up they had years ago. They hadn’t met in person until today. Good stuff though, both remembered, and they had a laugh.
Justin blogged about the event, and he has a slide show of pictures, including a great one of Rich looking pensive and me looking clueless, typical day for us. There was Oracle Lunch 2.0 swag, including t-shirts. Those didn’t last. Tim has a bunch of photos here.
Apparently, I missed an exciting moment. Marius took some folks on a tour of the campus after the event, but security wouldn’t let them take photos in Building 500, where Larry keeps his office.
One extra cool thing was seeing the attendance of Oracle people, especially developers who are excited about new web and want to build next generation software with new web goodness baked in; overall, a sweet event and a baby step on the road to embracing the community and new web. Kudos to Justin and company for getting this done.
Update: Jeremiah has posted his recap of the event and his pictures, including this one of Rich, Paul and me. Incidentally, we have a fourth member, Anthony, who should be making his foray into blogging soon.