Impressions from WebSummit 2014

I am currently in Dublin on the WebSummit 2014 (a huge 22.000 participants tech conference) with our Hamburg based startup ShelfSailor. This will be a little off topic from my other articles - but nevertheless you might find something useful among the learnings I took away from some of the talks. Also at the end there are some pictures I took today.

Going Global First

The first talk of the day I attended was given by Jack Welde from Smartling with the title "For You and Your Customers, Moments Matter". He presented two key statistics: 55% of people are unwilling to buy something presented in a foreign language. For an "English only" start up this leaves still 45% (of those proficient in English) but means that most people abroad are only reachable in their native language. To reach 90% of the world population you need a total of 13 languages. A conclusion Welde drew, was that one should develop a mindset of "Global first". Keeping this in mind he promoted to add a fully fledged internationalization layer on top of the regular application stack (e.g., provided by his company) to properly address these challenges and quickly move into other countries.

How to keep a culture of innovation

Mary Mesaglio from Gartner spoke about some key components in creating a culture of innovation. First it is important to keep in mind that in any corporate culture being innovative tends to be dangerous - because being different involves risks. It is usually easier to follow the established processes. But processes kill innovation. Therefore it is important to make it safe for people to be innovative - e.g. by executives admitting failures themselves. Also people need a purpose (other than increasing shareholder value) to go the extra mile. Creating momentum and positive energy pays off more than efficient processes.

How to Scale Product in the Sharing Economy

Jules Coleman from shared her experience while building their product. What I took away: sharing economy is mainly about people and people are complex. This manifests in a lot of edge cases that take a lot of time to cover. Therefore it pays of to focus on a very specific task.


And last but not least, here a few pictures from the event:

Getting closer to the main stage

Queues for the "FoodSummit" in Herbert Park

Robots are awesome

Retro style entrance to the "SportSummit"

And the the pitching contest

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