Liferay Dream Day Barcelona: What a great experience
Staff Blogs June 29, 2011 By Jorge Ferrer Staff
Yesterday we held the first ever "Liferay Dream Day" event in Barcelona. This event was possible thanks to our partner iSoco who is highly specialized in innovation activities and it was an amazing experience for all of us. The event counted with the participation of selected key customers from around Spain along with our partners iSoco, B2B2000 and GMV with the goal of brainstorming (dreaming) how Liferay could evolve in the future. Among the attendants there was a very interesting combination of project managers, CIOs, technical people, sales people, etc.
Conducted by Philippe Delespesse from Inteligencia Creativa, an expert in this type of innovation workshops, the event started by selecting two topics, content management systems and integration of applications. The attendants were organizaed in four groups and Philippe showed how to use a methodology called SCAMPER, to come up with new ideas that could be either an evolution or completely disruptive.
Something that Philippe insisted on and I found particularly interesting is that during an innovation workshop it is completely forbidden to say that an idea is a bad idea (at least for now). The reason is that it is in human nature to reject ideas that are too different, so if we let that happen very good ideas could be rejected before we realize how good they can really be.
It was great to find out that many of the ideas that came up were things that we were already working on for the upcoming 6.1 (which I wasn't allowed to say), but what I found awesome is that even for those ideas some interesting and new perspectives also came up. The participants also came up with lots of new ideas as well and each group were asked to pick the best 5. Those ideas were put on a board and we will keep working on defining them in detail so that they are added to the product roadmap (I'll blog more about the specific ideas later on).
A second phase of the day was dedicated to the creation of websites for mobile devices. This session used a different methodoloy that resulted in a conversation not related directly with Liferay or any platform, but rather about what people would like to be able to do ideally when they are on the move. At first it was hard to understand were this was getting to, but as the ideas were being captured in a board by Philippe I realized that the great thing about it was that the needs identified were real needs by end users. If we would have asked portal developers or administrators they would have answered what they thought their users wanted, which could or could not be what they really want.
All in all, I think this was a great experience. All of the participants that I talked to were very excited of having been part of the event and wanted to keep participating, because it is not that usual to be able to influence at this level how a product you use should evolve. For those of you reading this that are active community members, you are already used to how it is possible to participate in the evolution of an Open Source product like Liferay. What is great about this type of events is that it helps getting involved to many people who may have not beeen involved otherwise, but have a great deal of experience that helps the whole community grow and help build a better product for everyone.
Considering this success I'm pretty sure we will repeat the event in other parts of the world, so if you are interested in participating let your account manager know. And of course, if you have ideas that you want to share right away, there is not need to wait, share them in the forums to find out what the rest of the community thinks about them.