December 11, 2013
Liveblog of Brian Solis talking at LeWeb Paris 2013
The next 10 years are either going to happen to us, or because of us. Disruption isn't what we set out to do - it arises because of what we do. Innovation introduces us to something, disruption is what changes our life. Constant racing for innovation might not be as valuable as we think.
Applying design thinking or systems thinking identifies the problem, and brings solutions to life. Visions is powerful. It benefits from empathy. It can disrupt markets.
We are beaming more connected - we're becoming Generation C. Teenagers can only concentrate on homework for six minutes before they turn to a device or social network. People take selfies in front of a suicide. How do you inspire empathy in these people? Can we avoid just feeding this ecosystem.
Über was inspired by a bad, snoy day in Paris. Now, all over the US< governments are trying to get it shut down. You know you're creating disruption when that happens.
Do you want to be the first to market - or the second mouse? The second mouse gets the cheese in the mousetrap?
Sliced bread was a platform - it created a market for things to go on it, or between it. Second movers in a market often amke the most money from it - as long as they learn from the first mover. The best innovators do their homework. They don't believe they were the only people with the idea...
Apple takes a design-thinking approach to the market. That's why no-one in the audience has the Galaxy Gear watch - but the majority would buy an Apple watch.
Square was inspired by a glassblower's inability to take credit cards. Twitter changed news - news doesn't break, it tweets. Instagram moments replaced Kodak moments.
People talk about what they do, and they how they do it. Few talk about why they do it. If you start with "why", you're already empathetic in your approach.
This is how you do it:
- Empathy - identify the problem
- Context - understand its context
- Creativity - come up with many solutions
- Rationality - apply logic to figure out what to do next.
Then you build your business on these three pillars:
Google published its Eight Pillars of Innovation. It breaks down how the company promotes innovation.
There are pillars of failure, too: belief that you can't fail, and poor people around you. Bad habits or misconceptions can ruin you. Failing to recognise that being a platform can be the critical element is another big one.
Allegedly Gary Vaynerchuk hadn't slept for two days before his talk at LeWeb. I well believe it given how rambling it was. This isn't a conventional chronological liveblog, as I've tried to gather together his thoughts into subject groups...
Go deep not wide
Everyone cares about dumb fucking data. It doesn't matter how many followers you have - it's how many that care.
If the founders of luxury.com are watching: fuck you. He bought an ad from them on an e-mail newsletter that went to 2m people. He got one order. Breadth doesn't matter - depth does. Worry about open rates, about clicks.
The Secret of Snapchat
What snapchat is not about is impressions, it's about attention. Whatever you do, the number one thing you have to do is tell your story to someone on the path of making a decision. To do that, you need to get their attention.
Gary can't make something trend on Twitter any more. But he can on Snapchat - by sending thousands of message on Snapchat, by hand. He does wonder if they have any good product people left, based on how shit the last update was. Still, many of the recipients then posted the photo he sent to Twitter with the hashtag he asked them to use.
He thinks Snapchat will go one to many eventually - especially if they want to monetise. They tried with Stories - but it's shit with a shit UI. No-one has figures out how to monetise one to one yet. There might be a $20 a year app that's one to one that might work because it's such a great experience.
Snapchat is a utility to get someone's attention in a very noisy world.
The Agency Dictator
He's built an agency from 20 people to 300 in the past two years. He has no HR manager - he instills the culture through dictatorship, and choosing the hiring. They've fired some talented people because they weren't wiling to be the culture fit he needs.
The entrepreneurship bubble
Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur now. The number of Ivy League students I see thinking they're entrepreneurs, then see them crumple the first taste of adversity they get. For every Instagram, there's 5 million Instashits. We're not in a financial bubble. This is not a cycle - this is the beginning of technology eating everything in our lives. But there is a bubble of entrepreneurship.
Living in a social era
He lives his life as if he's on the record all the time. That's a decision he made the moment he had a measure of internet fame. It changes how you behave - and more people are going to think that way. We all under-estimate how much the world is actually going to change. We'll all be flabbergasted by what it becomes in the next 15 years.
The Big Social Mistakes
People use social wrong - they blast out links to elsewhere. Do your storytelling on social media. Look at the 10 hashtags that are trending and being creative around that- it's 7000% better than truing to create your own. A woman on Pinterest has an intent or an openness to buy. On Facebook she's looking to be informed. Don't give her the same photo in bot places. Stop linking your Twitter and Facebook. It doesn't fucking work.
The stream on Twitter has become so busy that people miss things. You shouldn't worry about tweeting things more than once. If you put out quality content, people will be less worried by it than seeing 10 pieces of crap content from someone else. People need escapism and entertainment. The things on the front page of your phone are the single biggest gateway to the psychology of out society.
He's a big believer in free: give, give, give and then you earn the right to ask for something.
90% of people who speak give the same presentation for three years. He'd rather do all Q&As
If we went in a time machine and showed people bottled water - and that people paid for it, they wouldn't believe it. It took packaging and storytelling. If you can do that with water, you can do it for anything.
Liveblog of George Colony, Chairman of the Board & CEO, Forrester Research talking at LeWeb 2013
The age of the customer
We're in a 20-year business cycle in which successful businesses will reinvent themselves to serve ever more powerful customers.
- Customers can price more accurately
- They can share critiques - he had cockroaches in his hotel bathroom this morning - but unlike most people, didn't immediately share this on the web.
- They can buy from anyone everywhere.
In 2012, 60% of air tickets were bought online - and as that's grown, the revenue per customer mile has dropped. People's decisions are being increasingly influenced by online reviews. 22% of European buyers have bought from websites outside their own country.
There are big differences between generations.
Compared to Gen X, Gen Y:
- watches 21% less TV
- listens to 27% less radio
- plays 319% more video games
- spends 24% more time on the internet
- spend 158% less time on newspapers
Gen Z will be as much of a change again.
The mobile mindset shift
There's a mobile mindshift going on. They mobile generation expect to be able to access any information they need via mobile devices whenever they want.
Windows Phone Users are the least mindset shifted, the iPhone users the most. The Asia Pacific region has the most mind-shifted customers.
In the future companies will put themselves into the pockets, backpacks or briefcases of their customers. The web will become the AM radio of the internet, there, but not the primary service people used - the majority of businesses will engage via mobile devices.
George paid for his taxi ride via his phone. He tipped the driver via his phone. is phone told us which terminal to go to at the airport, which gate to go to. It showed him to his seat, offered him his favourite drink. It told the elevator which floor to go to, and opened his hotel door for him. OK. that didn't happen. But it will do: that's the opportunity.
How do you do this? Mix sensor information from your device, with social recommendations, with interaction with smart products. Systems of record - customer information and the like - will have to become systems of engagement. They need to run fast enough to provide services in real time - or in an anticipatory manner. We need geolocation and payment services, and all of this needs to feed into big customer data. Then, you can deliver that vision.
If you want to make money - get into that process.
Liveblog of Tony Fadell interview at LeWeb Paris 2013
Making the boring fascinating
Nest is all about creating and reinnovating unloved products in the home. There are many products that we grew up with that are still exactly the same. The TV and telephone are completely different. Other things? They haven't changed. We're going to reinvent those products and create experiences we've never had before. These are things we have to have - why can't we love them as well.
They have to be highly differentiated from what you have today. You have to look at the technology - how can you change the experience when the cellphone is with you at all times. How does your person change? How does you home change? How does your car change?
The market's we're going after are monopoly or duopoloy markets. We're being sued by companies who don't like some little upstart company coming in and challenging them. If you can't innovate, litigate. If any start-up is truly going to disrupt a revenue stream, then patents or weird things are going to be thrown at you. They will throw everything under the sun at you. Look at customer reviews - we've been able to trace poor reviews back to plants for competitors. Our general counsel was the chief intellectual property officer for Apple for a decade. he and I got sued every year. It's great having him in the team.
It's all very well building one product and kickstarting it, but mass manufacturing and defending yourself is a whole other thing. We have hundreds of patents filed or pending. You need that.
Nest Protect is a highly differentiated product. The tech set learn about those products - and that's great. But it's a mass market product, and most people don't think about these sorts of products. You need disruptive marketing to makes sure they see it the way they do smartphones or other consumer products.
Security and Privacy
I was in John Lewis the other day. There was Nest Protect next to a gorgeous 4K display. I though "Yes! We've made it." France is mandating smoke detectors in the home - we're in the right place at the right time.
Yes, hacking is in our thoughts. When you're talking about the home, these are very private things. We thought about what people could do if they got access to your data. We have bank-level security, we encrypt updates, and we have an internal hacker team testing the security. It's very, very private and it has to be, because it'll never take off if people don't trust it.
In this connected world you can use it to take care of your kids - or your parents in a different house. From anywhere in the world you can see what's happening in your house. You can make sure you use less energy because you can control the thermostat in your hand.
Our customers interact with their devices all the time - they don't just put them on the wall and never think about them again. There are 96 countries where there are Nest Thermostats and we don't explicitly sell to them. With Nest Protect - it's 40 in nine days.
There are 10,000 applicants now to use their API. There are lots of things we're not going to be able to build. We'd love to work with other people who will do those
December 10, 2013
- Moderator: James Currier Co-Founder, Ooga Labs & Curator of the NFX Conference for network effect businesses
- Garrick Hileman, Economic Historian, London School of Economics
- Shakil Khan, Spotify
A potted history of Bitcoin
3000 years ago, people used gold and silver as currency. It was useful for both exchange of value and storage of value. Printing brought us whole load of money-creating entities. There were hundreds in the Us. In 1873 they created the federal currency. In 1971 the US left the gold standard.
Digital currency arguably started with frequent flyer points in 1972. The 1990s saw various attempts to do central digital currencies. In 2002 we had Linden Dollars and QCoins. QCoins got banned - but Linden Dollars were tradable with real currency. Facebook tried Facebook credits - only lasted 3 years.
The same year as Facebook Credits launched - 2009 - Bitcoin arrived. It was distributed and programmable. It's also been driven by a community groundswell. Now, an ecosystem of bitcoin-centrtic companies are growing. Oh, and it's anonymous.
China and the US have both given signals that they see it as an interesting currency. There are currently 12 million of the 21 million there will ever be. There are about 1000 places you can spend it.
What are we going to be doing with bitcoin? Shakil thinks we'll see the Western Union remittance model challenged. Money transfer costs around 20% now. Overseas trading is another opportunity, as you could ease credit card transaction fees. Those two alone account for billions of dollars in financial movements.
Garrick: Bitcoin is not alone in terms of currency fluctuation. We might seen countries switching to bitcoin to protect safe value. Right now, it's primarily a financial asset - a store of value, rather than a transaction currency.
Shakil: We're seeing online companies like WordPress starting to accept it. When a big name company does it, we'll see it more widely recognised.
James: The rules aren't clear yet. Companies aren't clear on how they'll manage bitcoin, how it interfaces with their existing finical systems.
Shakil: People move on the tangibility. How many people miss the cupboard full of DVDs when they're watching Netflix? Starbucks has people paying for coffee from their phone. There's a lot more to this system than you can learn in a few hours on the web. An analyst that just got into this two weeks ago and has written a report is misleading her clients.Governments could be allies or enemies. There are plenty of archaic or broken financial systems that will se this as a threat. But if people accept that music and movies are played over the cloud, then will they accept virtual currency rather than a piggy bank? Do governments want to embrace this? Absolutely.
Garrick: Consumers and businesses looking to save money will be allies. Bitcoin flattens the three changes you need sometimes to transfer money. The enemies are likely to be Visa, Matercard and Western Union, who hold the keys to the current payment systems.
Shakil: It's obvious that there's a need for something like bitcoin - but who knows what it will end up being. Right now it looks like bitcoin will be the winner. This is so fast-moving that any predictions are irrelevant.
Garrick: Throughout history there has been plenty of room of alternative currencies - but bitcoin has a long, hard battle to fight.
Live blog of Jeremiah Owyang, Chief Catalyst & Founder, Crowd Companies at LeWeb 2013
We've moving on from the democratisation of media - social media - to people using these same tools to get what they want in the physical world. It's the collaborative age. Six months ago, in London, LeWeb focused on the sharing economy. People are empowered to get the physical world from each other.
Things have accelerated in that six months. HP is joining the 3D printing market. Uber raised $258m from Google. The faster these things change, the harder it is for big companies to adapt. The lifespan of big companies is decreasing - this is why.
Corporations need to make the crowd part of the company. GE partners with Quirky to enable crowd innovation. You can crowdfund a U-Haul truck, through U-Notes. Why does the company do it? It creates a shared fate. If they invest in you, they'll buy from you. It's the highest form of loyalty.
A community of makers called Custom Made will create jewellery for you to match your (high-end) car.
1. Seek Purposeful Profit
Corporations in the US are bound by law to maximise shareholder profit. Senior executives see profit as the main objective of a business. Millennials say it's societal development.
Toyota has the 100 Cars for Good programme, which gives cars to non-profits. Toms - a shoe company - launched a marketplace where they sell other people's products. Brands are launching marketplaces for social good, rather than just selling their won products.
2. Maximising Resources
B&Q launched Streetclub - which enables local community sharing. Trunk Club is an internet stylist on demand. Four men style you a trunk of clothes based on your style and your measurements, and you chose to keep what you like - and then pay for it, all from the luxury of your own home. Marriott is offering Workspring - workplaces on demand.
3. Harness Crowd Innovation
Companies are struggling to find new ideas internally. 78% of companies are now focusing on looking to the outside world for their ideas. The success rates are wildly variable - but the desire is there. Nordstrom is using Etsy as a wholesale buyer. Nokia released plans for its phone cases as 3D printer files. You can design and print your own phone cases.
So, how do you be resilient as a big company? Collaborate with the outside world.
Crowd Companies is a trade council to allow big corporations to come together and learn from experts and each other about this. There's a (hand=picked) innovation network of startups who will get to pitch to them for free. Here's Jeremiah's post announcing the new company.
- The physical world is becoming democratised
- People are empowered to make physical goods and share them
- Big companies need to use these same exact strategies to keep relevance
- The companies with partnerships with empowered people will become resilient
- The crowd and the company will become one
I'm curating the best of the LeWeb Official Bloggers' posts in a Flipboard magazine, along with anything else that's interesting that I come across. If you're a Flipboard reader, subscribe for a great lean-back experience.
Liveblog of Bruno Maisonnier, Founder & Director, Aldebaran Robotics at LeWeb 10
Can robots make the world of education better? Can universes benefit from robots? Can autistic children improve through a robot companion? Can children start enjoying maths when taught by a robot pal?
Bruno Maisonnier thinks that world is here now. His robots can read your emotions and behave accordingly. They can address your left brain - your emotions - so you become more accepting of them.
Technology is moving so fast that people are being excluded from it. We are leaving behind people who can't use traditional interfaces. Robots are an extension of the digital into the physical, and provide a whole new interface. They're in use right now - but imagine what they will be like in a decade. The cognitive investment to interact with a robot is very low. If one becomes your principle interface for the digital world, what does that facilitate?
There will be a robot in homes, in shops. There will be millions of them, in homes and in retail. Mobile has made a huge change in our life. Robots will be next - but we need to develop the applications.
How do you shake up a large company like PayPal? David Marcus, president of PayPal has an answer - but it's not a pleasant one.
It's painful. It's the hardest thing he's had to do in his professional life. But he thinks the company has got its innovation mojo back. Perhaps - but finding evidence of that in the most "corporate-speak" presentation we've has so far was hard. It seems a rather cruel contrast to put him on right after Phil Libin.
Marcus thinks they're there in terms of becoming a mobile-first company. Only the central things remain when you design for mobile, which is a great design discipline.
Mobile Checkin has now integrated with 32 Point of Sale vendors. You launch your app, you checkin, and your photo appears on the PoS screen. Payments become invisible. Beacon goes a step further - it's a little USB stick, that you plug into a socket in the wall. Then, you don't even need to take your phone out of your pocket.
They've been partners with Über for two weeks - because it's all about making payments going away. You spend too much of your life waiting to pay - or waiting to get the cash to pay. There are better things in life.
To win, he feels, they should be the payment OS for the world. They want anyone who's building anything with payments to build it on top of PayPal. Equally, he feels there's no future for the company without developers. That was a driving reason behind acquiring Braintree.
He likes bitcoin - and owns some. But he thinks people are confused. Just because it's called a crypto currency doesn't mean it's a currency. It's a ledger to hold wealth. It's not a real currency right now, he argues.
Retail chains will have to reinvent themselves, he suggests. They're sitting on billions of dollars in retail assets, even as people are buying things from their phones. They need to reinvent themselves as logistics operations, where people can buy things from their phone sand pick them up as soon as they get there.
If he's successful, they'll make payments invisible.
Phil Libin is always good value at LeWeb. He's not only witty and a charming presenter, but he's also pretty open with how his business is functioning. And that makes his talks fascinating.
Today, he's talking about the impact of Evernote Market on the business.
They now have three revenue streams:
- Evernote Premium
- Evernote Business
- Evernote Market
The three streams are designed to reinforce each other.
It tool 16 months for Evernote Premium to make $1m, and 5 months for Evernote Business to do the same. The market did it in 1 month. Three days before he launched the market, the worry was "would anyone buy anything?". Three days afterwards, it was "how do we keep this stuff in stock?". They launched unsure if it would be a sideline or a core part of the business.
In August their revenue was 89% from Premium subscribers and 11% from Business accounts. By November that was 61% Premium, Market 30% and Business 9%. Revenue is up 55% in that period, so Market grew the entire business, not just its own chunk of it.
The top seller of the 13 products is the scanner. The Jot Script Stylus is next, followed by the triangle bag from Japan. They're more than 50% of their sales, and they're supply-constrained on them. 49% of orders are from paid users, and 51% is from free users. 11% of sales are from totally new users.
@evernote I love the business socks I got at last year's workshop, they're one of my favorite pairs— Stephanie Booth (@stephtara) December 10, 2013
Marketing is, for them, understanding the community and making them the advocates - not traditional push marketing. There's a place for push marketing, but you need to do it intelligently.
They will - eventually - go public. He feels that if people want to entrust the company with their information for 100 years, then they should be able to own part of it.
His side project? Investing in a research effort to bring back the woolly mammoths...
Liveblog of Guy Kawasaki talking on stage at LeWeb 10.
A few years ago people were predicting that MySpace would be the operating system of the internet. Now Facebook is close to that. Would you really have invested in Twitter 7 years ago?
Predicting the future is impossible. If you want to leave people doubt that you're an idiot - don't predict the future, because it will leave no doubt that you're an idiot.
Guy loves the idea of bitcoin, because it isn't in the control of Goldman Sachs!
Guy on Social Media
Guy has a team helping manage his social media presence. His approach is different from most social media "experts" - it's a marketing platform for him, not a friend-building one. He's married with four children, he doesn't need any more friends. He doesn't want to be your friend. But he does want to provide you with great content.
Look at TV stations: if they provide great content 365 days a year, they get to do a telethon. If he provides great content, he gets to market stuff to. Buffer allows him to schedule things to post to all the different social networks. He reads the comments, and if there's a reply, it's him, not the team.
He repeats his tweets four times, eight hours apart. He gets four times the clicks as a result. Look at TV news: they repeat stories all the time. You can't assume people will scroll back to find your tweet. Why just four times? If Guy had a really organised mind, he could create eight links and monitor eight links. But he's probably pushing the edge even for him. He's probably breaking Twitter's ToS already... If people see his tweet twice - they've been on for 16 hours! That says more about them than him.
Guy on entrepreneurship
The most important thing an entrepreneur can do is build a prototype. Not a PowerPoint, not a Pitch. A Prototype. Most plans, forecasts and pitches are total bullshit. They all say roughly the same numbers.
The number two piece of advice? Create a product or service so great that the US industry wants to copy it. That's so different from the French version of service x.
Don't expect your customers to fill in loads of information to get access to a free service. Would you do that? No? Why would they, then? Build something you want to use. Don't go to a conference, listen to 50 year old white men tell you what to build. Create the product you want to use, and hope like hell you're not the only two people in the world who want it.
Investing is - and should be - a local phenomenon. There are so many ways we can lose money at home, why would you want to fly half way around the world to lose money? The ideal number of times you should use the world patent in a presentation is one: "we have a patent pending". Your defensibility should be your passion, your skill and your silliness to change the company to make it work. Create a company and make it scale.
There's nothing he's really looking for right now - but that doesn't stop him falling in love with products, like he did Google+:
If you fall in love - truly fall in love - you'll try to make it work. You don't say to the person "I will continue the relationship if you move to where I am". That's not love. If you're in SF and you want to invest in Paris, you encourage them to create a Delaware corporation and have an SF HQ, leaving the programmers in Paris.
Investors should be race blind, gender blond, sexuality blind and even nationality blind. Just look for a great frickin' prototype.
Fred likes to think about big macro trends - and how they come together. What are the most interesting opportunities that emerge - and how can they inver in them. He's less interested in technology then in people, and how they're going to behave.
Trend 1: Tech-driven networks replace bureaucratic hierarchies.
Production and organisation costs were so high in the industrial age, that hierarchies were the most cost-effective way of organising. That's no longer true.
Twitter replaces the newspaper. The newspaper had a team of reporters reporting to a team of editors, reporting to a publisher. They were printed and deliver. It was slow. It was hierarchical. Twitter makes us all the reporters - and the crowd becomes the editors, too. YouTube has done the same to video. SoundCloud has repeated the same process for audio.
This sort of disruption is moving to hotels, through AirB'n'B, through funding to education.
Trend 2: Unbundling
It used to be very expensive to distribute things, so it made sense to bundle and sell packages. Newspapers are another example of that. Online, that doesn't apply, so you get to choose your coverage from whomever you like best.
Banking is being unbundled. You used to get all your financing needs from one bank in the past. But now entrepreneurs are picking off individual business lines one by one. Peer-to-peer lending is taking away very profitable lines of business from banks.
Education is next. It was expensive to put a professor and a bunch of students in a room. You don't need to do that any more - you can lifestream it. You don't need a library full of books when you have a tablet or ereader. Research is being unbundled through online marketplace models to facilitate collaborative research.
Entertainment? We used to buy cable packages. We now get YouTub and Hulu through our phones. We can select what we want a la carte on our phones, and put them on our big screens through Airplay or Chromecast.
Trend 3: We are all nodes on the network
80% of people in the room would choose their smartphone over their laptop, if they had to. Fred would choose his mobile - he can do almost everything he can on his laptop with his phone, but there are things he can't do on the laptop, because it lacks the sensors or location awareness of his mobile.
Hailo and Uber are services about connecting two nodes on the network: a passenger and a taxi driver.
These are the frameworks they're using to make investment decisions.
Four interesting sectors:
At its core, bitcoin is a protocol, the financial protocol for the internet we've lacked until now. It has a ledger: the block chain. All transactions are cleared publicly. People can build services and transitions on this - allowing money to flow on the internet like images or content. The lock on money that the big companies have will disappear.
2. Health & Wellness
This is the opposite of healthcare - this is what keeps you out of healthcare, in fact. People are starting to wear devices that report their vital signs to themselves - and to others if they want. These devices will expand in number, and technology ramification is helping people lose weight already.
3. Data leakage
When the industrial revolution came along, we started polluting and didn't clean it up for a century. It would have been easier if we'd concentrated on it from day one. Now, the pollution is data, and that's what's allowing people to spy on us that we don't want to happen.
4. Trust & Identity
We sign in through a handful of identity services right now - and, while it's convenient, it gives them access to too much data. Fred predicts that a distributed system of identity will emerge, like bit coin, that will take this power away from the companies.
Fred thinks that Google Glass is the Newton of wearables. It heralds the thing that will come next. it's too obvious right now, and there are too many people who have a bad reaction to it. When it moves into the frame, it'll be less obvious - but less honest.