Dan Bricklin's Web Site: www.bricklin.com
Dan Bricklin as a speaker
Dan is available as a speaker for conferences, meetings, classes, etc. Here are some details.
Dan Bricklin has received wide recognition as an innovator and entrepreneur (see "Public recognition of Dan Bricklin's work"). He has been speaking to a wide variety of audiences about computers and software for well over 20 years. Here is information that will be helpful if you are considering having him participate in your event.
Over the years, Dan has successfully enlightened and entertained audiences on a wide range of topics relating to computers, software, and entrepreneurship. Here are some of his most popular topics:
Innovation That Makes People Pull Out Their Wallets: Why were products like the spreadsheet so successful? How can we best take advantage of new technologies to address our needs? What is going to be hot for innovation and why?
Some points covered: What is the difference between "innovation" and "invention"? Why do people buy products? VisiCalc as a case history. What rules of thumb do we learn from that experience? What do we see when we apply those rules today?
He addresses these questions both through his perspective as a person who has created world-changing technology himself and as a technologist who continues to work in the field. His approach is very human, often drawing upon sociological sources and simple non-technical principles as well as examples. Including enough time for a good question and answer period makes this even better. The presentation can be tuned to audiences of all levels of technological expertise and has been successful for high-tech gatherings as well as for a dinner speech that includes spouses. People come away with new insight and having learned principles they can apply and explain to others.
Life of an Entrepreneur and the Early Days of the PC Software World: This is the story of the ups and downs of the development of VisiCalc, accompanied by many photographs and optional historic video. This speech has proven very popular for many years. It has been given many times to students at Harvard Business School by Dan as a guest lecturer, at other educational and training institutions, and at numerous conferences and meetings. It can be used as an introduction to the excitement of a new industry, as history, or to inspire people that they, too, can change the world. It includes much of the material on the History section of this website.
Open Source Software: There are many areas to be covered in regards to Open Source. Speeches include a mixture of topics such as these depending upon the audience:
Why Open Source is not new, and has always been (and always will be) an important part of effective software development whether management knows it or not.
The role of Copyright and other laws in Open Source.
A discussion of the variety of business and personal desires that are addressed by Open Source and how they are manifest in the many different License Agreements being used today.
Legal risks highlighted by Open Source and how to deal with them.
Important milestones in Open Source, including the SCO lawsuit and the interest in Open Source from venture capitalists.
For developers: What you need to know to keep your CFO out of jail and your company from losing its assets, and why your corporate lawyers are your friends and how to best work with them.
One type of audience is composed of corporate executives interested in learning more about this topic. Another type is composed of developers as part of their training on the legal aspects that they must follow in their work.
Dan has a unique perspective here and has credibility to developers as well as to business people. He has been a developer, inventor, entrepreneur, and business person, with both a degree in Computer Science from MIT and an MBA from Harvard. He has learned many of the realities of the legal world first hand through being involved in a variety of lawsuits involving intellectual property (both as a participant and expert), and was even called to testify in front of a Congressional subcommittee on Intellectual Property at one point in his career. He has spent much time listening to and talking with many influential people in the field on this topic. He has written and released both proprietary software as well as software under open source licenses.
Software That Lasts 200 Years: This talk is based on Dan's popular essay of the same name as well as follow-on research. It includes the motivation for why we need to think long-term about software and an understanding of principles to follow to help bring it about. Examples from other disciplines, including civil engineering and the investigation of major industrial accidents, help drive the lessons home.
In addition to the above topics, Dan has spoken about:
"Web 2.0", Ajax, etc.
Dan is available for both individual speeches (including keynotes), as well as for participating in panel discussions. He always tries to tailor the speech to your individual situation and will work with you to cover the topics you desire.
Dan has an extensive collection of memorabilia, photographs, and video tapes relating to the personal computer industry. He draws upon that collection when appropriate to provide a "you are there" feeling about events. His ongoing weblog is popular for just this reason, as he shares his experiences attending events that are inaccessible to most people.
Dan's speeches almost always include an opportunity for extensive question and answer periods. Given his varied background and personal participation in the high-tech industry, along with his approachable style, audiences like to ask questions on a wide range of topics.
If you would like to have Dan Bricklin speak at your event, contact him though Software Garden.
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