Bill Smith told me what it took to recover from Hurricane Katrina as CTO of BellSouth. In 2004, John Chapman explained how cable would get to a gigabit. (Almost no one believed him.) Jef Raskin explained why he created the Macintosh and what he did wrong. He did sessions in Second Life, now being refashioned as "The Metaverse."
The most original minds in telecom argued long into the night about how to create the future. Years before the rest of us, Jeff realized the giants were going to take over, innovation would slow, and conferences about telecom futures had less of a place. Since then, he invested early in Twitter and created the 140 Character Conference. He was a pioneer of NFTs but now sees them as overhyped.
When we programmed Pulver conferences, the mandate was clear: find the best and most interesting speakers, whether or not they would buy a sponsorship. We all know how the many pay-to-play events are dominated by boring sales pitches.