Landing clients for speaking gigs at industry conferences is often a key deliverable for PR firms. Some events are more prestigious than others. For example, these last couple of days we’re swimming in the breathless doings at TechCrunch Disrupt, taking place in the Big Apple. Yahoo! chief Marissa Mayer took the stage this morning with TechCrunch founder (and once persona non gratis) Michael Arrington who is a deft interviewer.
Ms. Mayer’s charm and intelligence prevailed prompting Mr. Arrington to say:
“I’ve interviewed you many many times on stage. I cannot throw you off. I can throw anything at you and you have a polished, diplomatic answer and it’s still fairly honest. It’s annoying to me that I can’t.”
If you represent one of the darlings of the consumer-facing tech industry — Google, Facebook,Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo!, Amazon and several others — it’s a no brainer to land an unpaid speaking slot, if not a keynote, at almost any conference in the space.
It was therefore surprising that the head of product for Google took the lead personally to land himself a keynote at an Internet of Things conference in California. One problem, however: when veteran product design executive Scott Jensen arrived at the venue, he declared “I am Google.” He then cased the room and declared “”I do not speak to small groups.” before storming off an hour before he was to take the stage.
Read Write’s Owen Thomas has the poop in his piece “Google Exec Demos The Internet Of Jerks.”
Maybe Ms. Mayer spoke too quickly when she answered “no” to Mr. Arrington’s question about whether her former employer Google was evil. She might have said “mostly no.”