The event: Keynote address to the George Gilder/Forbes Magazine by-invitation-only Telecosm 2000 conference.
The audience: Five hundred CEOs, industry analysts, and private investors.
The speaker: A relatively unknown CEO of a Silicon Valley-based networking equipment company whom George Gilder had heard a few months earlier.
The title: Untitled.
The story: For two days, attendees would be sitting through one PowerPoint presentation after another, littered with engineering schematics and dense text. To counterprogram, this speech used the 100-meter dash as a metaphor for the dynamics of the networking industry. Instead of charts and graphs, the speaker support was limited to a series of dramatic still photos of track sprinters in action. One industry publication said the scene after the speech was like watching groupies "touching the cape of a rock star." More than a year later, the CEO still referred to this speech as "brilliant and memorable."