Ed Brill was doing his annual “The Boss Loves Microsoft, Where does that leave Lotus” session, and as is the custom, our blogging contingent took up the first row to encourage, and/or heckle Ed.
Well, at the end of the session, Ed went into his analogy (that I’ve heard before) about bottled water. The question goes, “Why do you drink bottled water, when it can be had free from the tap?” Well, the answer is obviously that it tastes better, it’s pure, it’s portable and can go with you. Basically, bottled water, although not free, is better. Obviously this was the comparision that people make between Microsoft and Lotus. Many times MS tries to get into an account, or even an entire market, by giving away free stuff. But obviously, it’s never free. There’s always a catch.
Well, knowing this, Ed asked the crowd, “Who of you are drinking bottled water?” A bunch of us raised our hands, and he looked down at me, holding my Lotusphere branded water and asked “John, why do you drink bottled water?” and without missing a beat I said (while holding my Lotusphere bottle aloft) “Because it’s Free!” Yes, it was intentional, I just couldn’t help myself. It got a good 20 seconds of sustained laughter at Ed’s expense.
I apologized to him after the session, but it was just too good to pass up 🙂