Two weeks ago I visited San Francisco to do the inaugural eCustomerExperience conference, sponsored by the folks at Creative Good. The last ‘first’ conference I attended was the Spring ’96 Netscape developers conference, and it’s tempting to compare the two, but probably unfair. Those were heady days at Netscape: hosts and attendees alike were stoked about what we were trying to bring to life on the Net. We knew we were on the cusp of something Really Big, and we knew that at that very moment we were at Ground Zero.

Actually, there were a lot of parallels at eCustomerExperience. There was a similar sense of optimism, and it would be fair to say that, in the field of customer experience anyway, we were once again at Ground Zero. It is, however, nearly five years later. We are well into the Internet Economy now – just past the bubble – and while the energy is there, it’s less focused. It’s tempered, maybe, by the knowledge that we’ve been this way once before.

One notable difference: In Spring ’96 we were at Netscape’s conference for the technology. In Fall ’00 we came to Creative Good’s conference for the people who will be using that technology. Viva la difference!

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