Howard claims that his keynote wasn’t so much as tangentially related to the topic of the conference. I disagree. In fact, I’d say it was very relevant.
Yes, we have a habit of choosing keynoters who are interesting and entertaining, rather than ones that are relevant. In that way, we got such folks as Douglas Adams, Wil Wheaton, and Jaron Lanier, among others. Entertaining, but not particularly relevant.
Howard spoke about how to make money while giving away your main product. This is of great relevance to people who believe strongly in free software. We believe that our main product – our software – should be free. Certain factions of us believe that it is even immoral for it not to be free. While I’m not at that particular end of the pool, I believe that it is the free-ness of the software that makes all the rest of the benefits possible. But even the folks in the deep end of the pool have to pay their bills.
Of course, it also helps that I’m a rabid Schlock fan. 😉