Wednesday Morning Keynote/General Session Magento Imagine 2014

With a lot of groggy faces in the room after last night's legendary Imagine party, the general session started off with a bang - literally! A Native American dance group, complete with pounding drums snapping everyone awake. Jamie Clarke joined the stage, and shot Magento t-shirts containing free passes to Magento U courses into the crowd. Then, Jamie discussed how Purina used Magento to launch their innovative Just Right system.

Mark Lavelle is now conducting a chat with PayPal CEO David Marcus. As CEO of PayPal, David focuses on the vision for the future of money, and sees that money is going to change more in the next 5-10 years than it has in the past 50 years. PayPal has launched 5X new products in the past year than in previous years. PayPal connects everyone for transactions - merchants, users, people.

Open source is important for the world and for the Magento platform specifically. PayPal has recommitted to open source in the past 18 month, and has a head of open source. PayPal is releasing code into the open source community - PayPal wants to take payments to a better place that doesn't involve swiping a card.

David discussed Bitcoin - geeked out a bit about the math and trust behind Bitcoin and the block chain, and mentioned that if you live in a country where your currency is devaluing quickly, storing your money in Bitcoin can be your best choice, but that for now it's an investment vehicle and there's not a sufficient regulatory framework for PayPal to directly get involved with it.

David is discussing his background and path that brought him to PayPal. As a fast growing business, you have to work hard and find your growth vector. Best quote - starting a business and growing it involves "hundreds of near death experiences".

Now we're watching a video about Alex and Ani, and why they selected Magento to power their fast-growing business. They selected Magento because it allows you to customize your store's visual presence. Finally, they mentioned that they have ran 3 different Super Bowl ads and Magento powered through that level of traffic with no problems at all - Magento scales!

Now Carey Lohrenz, the Navy's first female F-14 pilot, and among the first to fly on and off aircraft carriers. Spent 10 years planning, briefing and executing missions as a Navy fighter pilot. As an F-14 pilot, it wasn't just physically and intellectually demanding, it also required managing and leading a squadron flying $1 billion worth of military equipment. You don't win in a competitive environment when you're looking down responding to emails - you win when you're engaged. You should be the catalyst.

Purpose, focus and discipline allows you to succeed. If you lose sight, you lose the fight, as F-14 pilots say. Be tenacious. Be able to be a great teammate and make excellent decisions even in impossible situations. Live on the edges of the envelope - if you aren't a bit afraid, if you don't have a fear of failure, you're not pushing forward hard enough. There's a connection between failure - people who define failure as something that has taught them a lesson are more successful.

Fear hates focus. Identify 3 priorities and focus on them and success to eliminate fear. Don't be afraid to share lessons you've learned with the entire community. Stay focused on what matters and have a sense of purpose - keep working as if you have the opportunity you want.

Plan - don't just fight fires, but plan - have clear objectives / rules, have expectations /accountability and plan to debrief. Even in creative fields, you have to have structure and planning. A written plan increases your chance of success by 90%. Be committed to excellence.

Watching a video of night landings on aircraft carriers and how pilots work through the fear involved - stay focused on what matters and knowing what you need to accomplish. Fighter pilots and high achievers aren't fearless - they just use the fear and power through it.

Now we're watching another Magento customer success story - City Winery. City uses iPads and Magento to provide a paper-less, ticketless system. Magento provided 70% of what they needed out of the box. Magento gave them a solid foundation that scales and doesn't crash.

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Jamie Larson