Letter to a friend:
“Beautiful but juiceless!”

My Friend,

We are now six months after SubOptic Yokohama and during all these months this event is coming back regularly in my thoughts with each time the same question: Where is the flaw?

Even though I have personally enjoyed being there, meeting so many people I know, including some old Japanese friends, retirees who did visit me at the hotel and also a lot of active players, I came back home with a sense of non-satisfaction!

As usually the Japanese had done a great job at hosting the event, the program committee had work hard.  The venue, a modern building- hotel plus convention center- looking like a sailing boat   in the Yokohama waterfront, was superb! Just a bit too large may-be!  700 registrants, was a bigger figure than expected. I have particularly enjoyed the opening key-note speech of Utsumi-san: “The inscrutable Japanese”. I did like very much the words from Michael Jones Google Inc’s Chief Technology Advocate about the value of information in society and the role of innovation, fascinating and very thought-provoking insights!

At the end of the event I could sense that the organizers were very happy and proud of this event that they claims themselves as a big success .And I can understand : They had  done a very professional job ! Well done guys!

But, but... then why did I came back home a bit frustrated?

I walked around this conference, from a tutorial here, to some key papers and round tables. I did visit most of the booth. To be honest, nothing to grasp, no real debate, no real news, no lessons learnt, no analysis of the past achievement and no perspective for the future. Nothing about this question “Are we building the network that the world need?”

No messages from the industry leaders. : most of them never show up at the conference, all very busy in side private meetings in their suites or rented offices.

And one particular point: almost no attendance and participation from the cable owners or cable operators and then no debate between suppliers and their customers, basically absent.

It is my conviction that the present format is obsolete: without some significant changes SubOptic will not survived.

SubOptic should be an “university», a moment of reflection, a break in everybody’s business life! It is now just the contrary: a fair, a selling place.

SubOptic is like  the today fruits one can find in the Supermarket: each year more beautiful with perfect shape and color, but each time less juicy and tasty .

My Friend, you most likely do not share my view! Not a problem!  But please, no misunderstanding! It is because I like SubOptic that I call for changes. I would like that all the work done by all these people devoted to SubOptic ended in a more useful result!

I stay your friend.

Jean Devos

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