LeWeb London: Paul Davison and Highlight

Paul Davison, Founder & CEO, Highlight & Milo Yannopoulos, Founder & Editor-in-Chief, The Kernel


MY wanted to hate Highlight, but looked into it and did not. PD says that services make it easy to share about what you like etc. This happens in real world too, with T-Shirts etc, But you don’t know more about who you are walking by, how you connect with them, the real world is like a bizarre version of Facebook, where you just have the one picture., nothing else. But know you have technology that changes what is possible, you can walk into a room and know what is possible, who people are and what they like. How can we live like this when we don’t know enough!

PD wants to build the way of you knowing who are experts, who is nearby etc It can tell you who is interesting…MY how does it know who is interesting? PD the app has decisions to make when people are close. Should it send a notification…it asks if friends, if there are friends in common, have they crossed paths before. It asks contexts. Is it daytime or nighttime, at work or at play. It learns and makes itself better

MY thinks it sounds like the most annoying thing in the world; so how do you scale notifications etc PD says you can look at response rates, can balance it. If they respond to lots, then send lots. PD says they it is not about meeting people, most of the time you are not in the mode to do that. It is about surfacing metadata, about knowing more to give choices. You can get value out of networks without messaging people, it is about context. with Highlight want to move onto the next level of connections.

MY asks about how to you manage people you do not want to meet, the creepy people, How can it help in that situation. PS says it should help, it should give context and inform how you react. There are plenty of edge cases to dig into and figure out what they should be. When the web came out, we called it cyberspace, it was a dimension that had not existed before. You needed to figure out what to do and how to behave. Would it be used for commerce. But we figured it out. ANd now there’s more to figure out. It’ll take a while to do.

MY says you are in control of what the norms are..what repsonsibility do you have to inform people, get people informed on what is happening. PD says you have an incentive to build a product that people use often, and we want to make the world better. There are so many amazing stories about its use, about how great things happen. The app surfaces loads of connections, makes the office better, makes connections. Unlocks potential to connect more. It makes the world a smaller place, creates empathy.

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