Out in Front: Above All, Leadership

December 1, 2013  - By
GPS Summit 2002 award.

GPS Summit 2002 award.

Just took a stroll down memory lane, leafing through the pages of the December 2002 issue of this magazine. They contain predictive essays of that era — Directions 2003 — and a transcription of the panel discussion from the very first Leadership Dinner, then called the “GPS Summit.” I was there, running the door, riding the audio recorder, handing out bronze presenteaux (pictured here) to departing guests.

We have carried on the tradition of that event, the brainchild of Glen Gibbons (whose December 2002 editorial headline I have repeated here) and Richard Fischer, nine times now. We carried the show, innovating as we go, from Long Beach to Fort Worth to Savannah, back to Portland and thence to Nashville. We shall convene again in Tampa next year. We’ve had spirited debates, campaigns and elections (the Satellite Party versus the Signal Party), a history of GPS origins from Brad Parkinson himself, a recognition of the pioneers from the early era who built the system from scratch, a Grand Game of GNSS negotiation and trading, horse racing, physics trivia, and this year, a spoofing simulation (see the back page of this magazine).

Somehow amid the fun of each occasion, we managed to squeeze in a healthy dose of thought leadership. This year’s installments you will find on pages 28 to 49, including dinner remarks from the four recipients of this year’s Leadership Awards, and essays by upper-level if not the top-level executives at each of the four GNSSs.

For added perspective, see these excerpts from the 2002 discussion high atop the Portland Hilton.

Javad Ashjaee (then CEO and president of Javad Navigation Systems): “There is no end to the enhancement that we can do in signal processing, assuming that Intel and others will not stop giving us the tools that we need. As you see, the front line of this is microprocessors.”

Kanwar Chadha (then founder and vice-president of marketing at SiRF Technology): “As far as the consumer is concerned, it comes down to what they are buying, and what’s the value proposition. I can tell you from personal experience, it’s not purely a technology decision.”

Steve Moran (then director for civil space programs at Raytheon, where he still works as director, GPS mission solutions): “We manage a positioning and navigation system, rather than a positioning and timing service — and that’s a fundamental change that needs to come about in the way we look at GPS.”

Bob Denaro (then vice-president and general manage at NavTeq): “One day soon we will have digital paper. A map with high-resolution addressable data on what looks and feels, and most importantly, costs like a sheet of paper. My position shows up as a bright spot moving along the paper as I move.”

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About the Author:

Alan Cameron is editor-in-chief and publisher of GPS World magazine, where he has worked since 2000. He also writes the monthly GNSS Design & Test e-Newsletter and the Wide Awake blog.

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