Just last Friday Phone.com had the opportunity to sponsor and attend the TEDxNavesink event held at the Brookdale Community College’s Performing Arts Center which brought together more than 350 people for a day long event with 25 fascinating talks and a handful of performances.
Over the past year Phone.com has increased the number of events we sponsor and as the person who usually sees these things through from start to finish I have to say it’s always a pleasure, but not always the norm, to be involved in well organized events. And TEDxNavesink most certainly delivered in both quality of talks and professionalism in production. So from the entire Phone.com team I have to congratulate all the organizers for pulling off an awesome TEDx event that can hold its own even amongst the best.
Now I won’t revisit all the talks in one big giant blog post because A) you’ve got better things to do and B) I’m not that great of a writer, but mostly because soon enough all the TEDxNavesink talks will be made available online for all to watch. There was though one underlying theme across all the TEDxNavesink talks that I’ll discuss…. and that was New Jersey!
Writing this as your typical New Yorker I have to say I learned some very interesting facts about New Jersey many of which I’m a little embarrassed to have not known already especially after working more than two years for a New Jersey tech company. Yes, that’s right, Phone.com is headquartered in Newark New Jersey!
So what did I learn?
I learned from Avi Karnani, co-founder of Thrive that many of the technologies such as the transistor and Unix which went on to fuel Silicon Valley in the 1960’s were in fact invented in New Jersey.
Thomas Edison’s first research center was in Menlo Park New Jersey where those oh so famous and oh so necessary to modern day life inventions were created including the light bulb, motion picture camera, and the phonograph.
In 1899 Guglielmo Marconi received the first radio transmission from a ship in the New York Harbor to his station in Highlands NJ.
Oh, and how can we forget Bell Labs. Headquartered in New Jersey Bell Labs can be credited for some pretty great technological innovations from the past century including the transistor, UNIX, C & C++, radio astronomy, cell phone tech, and much more. We were privileged to hear a talk by Robert Lucky, former head of research for Bell Labs in Holmdel.
But Lucky wasn’t there to talk about Bell Lab innovations, instead he chronicled the fall of Bell Labs and the Holmdel research facility which is now, according to Lucky, home to a whole bunch of deer.
There’s no denying New Jersey is deeply rooted in the history of technology but the question that’s on everyone’s minds, including various TEDxNavesink talks, was where and why did NJ lose its technological innovation steam and how do we get it back?
It’s a question everyone seems to have an opinion on, including myself, so when like minded people come together to discuss issues at events such as TEDxNavesink I like to believe we see a little more action afterwards and a little more attention to the important topics. I’m certainly optimistic towards New Jersey’s tech future and luckily I work for a great company like Phone.com who just might, and I believe we will, grow to have a major impact on VoIP and communication innovations in New Jersey.