I once heard someone say that if a bomb were to drop on the Four Seasons Aviara in Carlsbad, CA during the Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital Conference, Silicon Valley would be in serious trouble.
This assessment isn’t too far off.
In the world of executive conferences there are few that carry the weight of this event, which celebrated its fifth iteration this year.
(Other major mover shaker gatherings of course include TED, PopTech, the Web 2.0 Summit, DEMO/DEMO Fall and the recently added TechCrunch40).
There are two reasons for this event’s continued success — Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg.
As one of the most powerful Journalists in technology and business, Walt can make or break a company’s success with a review in his column.
His feisty fireball of a partner, Kara, recently left her staff job at the Wall Street Journal to take up the mantle of blogger/vlogger at the D-branded site, AllThingsD. Armed with a tiny video camera and her ever-present sunglasses, Kara charges up and down the hallways of Silicon Valley companies putting Valley influencers on the spot, always with her tongue welded firmly in cheek.
Their mutually platinum Rolodex’s, combined with the power of their roles in media allow Walt and Kara to pull together a Who’s Who list of speakers to wow the A-list crowd of attendees. From Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to Barry Diller, Ivan Seidenburg and Terry Semel, the list of folks who have graced the stage for the last four years of this event represent the creme de la creme of Silicon Valley’s elite.
Kara moderated a panel at the 2006 AlwaysOn Innovation Summit and was kind enough to sit down with me for a couple of minutes after coming off the stage. We talked about innovation and how it’s largely due to failures from the dot.com bubble bursting that we have as rich and powerful a media landscape as we do today.