LeWeb 2013 in Paris – Day 2 of the next 10 years: don’t underestimate the future

Day 2 at LeWeb in Paris was my favorite day so far. A great line-up of inspiring speakers made their way onto the stage and shared with some important life lessons. Below you’ll find the condensed information we tried to assimilate as fast as we could today. And keep in mind that there’s one more day of talks ahead!

Show up early and do the work

Ramon de Leon, Social Media Visionary started off his talk about the the next 10 years in social media with a lot of energy. His key learnings were simple, effective and to the point. First of all, you have to show up early with the desire to make a difference, because anyone can have a job, but not everyone can be really great at something. Keep in mind that the new generation (people under 18) is focused on attention, not higher goals. Also, it’s good to remember that the new generation learns about brand loyalty from their parents first. If you want to make a difference, you have to embrace difficult things, the ones that other people don’t want to do.

Don’t be lazy and work your way to becoming someone other people want to talk about. And the key is to work, play and create with the passion of a child.

Cloud is a business transformation

The day had a very intersting panel on cloud, moderated by Robin Wauters, Founding Editor of Tech.eu, who was also one of our guest speakers this year. Along with Brad Garlinghouse, CEO, Hightail, Mark Shutterworth, Founder, Ubuntu and Werner Vogels, CTO, Amazon, he discussed the future of cloud. Here are some insights worth remembering:
– cloud is a business transformation
– cloud is what the economy needs
– decreasing the cost of cloud will open up the world to endless innovation
– it usually takes two waves to really appreciate a new technology
– the ability to create code that creates itself will be the one to take technology a step further.

Every company will become a software company

George Colony, Chairman of the Board & CEO, Forrester Research discussed “The Age of the Customer” concept. This age is dominated by the fact that rating and reviews are vectors for adoption and purchase (17% of users check online review before buying anything). Since 22% of adult customers in Europe buy products from outside their country, we need to truly internalize the huge behavioral change form generation X (28-40 years old) to generation Y (19 -28 years old). Gen Z (under 18 years old) is already showing signs of an even more profound behavioral change and a huge shift towards mobile commerce. They are so connected that pranks like this one are created. The new ecosystem will be a mobile centric one. And this ecosystem is composed of 5 elements:
1. insights from devices and sensors
2. social
3. smart, connected products
4. systems of record (databases to be transformed into systems of engagement)
5. public as a service capabilities (GPS, mapping, payments, etc.).
In the next 10 years, every company will be a software company. Future assets will not be financial, but software related. So be sure to realize that you’ll be competing against Google, Amazon and the like.

The 3 unbreakable laws of communication

Carmine Gallo, Communications Coach, went on to disclose his 3 Unbreakable Laws of Communication. As he believes, the ability to persuasively communicate your ideas is essential for the next 10 years for anyone, from startups to famous brands. We’re all in sales now, so we have to know how to reach the goal described above.

Here are the 3 unbreakable laws of communication:
1. Emotional – emotional involvement leads to mastery. You can’t inspire if you’re not inspired first.
2. Novelty – communicate something new, disruptive. Spread unexpected ideas, because they are the ones that spread (example: Amazon’s drone delivery stunt). Stimulate the explorer instinct in all of us.
3. Memorable – use pictures and focus on maximum 3 main ideas.
And always keep it short.

A fundamental change in user experience

Tony Fadell, Founder & CEO, Nest Labs has created the first 18 generations of the iPod and the first three generations of the iPhone, after turning to founding Nest. Nest is ore than a smoke detector – it is a new way of interacting with our homes.

His perspective revealed that we can fundamentally change the experience of a product in the internet of things era. We need to analyze and harness how the products around us are affected by the smartphone and how connecting them to the smartphone can change the experience they provide. Instead of innovating, old companies litigate. Since Nest is a disruptive player in the market and for their revenue stream, they get sued a lot. But Nest made sure that its disruption process is safe by patenting.

Sound advice: prepare ahead for the next 2 years from the moment you ship your product to market. Give people data about your product, such as Nest provides statistics, and they will interact with your product more. Users already love it.

Reaching the second billion users

Chris Daniels, VP of Business Development, Facebook and Loic Le Meur had a talk about Facebook’s strategy around partnerships, the shift to mobile and much more. Chris Daniels state that getting to the second billion users is very difficult, which is why they started the Internet.org initiative. That is also why they are partnering with telecom carriers and offering their APIs (80% of top App store applications use Facebook login).

Three years ago Facebook was still a desktop company, but they made a big shift to mobile first. Now 49% of ad revenue is from mobile ads.

Don’t underestimate the future

Gary Vaynerchuk is one of the first people I knew I had to follow when I became a blogger. He is still one of the most experienced people in the industry and his very assertive, very vocal answers to Loic’s and the public’s questions today show his hands-on attitude.

Gary is an entrepreneur that experimented with many different marketing techniques and even business models. Recently, he has learned that width is not important, but depth is. That means that you need to tell you story to someone who is on the path of making a decision. But the only important audience is the people who care about you. And even before that, before telling your story, you need to gain their attention. The key, though, is to never feel like you’re entitled to anything. You have to five a lot and then ask for the permission to ask for a conversion. Sometimes startups, after getting a lot of money, will burn it faster and make bad decisions, thinking of it like a sprint. But building a profitable, self funding company from the start is a marathon.

The company culture that can succeed creates patience and executes the right things. For example, the home screen of your phone tells about the things that are important for that user. Figure out which category your social media content fits in : entertaining, offering utility or escapism?

Another important thing Gary mentioned was that some people decide to be an entrepreneur, when they’re not made for it and this could be the bubble of entrepreneurship. You have to look at your business as if you’re “parenting”: put the work in the first 10 years so you can reap the benefits in the next 10 years.

Uber, Airbnb and Nest are just the beginning of Internet and Software taking over everything. Being constantly connected, always being on the record changes the way you are. It has enormous positives for a more transparent world and it makes you more aware, more responsible.

Gary’s key take away was that we’re grossly underestimating what’s happening. We will be flabbergasted by the way the world will look 15 years from now. Start by preparing for the future with contextualizing content for every platform/psychology/user intent. Remember that social does not have the logic of search. Search is defined by the intent to buy, but social is truly human. Also, engage inside the platform; don’t send people somewhere else. And don’t use social media as broadcasting channels.

Mindfulness – an important trend

Rich Pierson, Co-Founder & Andy Puddicome, Co-Founder, Headspace did a very interesting experiment to prove how important mindfulness is for today’s uber connected world: a short meditation session with the almost entire audience of LeWeb (that’s close to 3000 people).

For 90% of them, it made a change. Most of them, as myself, got to disconnect for a few minutes and to phase out all kind of stimuli. It’s not an easy thing to achieve at a conference where you’re bombarded with information all the time. But this small experiment proved that we need to balance over stimulation with something that helps us focus on our personal experiences. And meditation can be the key to that.

Headspace is an app designed to do just that: teach you how to meditate. MRI imaging has allowed scientists to analyze what happens to the people who meditate and explain the benefits of this practice. Although mediation has been around for several thousand years, now you can learn meditation anywhere with Headspace. And their users speak for the utility of the app: 18% conversion rate and 200.000 users that pay $8/month. And this is just the beginning of the way that mind health/fitness will evolve, much in the same way that physical fitness has evolved.

Dealing with fear

Dina Kaplan, Co-Founder, Blip, shared a very personal story about fear today. To become a more authentic leader, she had to surpass some important difficulties related to fear and expectations.

At one of the busiest stages in her life, Dina felt like she was playing a role – in the middle of all the stress, she felt like an impostor. She felt like an actress playing the role of an entrepreneur. This was imposter syndrome, so at the top of her success she resigned and got a one way ticket to Indonesia. “My everything was my company, but that everything had to change. I had to get out of there.”

It’s scientifically proven that breaking patterns actually increases brain elasticity. So she tried meditation, which made her realize you couldn’t escape herself. Her need to be liked until then had madeher lack authenticity.

By finding her freedom, she found out that she can like someone without the fear of not being liked back. She improved her mental agility, worked and keeps working on mindfulness and values courage as a top ability. And so should any entrepreneur.

The innovation trap

Brian Solis, Principal, Altimeter Group is probably one of the most prominent researchers in social media. His talk’s theme – “The future of innovation is disruption: Moving from the innovators dilemma to become the dilemma’s innovator” was just right up our alley. Here are some key insights:
– American VCs are listening to Europe
– in the next 10 years we can create a new future
– design thinking ans systems thinking – a combination of the two can bring about disruption
– vision is the one thing that can be truly inspired by empathy
– don’t feed complacency in your startup’s culture
– make a change and help people be more productive
– inspire a new generation of users/consumers/connectors to hone attention
– innovation starts with a higher purpose so make sure you start with one
– you know you’re on to a good idea when governments try to shut you down (examples: Airbnb, Uber)
– practical example: sliced bread became a platform gave birth to an entire market (slide meat, cheese, etc.)
– followers outperform pioneers, so there are advantages to being the second mover, but you need to keep in mind that you have something to learn
– constantly try to put yourself out of business and you will create new markets for yourself
– we move from the innovator’s dilemma towards the dilemma’s innovator. So what are you innovating on? Check out the pictures below from some of the slides in Brian’s presentation:

Playing the long game of moonshots

Bradley Horowitz, VP of Product, Google came on stage to discuss his vision on technology that allows brands to engage their customers in conversation across the web, but he did much more than that. Bradley said that Google’s Larry Page likes to work on moonshots – projects that take time to build, but end up making a world of difference. Here are some examples:
– Google Glass
– Google’s self driving cars
– Chrome (started 6 years ago)
– Android (has been around for 9 years). These last two don’t look like moonshots today, but when they started they were just that.
– Google+ (only 2 years old).
We’re not afraid at Google of doing things that are technologically significant and take a while.“, Bradley said.
A very cool new feature was revealed today: +Posts – now we will be able to do sponsored Google+ posts, but the trick is that Google+ posts will become ads on the Google Display Network, reaching a lot farther than the platform.
Another way that Google+ is innovating is through Google Hahngouts on Air, which are disrupting the broadcasting industry. So integrations are an important part of Google’s strategy. And I must say that this game for the long run is something I really appreciate and look forward to seeing develop.

China’s unbelievable numbers

Hugo Barra, Vice President, Xiaomi Global was on stage to present a little bit about the context of the web in China. After spending some time at Google, Hugo decided to move to China, where things are better, faster and have audiences we can’t even conceive. Here are some of the insights:

– China’s web landscape is experiencing insane growth
– there’s a huge appetite for IPOs
– but it’s a very proprietary environment: the top 10 apps are all Chinese (none are Western)
– there are 10 app stores in China and Google Play isn’t even allowed (except for Taiwan)
– Xiaomi has a forum with 6 million members, and it’s a self sustaining community, self managed by the users
– new features for the Xiaomi smartphones are proposed by the community and bubbled at the surface by the community managers to the company.
And here are some of the most important players in the market:

What’s interesting is that Snapchat was in every talk today. So that is definitely something to look into. Also, you can see some cool pics by Luca Sartoni on his Flickr channel. If you haven’t gotten the chance yet, we have covered yesterday too.

Joins us tomorrow for the last day of LeWeb 2013 in Paris!

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