Demo Jam: Podcast with Marek Kowalkiewicz
In this podcast Marek Kowalkiewicz is interviewed by the two TechEd Demo Jam coaches, Tobias Queck and Sebastian Steinhauer. Marek is a research architect working for SAP Research in sunny Brisbane. He enjoys playing with modern technology and integrating it with SAP solutions.
Tobias Queck and Sebastian Steinhauer are both members of the SAP Imagineering team and previous Demo Jam regulars, have been asked to support the SAP TechEd team by coaching the Demo Jam contestents pre-submission as well as on-site – in Bangalore, Las Vegas and Madrid. In their function as Demo Jam coaches they are available to answer your questions, and support you in creating the best possible demo for …. Demo Jam.
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Since we know from experience that the submission deadlines usually come up super fast, remember, July 8th for Las Vegas and August 5th for Madrid and Bangalore.
You can reach us through or skype or email to schedule your individual feedback session.
You can find our business cards here:
Sebastian Steinhauer http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/bc?u=aamlbw0yxuq%3d
For those who prefer reading – instead of listening to the podcast.
Here is the transcript:
Sebastian: You all know that the Demo Jam deadlines are coming up quickly. There’s the July 8thdeadline for the Las Vegas submissions and there’s the August 5th submission for Madrid and Bangalore. So to help you all get more insight into the Demo Jamand how the selections are actually happening, we invited somebody who has been through this before. So let’s have Marek join us on the call. Hey, Marek, are you there?
Marek Kowalkiewicz: Hi. Hi, Tobias and Sebastian. How are you guys?
Tobias: We are very good, Marek, how are you?
Marek: I’m good. Thanks.
Marek: It’s very simple. Demo Jam is addictive and I am addicted to Demo Jam – The emotions, how you feel when on stage and the fun that you have after the whole event. This is priceless and I’m just coming back every year trying to submit and trying to get accepted.
Tobias: We know that you have been pretty successful in the last two or three years. What is your secret sauce?
Marek: OK. First of all, guys, it was very kind of you saying that because for those who know I always lost to you guys. But having said that, yes, the project I was submitting always ended up in the top three. Speaking about three, I was thinking about the question before the one that you’re asking now because I do get asked that question quite often.
To me there are three things that you have to remember when preparing your demo for Demo Jam and also the actual submission. The first one is whatever your demo is, you need to work on a scenario that people in the audience can relate to and can understand.
To give you an example, we had a demo of an application we built together with a defense organization. We had a very, very cool defense scenario, which would probably be appealing to roughly 10 or 20 people in the audience. So before Demo Jam, we actually completely changed that scenario, made it very generic such that everyone in the audience could say, “All right. I get it. I could do something similar in my organization.” That’s the first thing.
The second one, and this is something that I learned the hard way, is to never worry about problems when you are on stage. For those of you who are submitting that and not yet thinking about being on stage, it’s also an understanding that your submission does not have to be perfect.
As long as you are able to show the cool idea that you want to promote, as long as you’re able to demonstrate it in your submission, don’t worry about small shortcomings. Don’t work on the perfect user interface. Don’t work on the perfect workflow of the application. As long as the jury understands it and gets the value of it, this is it.
The third thing to remember is really to make sure that whatever you submit is fun, because that’s really the most important thing in Demo Jam. It’s an event where people come to have fun, people come to see some great innovation but have fun at the same time.
So if you have a boring demo and you want to submit something which maybe is very valuable but doesn’t have the fun factor, you have to think again and really think about a scenario that will show that you’re able to really move the audience, to shake the audience when you’re on stage when you’re showing the demo.
Again, a generic scenario, don’t worry about problems, don’t be perfect, and make sure that whatever you submit is lots of fun.
Tobias: I think on our side we certainly agree to all three points that you made, especially I would like to underline the point, not everything has to be perfect. I think I like most when something goes wrong on stage and then you really see how the presenter starts sweating and fixes his problem. That’s usually what the crowd likes to see, so don’t make it perfect, make it so that everybody can be excited about it.
Talking about current submission, Marek, I think we haven’t received anything from you yet. So how is your plan for this year?
Marek: Sure. As I said in the beginning I am addicted and I’m working on a submission this year. All I can say is actually there might be two submissions. I’m sort of already saying how much I’m submitting and let’s see how many of them go through.
One of them is an internal thing, and all I can say is the people who sell that tweeted about it and the words they used I cannot quote it at the moment. That was a very positive statement saying that this is very awesome, so I’m really looking forward to sharing that with others. That’s a small project that we have internally in SAP research in Brisbane, that’s where I’m located.
The other one is a submission that we’re working on together with a local university in Brisbane in Australia. All I’m going to say about that project is that it involves an exercise ball, an IKEA table, and a few more things and it’s really fun.
Sebastian: [laughs] That sounds really exciting, Marek, we wish you, really, the best of luck for your submissions this year and hope to see you on stage.
Marek: Absolutely. I’m also hoping for that. So guys, whenever you see submissions from me, turn a blind eye if there’s something wrong. Remember, it’s all about having lots of fun.
Tobias: Sorry, we are just the coaches. I somehow have the feeling that you don’t really need coaching anymore.
Marek: All right. In any case, yeah, I’m really hoping we can meet again and I’m really hoping we can show some really cool innovation that is coming from Australia.
Sebastian: OK. Thank you. So just a reminder for all of you listening to this podcast, the deadline for the Demo Jam submissions for Las Vegas is July 8th and the deadline for the submissions for Madrid and Bangalore is August 5th.
Tobias: .. and all the time we are ready to help you, to coach you, so please reach out to us. Send us an email. Give us a call via Skype or call us directly on our phones, we are happy to help. So we are waiting.
Sebastian: Thank you.
Marek: Thank you, Sebastian. Thank you, Tobias.
Tobias: Thank you guys.