Do we REALLY care about what executives have to say?

Bring out the engineers for us and execs for others

We were taping two TechWiseTV episodes at Cisco Live this year. To get ready for a show, it takes a ton of set up and config time for all of us. Because of that we are on the show floor before it opens and stay until long after it closes. One day we were setting up our gear and someone told us to be quiet because John Chambers was on and they wanted to hear it. I kinda chuckled in that sarcastic "yeah right" laugh and looked around for someone to share a "must be in marketing" joke with, but to my surprise, EVERYONE in the booth was watching John Chambers' speech like he was fixing to turn lead into gold (oh wait I mean Unified Gold). I was a little taken back to be honest. As an engineer, I normally do not care what a "C" level exec has to say. I do not mean any disrespect what so ever. Their language is carefully chosen so the stock market doesn't freak out and every friggen analyst in the world is looking to pick every word apart like a hungry buzzard in the Serengeti. So they play it safe and who could blame them. Hey, I am an engineer; I need the meat and tators of technology not buzzwords. Of course some CEO moments are the stuff dreams are made of. Like when 3Com's Eric Benhamou pulled them out of the core switch market or when Bill Gates plugged in a USB cable and got a BSOD or even when Jerry Yang turned down Microsoft's unreal offer for dinosaur Yahoo. But to be honest, I never watched nor attended any of these. I read about them afterwards. Just give me the Cliff Notes version in 30 words or less. Truthfully, I do not think I have ever attended a CEO's presentation that was not mandatory. When I was at HP, we used to have to attend Carly Fiorina's mind numbing over buzzword laced talks. "blah blah blah..Garage...blah blah blah...think outside the box...blah blah serve you better we cutting these benefits... she is certainly ready for politics. CEOs certainly, steer the ship and set the course of the entire company and are important folks for sure. Normally they are just not the type of folks I would want to hang out with to smoke a Rocky Patel, toss back a few Newcastles and get some lines wet. They'd start talking about multi disciplinary empowered straw man future proofing synergies for quality vectors in change catalyst and I'd fall asleep, spill my beer and wake up to their handlers making so much noise they're scaring the fish away. Nobody wants seconds on that. So I reckon I am wondering if I am alone out here on the USS CEO Boredom? Do you as an engineer actually care enough about what a CEO has to say that you'll wait in line or stop what you doing to hear it? Or is the Cliff Notes version enough? Jimmy Ray Purser Trivia File Transfer Protocol Babies pick up their parents' accents from the womb, and infants are born crying in their native dialect. Researchers found that French newborns cry in a rising French accent, and German babies cry with a characteristic falling inflection.


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