Am in Las Vegas as a guest of Microsoft for the SPARK workshop. (workshop blog, photos). I am very happy to have the chance to meet a load of people whose blogs I read regularly.
We spent the first afternoon on introductions and problem-definition. What is driving change in the architectural environment?
Some of the participants seemed to be primarily interested in rapid development of web applications, using cool new technologies such as Ruby on Rails. For them, the main architectural issues were around handing control over to the users (as individuals or emerging community), and the consequent architectural problems of security and scale.
Other participants (including myself) were interested to see how these themes interacted with business/enterprise themes. Not just web as a platform, but business as a platform. (See John Hagel on Disney, Pixar and Jobs, with my comments.)
Asymmetric Demand went up on the board, at my insistence, although we haven't yet agreed where it belongs.
Jeff Schneider later drew a chart showing the relationship between the user value system and the enterprise value system, which I claimed as a useful illustration of the asymmetry.
So what I see as important, from the first day's discussion, is not just the empowering of users and communities, but also the empowering of the enterprise - the ability to create new kinds of value. The second day is going to be on the architectural response to these challenges. I look forward to it.
Update: Jeff posted a cleaned up version of his diagram in his blog, which I discuss in my post on the Pleasure Principle (March 2006)