SMB Summit 2008 - Where have all the “Hero’s” Gone?

April 20, 2008 – 2:20 pm

Day 3 at SMB Summit and something is seriously missing.  The SBS and EBS labs are awesome!  The quality and quantity of content is beyond exceptional.  I’ve seen 2 solid 10 hour days of SBS and EBS content and opportunity presentations by some of the actual product team leaders.   I’ve watched Chris Almida give an excellent and detailed presentation to a full house on SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 Migration and had a great talk with Chris Phillips about the future of SBS, WHS and EBS and how they “could” work with Live.   Still, in spite of the great food and information, there is an obvious void here this year and it is the noticeable absence of the MVPs.   I knew their absence would be felt but didn’t get the full impact until Dana Epp (Security MVP) showed up and we started talking tech and they again at the MS party where the crowd thinned at such an early hour. 

I understand the scheduling of this event next to the MVP Summit made it a challenge for many most and it saddens me that the 500 plus SMB IT pros and business owners that are here do not get the privilege of engaging and interacting with some of the greatest minds and givers that I have ever been privileged to work with.    Tomorrow a lot of sharp, eager and knowledge hungry IT Pros are going to leave this event having learned a ton about technology and/or running and growing an IT business but they will NOT have had the full SMB community experience that makes me so proud to be a bird of a feather. I really, really hope none of the MVPs boycotted this event to prove some sort of point.  Now if you will excuse me I’ve got a lot of great people to go network with and then help Sobel put some finishing touches on his virtualization presentation.  MVPs, you were missed, and you missed out…

  1. 13 Responses to “SMB Summit 2008 - Where have all the “Hero’s” Gone?”

  2. “but when the only person in a crowded room capable of answering the technical questions is the speaker, its sad”

    Come on Mark… I think you’re taking things a bit far here. I think a few of us “in the crowd” can handle the load when there’s not an MVP in the house.

    I do agree with one (and pretty much ONLY one thing) though - It would have been great to see my freinds who are also MVP’s!

    By Gavin on Apr 20, 2008

  3. I intented to crop that out (and have done so)as it didn’t come out right. I mean the only folks that knew what was baked in to SBS and EBS were softies and those of us that were on the betas (but we don’t know what is public and NDA). The MVPs have a talent for giving us views of new technology in ways we can relate to and doing so with out actually breaking NDA (as one partner already did this weekend).

    By Mark on Apr 20, 2008

  4. Every time I got to one of these events it costs me time, and money. In full disclosure Mike Iem asked me to talk and at the time I said no because I couldn’t go to the MVP summit and SMB summit and take the time away for both, nor, the costs to either me or my firm. I had to choose one or the other and at the time, I opted to go to the MVP summit. As it was I had to cancel out on the MVP summit as well because my Dad broke his leg.

    I honestly cried last week because I was missing out on both Redmond and Texas. I know I missing out. You have no idea of how much I truly know I missing out and how much really good information you guys are being exposed to. I missed out on both Redmond and Texas and I will never be able to replicate either event.

    I’m upset as well that I couldn’t got to Texas, but I had to make life choices. I couldn’t say yes to Mike, and in hindsight with my Dad’s situation I would have had to say no and back out at the last minute. In that respect I’m glad I didn’t promise him I could do it, because I would have had to back out.

    So far I can make New Orleans but only because my sister is able to be here. She was up in San Francisco for her business needs and one of us had to stay here.

    Mark, I respect you a lot, but there was no proving of any point other than making hard choices. Financial,logistics, business and family. Having the event back to back like this means that anyone attempting to go to both would be spending time away from their livelihoods and family.

    Sometimes it’s hard choices… and this year has been extremely hard to make the choices. I’m not even sure at this time if I’m going to WWPC at this point in time. I’m struggling with that decision now.

    The community is here online. Point them to the newsgroups, the forums, the listserves where the real community lives.

    Remember that sometimes one has to make the choices for one’s personal community of family first. The SMB community comes after that.

    By Susan on Apr 20, 2008

  5. P.S. The SBS community should be larger than “the MVPs”. If it is not, that is not a healthy community.

    Gavin is right. You are not giving the people in the room a chance.

    By Susan on Apr 20, 2008

  6. Mark - wanted to be there but for many reasons, I’m not. for more info.

    By Wayne Small on Apr 20, 2008

  7. Hey Mark, I was here!!!! :-)

    In all fairness to everyone involved this conference rocked and it has now become the standard that many conferences that focus on the SMB crowd need to rise to. It gets back to my talk this morning about having the best people around you. Arlin did a wonderful job focusing on the best business minds in SMB IT today. That is what SMB Summit is about, sure there is a bit of techie content, however, in my opinion, this is not a techie conference this is a business conference and the business minds are here.


    Stuart Crawford
    In Dallas, TX

    By Stuart R. Crawford on Apr 20, 2008

  8. Hi Mark,

    I don’t think that there was any big boycot. But community support can only go so far. Truth is MVP’s get invited to so many events it becomes a huge expense to attend. Sure there’s value but it’s a diminishing return. I spent $14,000 on travel last year to SMB events. The pocket book can only handle so much. Community support is a two way street events support community, then community supports events.

    I would have loved to be there. But the budget is now very strict and choices had to be made. My choice this year is to attend the IT Pro conference in NOLA and MVP Summit. I still with that even these were further apart to minimize the impact on my business.

    By Amy B on Apr 21, 2008

  9. Mark,

    This is the real reason they weren’t there

    Now, you can’t have more controversial posts than Vlad, he’ll just get jealous :-)

    Cheers mate

    By Vijay Singh Riyait on Apr 21, 2008

  10. It seems most MVPs hang out with other MVPs at these conferences. It comes across that they do not like to mingle with the common Riff Raff. I can think of an exception or two, of course… I know one MVP that went so far as to make a Riff Raff T-Shirt to show his support and solidarity with the common SMB consultant. If more MVPs had this type of attitude and did not look down on us, then I would be more likely to agree that their absence makes a huge difference.

    By AllenS on Apr 22, 2008

  11. AllenS if there is a conference you are at with a bunch of MVPs in the corner.. go up and introduce yourself.

    I don’t know of many MVPs who look down on others… it’s mostly that we’re shy.

    Please do not let one or two MVPs that take the stage more than others give this impression to you that as a group we think we’re better in some ways.

    We’re all just human. And the only real reason that the hardcore MVP “is” a MVP is that they like helping people.

    By Susan on Apr 23, 2008

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  2. Apr 20, 2008: welcome to the funcave » The Answer To Mark’s Question
  3. Apr 20, 2008: welcome to the funcave » A Personal Answer To Mark’s Question
  4. Apr 21, 2008: Vlad Mazek - Vladville Blog » Blog Archive » In defense of the SBSer flag!

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