'01 offers ideas in digital disaster relief
Sawhney addresses the audience at the Digital Frontier
a sacred cow today," said Professor Mohanbir Sawhney
during his keynote address leading off the 7th annual Digital
Frontier Conference (DFC) in January.
-- inspired by the market's recent volatility that's forced
entrepreneurs to rethink conventional wisdom -- was delivered
to business students and executives who arrived at the Donald
P. Jacobs Center eager to contemplate the conference theme:
"Surviving the Digital Storm."
own admission, Sawhney's lecture "meandered" through
an array of fascinating subjects, including quantum physics,
Zen Buddhism and the observations of his five-year-old daughter.
These examples served as touchstones for the professor who
urged the audience to think outside boundaries to find knowledge.
truth is always in the middle," mused Sawhney, explaining
that there is no dichotomy separating the new economy or old
economy, but simply a hybrid "enhanced economy."
attendees gathered to hear Sawhney and other e-commerce experts.
With 28 eclectic panels at the conference, participants had
a lot from which to choose. Some sessions addressed new trends
in venture capital, B2B and B2C online exchanges, while others
were more global in scope, considering the wired future of
Asia and Latin America.
DFC was the presence of nearly 100 invited alumni. Graduates
who could not attend in person watched the proceedings online.
Viewers of the live telecast submitted questions electronically
during Q&A sessions following each panel discussion.
Internet is not a fad. It is an evolutionary revolution,"
stated Mark Goldston, chairman and CEO of Netzero, the largest
free ISP in the world. In his keynote, Goldston accounted
for the recent dismal tech market performance by citing an
irrational public that rarely studies a business before investing,
and then runs when people yell "fire." Investors
did not give new ventures enough time to mature, he said,
adding that "asking certain start-ups why they had not
made a profit yet was like asking a sophomore in high school
why she had not graduated yet."
Steve Rogers (far R) leads the "Entrepreneur's Forum,"
a panel discussion at the Digital Frontier Conference.
voiced throughout the conference was how a dearth of capital
in reaction to a declining market might curtail future innovations.
Most participants, however, believed that survivors of the
shakeout will emerge bigger and stronger, especially as wireless
technology advances. In fact, experts on the "Wireless
Web" panel expected revolutionary changes in the mobile
phone industry with the advent of 3G, the third generation
of mobile phone technology. 3G bandwidth will increase technological
innovation, with entertainment driving new applications, the
to Goldston, other keynotes included Brian Kelley, vice president
of Ford; Charles Levine, CEO of Sprint PCS; Daniel Hesse,
CEO of Terabeam Networks; and Mark Hogan, president of e-GM.
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