10 non-banking things I learnt at Web Summit
1. A robot has been granted citizenship by a country; somewhat unexpectedly, as the robot was female, this was Saudi Arabia (Forbes article about Sophia the robot). Click here if you want to see the conversation on-stage between two robots and one of their creators.
2. I had very articulate classmates at INSEAD (I actually already knew this 🙂 ). I agree with what Stephane Kasriel said in his talk on the future of work and how the balance will continue to shift towards more freelancing. At Projecting we work with a mix of permanent and freelance staff, and apply a lot of the same principles to the way we work, e.g. I personally do a lot of remote working, allowing me to manage my time and location around my life and not the other way around.
3. You don’t have to be a celebrity to generate 1 million fans in over 100 countries in less than 30 days. Brendan Kane explained how he did this for himself, as part of a panel, in this talk
4. Microsoft have a chief environmental strategist (Robert Bernard), and they’re looking for good ideas to invest in
5. Our bodies create 12 cancer cells every minute and whilst most of us in the audience thought we will live to a 100, our kids should be targeting 125 (video)
6. The car industry has defined and will work its way through 5 levels of self-driving cars. It’s reassuring to know that we’re not going to go from fully manual to fully automated in one step.
7. Continuing on the theme of cars, uber announced they will have flying cars in LA in 2020 (unfortunately a year late for Blade Runner fans – another fact I did not know 🙂 ).
8. A great use case for Augmented Reality (AR) is in helping you visualise furniture in your living room before you purchase anything. This will be a big hit in my household. (click here to see the video of the talk by Google’s head of AR and VR)
9. You don’t have to be the “uber of AI” or the “airbnb of Blockchain” to win the Pitch competition at Web Summit. The winning startup, lifeina, doesn’t really even need a website for anything other than marketing, as they manufacture the “world’s smallest fridge” so that your medication can go everywhere with you. Very polished pitch and sleek product design got them the award.
10. There is a pop-up conference called the “House of Beautiful Business” which gets organised every year somewhere around the world to coincide with another large conference. It took place in Lisbon at the same time as Web Summit, though unfortunately I only learnt this on my last day there, so didn’t get a chance to go. One of my INSEAD classmates did attend and it sounds like a conference worth keeping an eye out for.