Fiat Eco:Drive at Adobe MAX in Milan

What a week!
It took me over 13hrs to get to Milan on Sunday thanks to Alitalia, but aside from that the Adobe MAX Conference in Milan has been fantastic.


Adam Creeger & I demonstrated Fiat’s Eco:Drive in front of 1300 people during the 1st day’s keynote session and the response was fantastic.

After the keynote we had lunch with some very interesting analysts including Stefan Reid, senior analyst at Forrester (follow him on Twitter), Andreas Pfeiffer, editor-in-chief at Pfeiffer Consulting & James Govenor, founder of RedMonk (you can follow him on Twitter @monkchips – thanks James!).

All of them were eager to hear more about the technology behind Fiat Eco:Drive and were very aware of the challenges that face the automotive industry and very impressed at not only the concept of Eco:Drive, but more importantly what its potential holds. It was great to have the opportunity to speak with them and I hope we’ll have the opportunity to talk again.

After lunch I joined up with my boss, Andy Hood, for the MAX Agency summit sessions. Adobe had asked AKQA along to a series of sessions which also included other European agency representatives such as Chris from Tribal DDB, Peter from Ioko, some of the guys from Glue (who did a great talk on interactive video), Monochrome, HowardBaines (who built Alert Thingy) and group94 amongst others (apologies for not remembering everyone who was there).

We were brought up to speed on the Adobe road map and specifically asked to comment on how the road map would affect our internal structure and influence our clients. It was really good to hear other people’s points of view and the sessions highlighted what an enormous breadth of work the Flash platform now is used for.

Doubtless, Adobe have some challenges ahead, particularly in the realms of mobile and workflow, but they’re good challenges and they’re all based on choices – a very luxurious & envious place to be in when you look at their competitors.

They also have some fantastic products and improvements, particularly in the areas of video with their soon to be launched Flash Media Server 3.5, with what they have in the pipeline for Air 2.0 and through some of the announcements they’ve made recently concerning Visual Studio plugins for outputting Flex code and making Flash searchable. There’s more, but for me those were the major highlights.

Fiat eco:Drive

Then on Tuesday afternoon Adam & I did a session on “The Anatomy of a Seriously Sophisticated Application” to a packed room of some 150 attendees. We went through some of the workflow challenges in building Fiat Eco:Drive, the specific data parsing & data visualisation challenges (and solutions) and answered as many questions as we could in the time we had.

It was fantastic getting such enthusiastic feedback and from it we’ve managed to create some valuable relationships that I hope we’ll be able to continue and maintain – so many thanks to everyone who came and I’m very glad you all enjoyed it.

After the session Adam & I went up to the press room to do a national Italian newspaper interview and by the end of the afternoon it was time for the sneak peeks and awards.

This has been the first MAX conference I’ve attended and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. I hope there’ll be opportunity to attend more of them in the future. Thanks to Adobe and AKQA for enabling me to experience it.

  • Wim Vanhenden

    Hi Rick,

    We met at the agency summit, I was the guy stalking you about the workflow and how to deal with Flex for experience websites as opposed to RIA's.

    Just wanted to say it's been nice meeting you and hoping forward in discussing these issues a bit more in depth.


  • James Governor

    what – you're not going to recommend following me on twitter? 😉

    Very interesting lunch. thanks for sharing information with us. It was very cool to catch up with Andy Hood, too. I have some evil plans in that regard.

  • rickwilliams

    Evil you say? Sounds great :o) Monday was good fun and I'd be happy to do it again. I've also added @monkchips so no doubt the referrals from here will now be coming thick and fast ;o) Cheers.

  • rickwilliams

    Hi Wim,

    It was great meeting up ith you also. I'd be happy to try and answer any questions you have. Drop me a line at:
    rick [dot] williams [at] akqa [dot] com.

    Many thanks and huge congratulations on your award!!! Thoroughly deserved.

  • Mathieu Vignau

    Hi Rick,

    I'm Mat from SoleilNoir. Thanks for this great demonstration, really interesting project.
    It was nice to see you and the other agencies at the summit sessions.

    See you next year at MAX 😉

  • rickwilliams

    Thanks very much Mat.

    I'm really glad you enjoyed our session. Congratulations to all at SoleilNoir for your work on Alfa. Look forward to seeing you again at MAX in Barcelona or sooner!

  • Shannon T Alston

    nice article! nice site. you're in my rss feed now 😉
    keep it up

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