Coming down to earth at OOW14

Before I joined Oracle, I was honored to be an ACE Director for several years, and boy did I get spoiled. Especially at Oracle Open World time.

Oracle paid for my airfare and hotel. They set up the hotel reservation. They picked me up in (non-stretch) limo and delivered me to that hotel. They drove me back to the airport. Nice....

Then I rejoined Oracle in March of this year.

In late August, I was talking with a friend at Oracle and mentioned that I had yet to arrange my hotel.

"Whaaaat?" she practically screeched in the phone. "You don't have your hotel? Oh, Steven, you better get on that right away."

Turns out I had received an email on 7 July saying, in effect, "Congrats, Steven as Oracle employee. We have confirmed your registration for the now. NOW GO RESERVE YOUR HOTEL ROOM."

But I didn't notice that last part. Just filed the email away.

So I followed the advice of my friend, and went on-line to get my hotel reservation set up.

Guess what? I am staying in Emeryville, across the Bay. An hour long BART commute back and forth, that still leaves me 2 miles from the hotel. A big change in the daily dynamic. In the past, I could casually stroll from hotel to first session of day, or to a breakfast meeting. Then at the end of the day, I always knew the hotel was just a few minutes away.

Now, I must commute to OOW each day (and back at night). I will not have my hotel room as a place to return during the day. I will lug my backpack around all day. I will think about how late I want to stay at that "one more" event in the evening.

Yep, a care-free "celebrity" no more.

Kind of a relief, really. I never did feel very comfortable having a driver just for me (not that I ever turned down the airport pickup, though I often arranged to get back on my own).

And I always found it a little bit silly to be featured in the "Celebrity Seminar Series" when I did trainings for Oracle University.

I realize it's going to be tough, but I think I can do it. I can ride public transportation. I can pay more attention to my plan for the day and evening.

Or maybe I can find a friend with a hotel room at Union Square to crash with.


  1. Hello Steven,

    Today morning I just read a post on a web site, which was so "optimistic"
    as to predict that, following the newly announced change in Larry Ellison's position, pretty all Oracle employees will have to review their CV-s, because within about 6 months from now they will probably be looking for new jobs ...

    In comparison with such a case, maybe the hotel is not so big a problem ...

    ... and, I still hope it will be a good incentive for you to think of visiting other places
    as well ... where, well, ... you will also surely enjoy your former ACE Director's treatment :) :) :)

    Enjoy the OOW however, and please share your experience there with us :)

    Best Regards,

  2. Oracle employees getting their CVs ready? I really doubt it. My immediate impression is that they come up with a way to start the transition to a No Larry Oracle without alarming anyone or rocking the boat too much. And I very much like him being CTO and more involved in product. Oracle Database was his first product and I think he is still close to it.


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