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Sep 24

The two Oktoberfests; The State Fair of Germany

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Google Developer Day Munich

Yesterday, I had the pleasure to speak at Google Developer Day in Munich, where I met a lot of bright developers doing very interesting things indeed on the Web and beyond. It was interesting timing, as during the event, T-Mobile made their announcement of the G1 phone. A few people are talking about that. We cut to the webcast of the announcement during the show, and Chris DiBona did a great job showing off a real device (gasp). Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPhone, but there are some great features in the phone, and the platform. I have been a little surprised at some of the media writeups, for example people talking about syncing without realizing how cool the over the air stuff is. It drives me nuts that I ever have to hard wire the darn iPhone! And, then there are the issues of the market place. Wil Shipley pretty much covers my thoughts. It is crazy what Apple is currently doing. What if Apple decides to get into the Flashlight business…. will they kick out all of the duplicative flash light applications?

Wil gets to the chase:

I have to be clear: it simply will not stand for Apple to prevent applications on the iPhone from competing with Apple’s own applications. Besides chasing away all decent developers, besides hurting their customers by stifling competition and innovation, besides it simply being evil, it will, shortly, be illegal. This kind of behavior is illegal when you hit a certain point in market saturation for your product; Microsoft was slapped for it constantly in the late ’80s. If the iPhone is the success Apple thinks it will be, they will find themselves the target of a huge class-action lawsuit.

Anyway, back to Munich. The first Oktoberfest was GDD, which someone called “Oktoberfest for geeks” but later in the day, people got to go to the real Oktoberfest. I have to admit that it wasn’t at all as I was expecting.

It felt like the Minnesota State Fair! All of the rides, and the food…. not as much of it on a stick as the Minnesotans would like, but they would enjoy the fried stuff, and the ‘wurst. There were some differences though. The State Fair has lots of John Deere (machinery hill), and truck pull events, and 4H clubs. Oktoberfest has beer tents. Oh, and some beer tents, and some…. you get it. As I poked around, I heard a huge amount of English (or should I saw American), and I remember hearing Germany and Norweigan in Minnesota :)

Humans are strange creatures aren’t they? To fly thousands of miles to go to a fair where you get incredibly drunk and try hard to find a bar maid that tickles your fancy.

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