Today while digging up an old podcast of a talk by Clayton Christensen I discovered IT Conversations will be no more as of year’s end. Doug Kaye writes:

We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished. Much of what we’ve pioneered in the past ten years is now commonplace. Our goal was to make it easy for others to produce audio recordings of events and make them available to the world for free. That’s now the norm. We have succeeded.

Indeed they have succeeded. I wanted to just post a small homage to what IT Conversations meant to me and point to a few of my favorite talks given over the last decade. These were easy for me to find since I used to download and archive podcasts just in case. The good news, however, is that the content is going to The Internet Archive and should be there for the foreseeable future.

IT Conversations always represented the ability for me to reach out and connect to the better and brightest minds out there who were thinking about innovation and technology. This became all the more valuable after I relocated to South Dakota where I didn’t have a network of geek friends to feed off of and find inspiration. Even now, amongst the noises of the internet and information tsunami of social media, I can easily displace that sort of lonely feeling of working in isolation by finding a good podcast and making a virtual friendship. Even though their work is considered done I’ll still return to old favorites and enjoy the tell. With that said, here are just a few of the memorable talks over the years for me:

Clayton Christensen: Capturing the Upside – March 17, 2004

Clayton Christensen is a professor at the Harvard Business School. This talk covers ideas on innovation from his books The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail and The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth . He has since written more on the topic, applying his thinking to the healthcare industry in The Innovator's Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care and education in Disrupting Class, Expanded Edition: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns .

Paul Graham: Great Hackers – July 27, 2004

Paul Graham is a hacker, artist, and inventor among other things. His angel investing company, YCombinator is know far and wide as are his essays which are the basis of his book Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age . This talk covers the ground of his essay on great hackers.

Tim O’Reilly: Watching the Alpha Geeks – October 3, 2002

Tim O’Reilly is a the guy behind O’Reilly media – I’ve posted before about how many books I’ve bought with an O’Reilly seal but there’s much more: an online book service as well as his now well known “radar” where new things in the world of technology and culture become uncovered. This talk set the stage for that and he discusses some of the things he looks for on his radar.

Joel Spolsky: The Three Ingredients of Great Products – May 30, 2008

Joel Spolsky has been internet famous for more than a decade with us developer types. Now his footprint on the web is much larger than the essays and punditry he began with as a marketing strategy for his company, Fog Creek. The reason? His collaboration with Jeff Atwood on StackOverflow and the StackExchange network of sites has revolutionized what it means to be a programmer in the internet age. Perhaps the same can be said for many other professions from mathematics to historians. In this talk you get the full Joel: humor, intelligence, and wisdom. Joel’s essays are collected in a few books as well.

I could keep going with all the great talks on IT Conversations… Mark Cuban. Rick Chapman. Danah Boyd. Mario Livio. And so many more -

To Doug Kaye, Phil Windley and everyone else involved, thank you.