Adobe Digital Dialogue

March 12, 2013 /Events /

Felix Baumgartner at the Adobe Summit! Day 2 Keynote Recap

Suzie Brady, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Man­ag­er, Adobe ANZ, LinkedIn

Snow clouds are mov­ing in across Salt Lake City on Day Two of the Adobe Sum­mit, the Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing con­fer­ence and the del­e­gates are mov­ing slow­ly this morn­ing. Every­one is still com­ing down from the Adobe Bash; the excite­ment of The Black Keys con­cert, the inno­va­tion of the show­case room and the danc­ing that went on to the ear­ly morn­ing. Lit­tle did we know we were about to go on a roller coast­er ride of emo­tion, sus­pense and intrigue at the open­ing keynote: we were about to jump from space, dri­ve over 100 miles an hour, win an Olympic medal and con­quer long divi­sion at last!


It might be freez­ing out­side but the tem­per­a­ture rose in the con­fer­ence room as Aus­tri­an base jumper Felix Baum­gart­ner walked on stage. His ‘walk on’ would have been under­whelm­ing if Adobe’s gigan­tic screens weren’t play­ing Felix’s record-break­ing sky­dive from space. Even though we know he land­ed safe­ly after break­ing the sound bar­ri­er, we del­e­gates were on the edge of our seats as the enor­mous images beamed out across the room.

Adobe’s John Mel­lor intro­duced Felix and spoke about how mar­keters were forced to make big deci­sions every day as we take risks to adapt to the pace of the tech­nol­o­gy evo­lu­tion.

Felix knows a lot about risk. He said a lot of peo­ple call him an adren­a­lin junkie but he thinks of him­self as  a risk man­ag­er. His sky­dive from space was the cul­mi­na­tion of five years of metic­u­lous plan­ning. Over­look­ing any detail would like­ly result in death and Felix dis­cussed the impor­tance of the team he had around him; the knowl­edge he acquired to under­stand every detail of any­thing that could go wrong and being one step ahead so every pos­si­ble issue had a solu­tion.

In the mid­dle of his dis­cus­sion with John, Felix had a lit­tle cough­ing fit and attrib­uted it to a ‘space cough’; he is prob­a­bly one of the very few in the world who could use that as an excuse to miss work! In the end, Felix said the only unknown fac­tor that remained before the jump was whether a human could sur­vive break­ing the sound bar­ri­er. It was an inspi­ra­tional dis­cus­sion.


Del­e­gates then had to change gear as the giant screens screeched NASCAR footage across the venue. Marc Jenk­ins, Vice Pres­i­dent of Dig­i­tal Media for NASCAR was joined by Alan Wexler, Exec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor for North Amer­i­ca and Europe. The duo spoke about how they are work­ing with Adobe to deliv­er a rich­er and more per­son­alised expe­ri­ence for their fans.

By tak­ing advan­tage of rig­or­ous ana­lyt­ics and feed­back from fans, NASCAR is allow­ing fans to inter­act with their favorite car and its team, and get a real time under­stand­ing of what’s hap­pen­ing to the car, and what the team is doing, dur­ing a race. That lev­el of detail has nev­er before been avail­able in real time.


Senior Vice Pres­i­dent for Dig­i­tal and Broad­cast at NBC, Julie DeTaglia then took del­e­gates on a jour­ney to deliv­er cov­er­age of the Olympic Games. The chal­lenge to adapt to new tech­nolo­gies every two years is a daunt­ing prospect; but it is often big sport­ing events that dri­ve inno­va­tion and that only ben­e­fits view­ers.


The keynote end­ed on a sur­pris­ing­ly emo­tion­al note. Salman Khan, founder of the Khan Acad­e­my, told the audi­ence how he is chang­ing the world by deliv­er­ing edu­ca­tion videos around the world. His mis­sion state­ment is to deliv­er world class edu­ca­tion for any­one, any­where.

The Khan Acad­e­my now has over 75 mil­lion unique users and Sal’s inspi­ra­tional jour­ney in his quest to deliv­er edu­ca­tion to any­one, any­where brought del­e­gates to their feet in a stand­ing ova­tion. An incred­i­ble fin­ish to a great ses­sion! You can fol­low him on Twit­ter @salkhanacademy


If you couldn’t be part of this fan­tas­tic event, don’t despair.  Adobe is bring­ing you this con­tent and more to events in Syd­ney and Sin­ga­pore in mid-year. Reg­is­ter here to receive an invi­ta­tion.


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