Wednesday 3 February 2016 – RootsTech 2016 – Innovator Summit Day

The day started out shortly after 7am with the trek through the huge Salt Palace convention centre from the entrance right by the Radisson hotel to the far south end where Registration was taking place. Luckily at that hour, on the first day of RootsTech the crowds hadn’t yet formed, so I was able to get in and registered in just a few minutes – the fact that I have only this evening discovered that I was given the wrong Lisa Christensen’s registration ticket and bag not withstanding. (First order of business tomorrow will be to go and return that and try and get the right information for Lisa to attend a couple of the evening social functions.)

First up at 9am was Shipley Munson of Family Search with a welcome and introduction of the day’s two keynote speakers:

Steve Rockwood – CEO of FamilySearch International

Steve talked about his work before coming to FamilySearch with a company that altered the call centre business by coming up with the idea of having the call centre staff work from their homes. He helped develop the “Bidirectional Offsite Phonecall Generator” – the BOPG – or “Bunch of Phone Guts” that allowed offsite call centre workers to answer phones from their homes. Moving on to where family history is now he talked about transitioning from “Facts of the Chart” to “Stories of the Heart”, and instead of trying to bring people in to the family history world, take the family history world to them. Once example he gave would see a personal assistant like Siri being aware of a person’s family history and so able to tell them as they’re travelling that grandfather is buried just a few miles from where we are now, so that family history can enhance travel and other normal activities.

Ken Krogue – Founder and President of InsideSales

Ken Krogue talked about his experience going “from Startup to Unicorn” with his company InsideSales.com and outlined a set of steps that can make your business better focussed and more successful. For one example he showed a picture of a Makita cordless drill and asked what that picture was selling – it wasn’t power tools, or a drill – it was selling a hole – the end result of using the drill. He talked about the “price-quality-speed – pick 2 dilemma”, and noted that Costco seem to have managed to pick all 3. He also had some good points to make on the relative successes of different message media, with blogging now being one of the most successful means of getting a message out, and he talked about the expectations in this modern web connected age of response times – a 39 hour response time doesn’t work any more, but if you can shorten it to 5 minutes you’ll have a 92% closure rate. Ken also talked of the story behind the movie “MoneyBall” about the Oakland A’s baseball team and their turn around in management style to managing almost solely based on player stats and numbers. The top media is blogging, and Content and Distribution are King.

The session ended with an outline of the rest of the day, and everyone dispersing to the first classes, or to just hang around and socialise.

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