The next Asymco Workshop: Airshow. June 9th, WWDC, San Francisco


I join forces with Pixxa, makers of Perspective, to present a workshop on the future of presentation.

After giving dozens of talks in the last year using an iPad with Perspective I’ve learned a few things. Having also spent years using Powerpoint to try to do the same thing, I’ve experienced first hand how slideware has gotten in the way of great storytelling.

So we teamed up to understand how stories come alive using data and drew inspiration from Aristotle, Welles, Tufte and Rosling to build a new theory of presentation.

We believe that we have summoned up enough cohesion in the theory to put it forward to an audience and tell the story of storytelling; practicing what we preach, so to speak.

Here are some of the questions we are putting forward:

  • How and why are presentations different from one-on-one interactions?
  • Can mobile technology help tell stories better than the Powerpoint metaphors?
  • Is motion and interaction effective, and if so how can it be choreographed and directed?
  • Does “camera position” affect the focal point of a story? In other words, should the presenter think of the camera as a character in the story?
  • Can presentations be built more quickly and can the presenter obtain confidence without rehearsal?
  • What are some of the constraints of venue and legacy AV equipment that perpetuate ancient dogma? How can the presenter eliminate or mitigate these constraints?

At a minimum, the workshop is designed to recruit and equip a new cadre (no more than 50) with a new algorithm of presentation built on rhetorical, theatrical and cinematic foundations.

We call the workshop Airshow. June 9th, 10am to 4pm, the day before WWDC, in San Francisco. Sign up here.

  • David Ryder

    Horace, I can be there but the Airshow idea sounds great! It is about time that someone tried to address the deficiencies in Powerpoint/Keynote-based presentations. (Why hasn’t anyone else commented???)

    • johnsylv

      Because the question is not an original one, and as such, this is just one more potential approach in a sea of answers to the question.

      • Watcher

        Three of which are?

      • Jacob Willliams

        Does iTunes run slow on a PC or does a PC run iTunes slowly?

  • handleym

    This has nothing to do with the show, but it’s a point I think is interesting enough that I’m willing to take the risk of being considered spam to make it. Horace may want to add this story to his worldview of evolving tech businesses.

    The trigger is this article:

    And my comment on this is as below:……………………..

    The REALLY interesting question here is: what was the nature of the deal being offered by Apple?

    One possibility is, sure, a request for an Atom-like chip.

    More likely, however, is that Apple needed the low-power that only ARM at that time provided, so the deal was for Intel to make an ARM chip or SOC or suchlike. The reason this is interesting is Otellini is trying to play this up as an essentially business decision about projected cost vs volumes.
    The truth is more likely that Intel was in love with the vision of x86 ISA everywhere, and was unwilling to compromise on that vision; basically a rerun of the WIndows everywhere vision which MS was likewise unwilling to compromise on, and which similarly lost them the phone market.

    In both cases, we don’t yet know how the story will end, and we don’t know how the counterfactual would have played out. But my personal opinion is that in both cases the grand strategy chosen was the wrong strategy. Even IF, at the end of the day, Intel manages to get Atom competitive, so what?

    The point of the exercise is ultimately for Intel to make money. If Intel eventually DOES match ARM prices, they’ll have achieved a Pyrrhic victory, really hurting their desktop line. FAR smarter would have been for Intel to get a full ARM license, focus their efforts on making a kick-ass ARM chip (using all the µArch and fab tricks they’ve used on Silvermont) and with the x86 line price-protected against the much lower cost ARM line.

    The vision of “our product, EVERYWHERE” is a seductive one — and basically a stupid one. It’s pretty much always the case that the hollowing out that you generate at the low-end is going to one day kill your high end, ESPECIALLY in a tech market. Far more sensible is a split product strategy — reuse what makes sense between two or more lines, but don’t UNIFY the lines.