This is not fair to all the speakers since I could attend only a few (switching between tech tracks and business track) and trying to stay awake after heavy lunch, I might have missed a few other gems. But of the sessions I attended here are the best in each category.
The best show – Marc Canter
In addition to educating and entertaining and patiently answering lots of questions, Marc provided the most enjoyable evening program. He even danced a bit and gave a few pearls of wisdom. I love this one:
Rich people can’t be happy
The best presentation – Rohit Agarwal
It had all the elements of a good bollywood movie’s equivalent in a tech conference. It had wisdom, it had enough technology advice, it had a great list of dos and don’ts and a frank assessment of lessons learned. It was the best ROI for the 40+ minutes spent.
The most interactive presenter – Kiruba Shankar
Kiruba was kind enough to let the audience talk (a lot) and patiently added his opinions. He was great at harvesting the collective intelligence (and believe me, there was a lot of it).
The most patient and open minded soul
This award goes to Devishankar, the project manager of the show. I went up to him and told him flat out that I was very unhappy with the quality of the presentations (which on the first day was mostly product pitches by vendors). He was patient, gave me a slot to do some lightning talks (which I screwed up royally, Kiruba would have done a better job).
The five guys who braved a rapidly dwindling audience to come and talk about what they were doing and shared their knowledge from the scaling problems they faced to products they were building. To me they are the true spirit of the conference.