What was Kevin Spacey doing at the AT&T Developer Summit?
This year, Kevin Spacey was the guest celebrity speaker at the AT&T Developer Summit. Initially, you may have had thoughts like “He’s amazing. How do I get a ticket?” Upon walking into the Pearl Theater at the Palms Casino Resort, filled with excitement, you might have found yourself pondering, “Wait, what is Kevin Spacey doing speaking at the AT&T Developer Summit?” You wouldn’t be alone in having that observation. In fact, after a brief video montage (playing harmonica with Billy Joel, acting along side Jack Lemmon, portraying memorable characters like Keyser Söze and Frank Underwood, and even one role involving a Chewbacca costume) of his career Kevin Spacey made a similar observation.
It turns out developers and Kevin Spacey actually have a lot in common. They both like to push boundaries, both are passionate about innovation, and both have a story to tell. According to Spacey, we all have a story to tell and the time in which we are living is one of the most exciting for storytellers because technology is changing the way we communicate. Stories represent our shared experience and bind us together unlike anything else.
Six Words That Make People Pay Attention
Spacey points out that there are six words that will make people put down their phones and pay attention: Let me tell you a story. He shared some great stories with the audience and we were captivated. His tales of first meeting Jack Lemmon, the man who would have a profound impact on his life, were heart warming and inspiring. We are reminded of the importance of listening and how a little guidance and encouragement at the right time can help someone create a masterpiece.
That is something developers do everyday; they use technology to push the boundaries and innovate. They encourage each other and share ideas to move things forward. Developers help create the tools people use to communicate. It’s the advancement of technology that has changed the way we consume media and tell our own stories. As Spacey mentioned in his talk, “Social media shows us we all have a personal brand regardless if we use it.”
We can thank technology for the disruption occurring in how we consume media. Spacey points out that we are no longer beholden to a specific time slot or type of device. We watch what we want, when we want, where we want on the device we want. That shift is changing the way content is produced and distributed. This is opening the door to the technology that he thinks will revolutionize content: Virtual Reality (VR). According to Spacey, this is the next frontier. It won’t just change the way we experience movies, VR will change the way we learn and tell our stories.
Throughout his appearance Spacey interacted with the audience, told some great jokes, and even did an off-the-cuff Johnny Carson impersonation. He reminded us the importance of helping those who are new to our field and to always aspire to innovate and take risks. It’s those people who make change happen and move things forward.