The Skeptical Informer 2013 number 4: Big Ideas and Pink13

The IT Skeptic's Skeptical Informer newsletter for 3rd March 2013.
The Skeptical Informer

It has been a busy month on the IT Skeptic blog, so busy that this is the first newsletter in a month, sorry.

Every year I seem to run with a Big idea. Often they are not my original idea. Some are, but I always put my own spin on them. Past ones have included
- Big Uncle. Privacy is dead: get over it
- IT is about the people
- Crap Factoids. Critical thinking about what the vendors produce
- business has failed IT like a bad parent
- checklists: a key tool for IT
- Tipu: continual service improvement done as part of BAU
- Standard+Case model for responsiveness

This year there are two competitors for my attention:
- reconciling DevOps and conventional ITSM, extrapolating both to find the common ground, possibly around "anti-fragility"
- Slow IT. Just because the technology is changing that fast doesn't mean we have to, or can.

Both are important. Looks like I am the victim of the pace of change and I will need to run with both.

Also overshadowed by all this activity was my attendance at the Pink Elephant 17th Annual ITSM Conference in Las Vegas, a.k.a. Pink13.

Which One's PinkIt was an excellent conference. One of the reasons for its success was a "steady-as-she-goes" approach by Pink. In fact they even had a retrospective element to the conference with Which One's Pink, a Pink Floyd tribute band. It was superb. There were one or two grumbling tweets about the dance-ability of the music, but the event is held at 6pm on a weekday, so I think most attendees were happy to be blown away. Given the average age in the room, most were re-living their youth (I'm betting there were a few flashbacks induced). But the great thing about Pink Floyd is that they speak across generations. By coincidence, my 13-year-old son chose to learn Wish You Were Here on guitar while I was away in the USA. That messed with my head when I woke up to it on my first morning back. They'll be studying Pink Floyd in music class for centuries to come.

Their experiment this year was a slightly higher number of "inspirational" keynotes. Judging by the twitter stream this really fired people up. We had
- Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, astro-physicist
- Captain Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger, airline pilot and all-American hero
- Matt Ridley, rationalist thinker, author of The Rational optimist
- Wayne Cotter, IT comedian
- Sally Hogshead, and the "Fascinate" self-branding system
- Chester Elton, the "Apostle of Appreciation"
- Dr Dr. Victoria Grady, with the LoE Index
- and of course Fatima Cabral Ratcliffe, George Spalding and Troy DuMoulin of Pink

I have a lot of respect for Pink Elephant. In the Slow vein, they don't allow themselves to be diverted by fads, but they do adopt the new in good time. And they advance steadily. Quite elephant-like. There are some new ideas planned for next year's conference, which I am excited to be part of. Watch this space. I tend to keep vendors at arm's length, to protect the IT Skeptic brand, but I think my association with Pink (Elephant not Floyd) does no harm. They are a grand old institution that has managed to maintain its credibility and stay above all the crap generated by Castle ITIL. Also quite elephant-like. They've proved a solid and generous repository of ITSM knowledge for me over a decade (e.g. if you don't listen to Practitioner Radio you should - it is gold). Elephants again. I'm proud to be a part of what they do.

It will be a busy year for me this year. Wait and see what I present at Pink14!

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