Dec 09

LeWeb: Commerce

Matthew Mengerink, Vice President and General Manager of Platform , X.Commerce-eBay Inc. & Robert Scoble, American Blogger, Technical Evangelist and Author,Rackspace

People don’t want to appear to be idiotic when they buy things. Mathew builds storefronts for retailers, what trends is he seeing. For merchants, the storefront is a stressful place, but it does not have the human touch that actual stores have. The social element is coming back into digital, When you go there, you get recognised. It becomes more vibrant. Mobile phones is making this possible in an actual store. With Etsy, they have put Facebook in there, that shows what your friends like. The social network influence is more important than any other ratings.

Since last year, Groupon has gone public, there are lots of other offer based systems. Where is location going here? Matthew thinks commerce is cool again; putting inventory into phones is a great opportunity. You can be walking down the street and let people know what the offers are through the phone. You can program a city.

They are announcing things. Paypal access is added to Magento stores…it is a commerce operating system, plenty of partners etc.

Looking at consumer behaviours, standing in line and waiting is an old concept. Now with apple, each sales rep can take payment. There is an explosion of apps in this space, adding onto the ipad etc. The POS systems are constraining and making the need for diverse systems. They are looking at the human touch, how can they let the staff know who you are, what you want, know more about you. SO staff can give you customised offers, based on your social network.

This is an open platform, bringing people together, opening up APIs etc…giving commerce in the cloud. Merchants want to buy tech…give them an app store to get tech into the stores. Retails stores, don’t have the tech at the moment, don’t have the expertise to build it out. SO how is this team going to help them? So is a meeting place for developers and merchants. There are large number of requirements listing. They are working at taking the data and providing the best stuff for the merchants.

Is NFC a worry, or an opp? It’s seen as an opportunity. There’s a bunch of people working on this, at looking at a platform approach. It will look different in different approaches. is looking at making every screen a chance for commerce at making it more fun, putting the experience there. Ebay looks forward to an exciting world for consumers.

Dec 09

LeWeb: Governments and Startups

How european Governments support startup ecosystems
Moderated by: Sherry Coutu, Former CEO & Angel Investor. Nicolas Princen, Advisor for New Media and Information Technology, Office of President Nicolas Sarkozy. Eric Van der Kleij, CEO, Tech City Investment Organisation

One of the challenges is what can the gov actually do, can’t they just get out of the way? So what do they to help entrepreneurs grow?

NP,the last study he has shows the internet economy is 6%, but whole digital bit is 80%. France is focusing on innovation and bringing down the barriers. So changes to tax regime, for startups, no tax for 6 years. They have huge tax cuts for innovation, if you pay 2 engineers, you get a third ‘for free’. They have also invested, in infrastructure, in services, to push production and consumption. They have tried to unleash potential of talent, by freeing up universities, to teach how they want, to deal with companies,. THere is a whole new conception on what gov has to do for innovation. Gov needs to be seen as part of the ecosystem, not above it. They need to facilitate and catalyse. Work with ecosystem, rather than at. In France, the ecosystem has been growing. France has released a lot of data, for people to work on, 300k data sets

From EK, he shares similar goals to NP. Look at the OpenData, just launched the OpenData institute. They think that by opening up the data and inviting devs to give them ideas, they can unlock new growth. By collaboration, by co-opetition, making markets open to all, they can stimulate growth. The Tech City initiative was announced, to amplify what was happening. Gov was looking about how it could get out the way and to stimulate it. The gov put in the entrepreneurs visa, to come to UK to set up business; the lifetime capital gains relief – that’s 10% tax on first 10m made on selling, plus R&D tax credit, plus early stage investors tax breaks up to 50%

Looking at EU, there needs to be about the same number of startups as SV, but about half the number of scale-ups. So how do we grow? SO how are govs helping those? NP thinks we need to focus on investments, there’s gov money now to help that. France has been trying to attract larger companies to grow the ecosystem. Also, it is about culture and mindset. THere’s a change, people wanting to grow global, was not ness where it was a few years ago. With new platforms, there are more opps for companies to be global. For UK, agreement, getting in some of the bigger companies in is key. THere is a risk that they will own all the engineers, but they also recognise that they need to add value. Google has taken out a building in London and are building out what they should do with it with the Tech City team. London knows startups are great, but scaleups are very important, so London want to ask opinion on the Global Entrepreneurs Network. THey will find the people from the different areas and put them together…entrepreneurs collaborate, to establish networks to support each other. NP thinks this is a good idea, building stronger links and ties. It’s all about connection, the power is in the networks and govs understand that.
So a call out for any ideas?

Dec 08

LeWeb: Ignite

Playing (with) the Market-Fun Facts about the Android Market
Yuval Ariav, @yuvalariav

We asked people what made a good app. But they have already answered that question, with reviews etc. The data is there. But how to turn it into information. What are they saying? Look at words on 1 and 5 star reviews. good apps are lots of things, bad apps just suck. But what issues are being reported. Sorted reviews into categories next, looking at popularity of issues. What issues are most important? Looked at app removal reports, who removed. Top 3 issues are malware and excessive permissions, 3rd is intrusive ads. What can we learn about reviewers? How is the review system being abused? So bot reviewers – games being promoted in reviews for other games, plus troll reviewers.

Copycat Music: What Does it Mean to be an Original?
Martin Bohringer, @boehr

Looking at copycats, can EU startups do original startups or just copycats. So what does it mean? What makes it original. Music is about creativity…looking at original music…(and did copycat of the Axis of Awesome video)

How to Solve the App Store Discovery Problem
Emmanuel Carraud, @EmmanuelCarrauZ

App store is great, a new ecosystem over $5b. But too many apps, over 500k, 1k every day. So user is lost. So how do you find a good application. For devs, how can they be visible, how can they reach target audience, how do they make money. At MagicSolver, worked at that. based in Cambridge. Analysed the demographics, what people liked. Local key, eg utilities in China, US mainly games, UK has only 2 in common with US in analysis day. Italy has a lot of local apps. Japan has no Xmas, but books, brands etc. You need a good name, good SEO, good buzz. You need to get visibility, use the media, have a big marketing push. Need engaging apps to stay on top. Listen to users, for dev details and iterate quickly

We’re Not All as Smart as You Think We Are
Trevor Dougherty, @trevordty

When 16, got first job with state senate campaign, They did not know what to do with him, They did not have anyone running social media, so they put him in charge. This was the assumption, that young people are experts due to age. Just because they have access does not mean they do it better. People know how to do it at a basic level, So how to use groups and events and marketing. Most people won’t know what to do with FB advertising. Looking at video, it’s cheap to do. But can it be done well. At his school, it is expected that people know about it. With microblogging, it is popular with big media. but do young people get it? A lot of his fellow students use it to follow people, rather than do anything on it. Only middle-aged people from SV understand it. Young people have access to tech, but not ness use them better. You need to differentiate between power users vs the majority of people who have basic understanding. Keep it simple.

A Social Course
Raul Krauthausen, @raulde

How hard is life in a wheelchair? Hard. Dogs are as big as horses. There is no obvious way to get places, sometimes there are no one to help. Postboxes are too high, You can’t get money out of the ATM…without giving people your pin. There are some advantages joke picture of woman’s arse). Friends get fed up going to same cafe, as known as wheelchair accessible. Idea to make an app to show where are accessible areas. Application needs to be free, open ,available to everyone. Used openstreetmap, where all can contribute. Launched, people can add stuff and also use data with API. now 200k places,. On Android, 1200 users, iPhone, over 10k downloads. Getting it across borders, we asked on Twitter who could translate. Got them done, even now in Klingon. Asked about how people can share his app info

LeWeb 2011

From Flaneur to SmartMob: Collectively Experiencing Paris
Simon Lindgren, @simon_lindgren

Recently we have seen dev of LBS, People log movements and provide to SNS. So Walter Benjamin, looked at metropolis and how people interacted with environment. In 1927, he started writing a book, the Arcade project. Looking at the Arcades, you could see a condensed version of the strategies and types of modern society. Looked at the Fleneur, an aimless stroller of the streets, looks for new experiences and expressions in the city. Moving round a city can be seen as spellbinding, it is public. Many systems have reward systems, have badge programmes for going places, so the movement becomes an end to itself, as Benjamin predicted. There is a dissolution of time and space. Lefebvre wrote that space is a social thing, and we see that on the logins, that space is becoming democratised. We see how the every connected world changes things, with politics etc, online takes over spaces.

Is the Web Turning Us Into Monsters?
Greg Pouy, @gregfromparis

Get’s insulted a lot online. has his own bot, that responds to him every tweet. Negative reviews are obvious on the web; they are normal; but, you need to consider destructive vs constructive reviews. people can be mean online. We may all do that, people act like sheep, or not say anything. It is too easy to bash anonymously. Even he has done it. But not a good idea. SNS are great, he loves them. but being socially connected has consequences. If feel socially connected, but you feel less motivated to actually connect, so leads to not caring about others. teens are more likely than adults to bash…to be mean. The web is a reflection of society, not turning us into monsters. It is cathartic. So 2 messages, wait before sharing or commenting because you can hurt someone. And stay friends with those not connected

The Future Way of Working: The Distributed Company
Sara Rosso, @rosso

A picture of the modern workspace, full of cubicles. But that is not inspiring. Do you need to be in an office to be productive. Individuals have different places to be most productive; the idea of remote worker has really gained over last 20 years. In most places, it is a minority, regarded with suspicion. Is distributed only for small startups, freelancers. She works for Automattic, is completely distributed company. There is no office, they have 99 people in 74 cities. They are tightly connected in terms of communication. Use blogs, Skype, private IRC. The blogs are searchable and accessible, keeps records. IRC is a way of showing up to the office, colleague can find you. Everyone in company needs to be a self-starter, how they manage themselves. Goals need to be overcommunicated. It is hard to grow, you want to be distributed to get the best resources. But how will you communicate. How will people acclimate as you grow, Need to decide tools before distribution, There needs to be a new way of management. You still need to see each other on occasion. The future is out of the office

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Chinese Tech & Doing Business in China
Anina Net, @360fashion

Looking at china and entrepreneurs. Most people there were farmers at one point. YOu need a lot of patience. You should get into an incubator programme, help you navigate. Also get to know the local VIPs. Let them know what you are doing..they can help. China is huge, it is fragmented, you need multi device approach. How do you cope with people who do not want to put cards into mobile sites? Which app store do you use – there’s >20. Doubon has affiliate fees for monetisation, a brilliant innovative programme for mobile. You need to have a licensed analytics programme. You need to have great moderators and collaborators, the gov could close you down if conversations get out of hand. But anything can happen, even if never been done before. You need Guanxi…there are great walls everywhere, challenges and cultural divides, you need to bridge the divides. They want to know who you are first, not how you will make money. China makes me leaner, makes me think faster, makes me sharp.

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Knowing Why (Connaitre Porquoi)
Dave Troy, @davetroy

Has been reading Moby Dick, questions about why..a film is only as good as the reason for making it. Is it story or money for film sequels. For OWS, there is criticism about why they do not know why, but they have got a cause…its not the why, it’s that they do not know what to do with it. Look at TedX, there’s one about NewWallStreet, so what could be implemented to make Wallst better and fair. So the theme is not to make bigger plans. or look for things that motivate you. Differences are down to story, about what motivates you. in Bray, the Fat Duck, the property prices has doubled as there is a story. Look at Amanda Rose and Twestival. Look at the how of tech and they why of the story. Look at Kickstarter, they ask you to explain why. What are the social objects that make your stories spread? It is all about storytelling, the best products or companies will have stories.

(some images by Adam Tinworth)

Dec 08

LeWeb: SoLoMo and Media

Moderated by: Thomas Crampton, Asia-Pacific Director of Social Media, Ogilvy Mather

  • Paul-François Fournier, Executive Vice President, Orange Technocentre
  • Gabe Rivera, Founder & CEO, Techmeme
  • Bruno Patino, Senior Executive Vice President, Strategy Digital Director, France Télévisions Group & France 5
  • Brad Garlinghouse, President, Consumer Applications & Commerce Group, AOL

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(photo by Adam Tinworth)

They were asked what they mean by media. PFF think they are are local and social, that they are not media, but a media acceleration company. They are looking for partners, eg as with Evernote. BG thinks AOL is investing lots of content…interesting how social and mobile change what media is. FB is media, twitter is media, that creates challenges for the traditional media. They think innovation, how to incorporate it, is one of the biggest challenges. So for Orange, BG thinks keeping it separate is the best model. NewsCorp with the Daily, spends lots of money creating lots of content and it’s not getting traction. Gabe would consider techmeme as media; Media as a word is overused. Is it social media or broadcast. Techmeme does not have comments, not too many tweets, focus on the media, it’s one to many..not like social media many to many. BP thinks that media is staying the same, the industrial mass version is changing. Big companies do not control the system, But audience still wants to gather around a tv programme, on whatever screen they want and still want a social connection with it. The difference is that the big company no longer controls the system. They have to think about maximizing the consumer experience. It’s a new way, maximizing the experience

What is good examples of integrating social and media. Gabe is not focusing on this; is looking at publishers. Social media is a follow on, it collects attention but not really adding. For Gabe, Twitter is one area, in terms of breaking news and being able to provide additional information, counterpoints etc. Not too often, usually not really useful. Gabe does not know of any traditional media where social is adding value (although he admits there may be there). Gabe looks at Reddit, with moderated comments that can be seen as a success

Paul thinks you are looking at the future, where is it going. He thinks we are still in period about understanding what the success will be. There will be soon something, but not seen know. Bruno thinks there are new models of storytelling. The news is no longer delivered to you. Or the story shows. You know people will get involved with characters etc. You engage in new ways of multidimensional shows and stories. The context is always changing..that that is a big thing with social

Looking at local, big media has a problem covering local in a way to make money from, says Brad. AOL has made a large investment in Patch, which is a local media network. They don’t do big towns, do small ones, do suburbs. Twitter is media, so the volume is huge – even if it is garbage. The challenge is making media more relevant, using social and interest graphs and then you have a proximity graph, bringing in mobile. Techmeme is always of the now, so always relevant.

But can you scale local? Brad thinks this is what the Patch experiment will show over the next few years. They have invested over 100m..some are profitable, can all of the 900 sites be so. Paul is talking about sharing knowledge and processes and platforms to scale, even if news is local

For Bruno, local is not what local used to mean. So local used to be a major town and 500-600k. Now it is more local, more granular. So the model is changing, it is not volume as such.

Audience questions

So how important is local? For Brad, Patch is a challenge, it is going. But local is important, people care about what happens around their area. Can people make money? Bruno says that there used to be lots of local press, but local was a huge place. The audience is smaller. You have to think about how to organise local news in a key way. Look at the US, with support of journalism is on local basis as many organisations don’t cover it. Gabe would not do a local site. There needs to be an abundance of the local news to consider filtering, says gabe, but there is not this. He does not see the success at the smaller scale. Patch does not sound encouraging. A Patch story did discover the Jobs presenting new plans, then techcrunch wrote this up. Local content matters, says Brad, but there is not an abundance, so difficult to curate and promote. With Paul, he asks what is local? how big is the size?

Looking at mobile, Gabe has about 10% mobile. He knows there are news sites where mobile is bigger, but for those that are like work, like techmeme, desktop is more important. For Twitter, it’s 50%, for FB it’s about 30%. It will become increasing in numbers. Paul sees 2 forms of mobile, when you are away, getting the info, or as a second or third screen when doing other things, to interact. Bruno is working on mobile apps, that to view, capture and share what you can see on TV. For Paul at Orange, this multidevice is a key element for their partners.

Dec 08

LeWeb: Niklas Zennstrom

Niklas Zennstrom, Founding Partner & CEO, Atomico and Loic Le Meur, Founder, LeWeb

It’s good to sell a company twice. The first time I was part of the emotional. The second time I was an investor, so more a financial decision. (Skype). It has ended up in a good place. How are the trends? Looking at things like the iphone, mobile internet promised in 1999 but not really until after the iphone. Now most entrepreneurs looking at mobile models. Also the growth of ecommerce, especially on mobile. In Western countries, eg in Sweden, 10% of commerce is ecommerce. 5 years ago etc, it was too much of a niche. Now the small niches, eg shoes, are large opportunities.
Looking for potential investments? Looking for the people, the team need to have ambition, the desire, the intellectual capacity. They need the high ambition level. They need to have the right time, so things will happen. They need to be realistic as well

Fund is about $200m, invest in startups, in about 50 companies. They don’t look for subsectors. They are open minded. Look at Google, when they got into search, the other companies we becoming portals, as that was where the money was. Search was not the trend, so few would have been looking to invest. It’s not about pure innovation either, it is about focusing on great products

With Skype, they knew they would have freemium model but did not launch with it. Companies can do revenue earlier now. There was more focus on the backend, now more on front end, as there are cloud services. You need less money to start a company.

Predicts there will be more OS platforms. Carriers want to keep relationship with customers, so an independent system could be one there. He can’t tell companies to only focus on iPhone, or on Android. BUt can show them the numbers of users, hard to justify sometimes building on other platforms

A bit more than haf the investments are in EU. But is not ness a competitor for Silicon valley. SV is epicenter of tech innovation. But the likelihood of companies from other areas are growing. Entrepreneurs have access to the same information. The growth is outside the US, outside EU, it will be emerging markets. would rather invest in these kinds of places to grow.

Dec 08

LeWeb: TV and the social web

Deb Roy, Co-Founder & CEO, Bluefin Labs
“Connecting TV to the social web”

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(photo by Adam Tinworth)

Record everything, dev data machines/algorithms to find patters, dev visualisation so humans can see the connections and then dev them to make the world better

Was looking at how his son learnt, wired up his house for camera and microphones. Recorded everything in basement. Collected film over 3 years, (have put in strong data protections) Looked at how move through space/time in the various activities. tracked where son was in the house, got the words he was hearing, and tracked the words the son started to use. By time was 2, he had been learnt about 500 words, and they knew how they had been developed. They looked at how often a word was heard and when the son used it. So when a word used a lot, son spoke it earlier. but how about social context? The study allowed visual context to be assessed. Reveals social activity structures through time, tracking activity and then associates words heard with the activity being done. Tracking the hearing over time, gives you a landscape in space where it was heard. The new hypothesis is that the uniqueness of the wordscape means word will be learnt earlier – ie that when things happen in specific places, then the word is learnt earlier.

So context has a strong correlation with language acquisition. Took that model and started to look at TV, advertising etc. Looking at how people are commenting on TV, through social networks. You see huge growth in people talking about TV. If you look at the social expressions, in reaction to media people create online and it can be studied. They can follow connections and where information travels They have the social web, the TV web of content, and the links between what is being said and what it being watched. This is the TV genome, the most cohesive data set of US tv and its audience. Of Google was developed to assess inbound links to content…but if you take every comment as a response to TV, then TV genome is like pagerank for TV content. They measure how many people talk about each show, Can assess the raw data, it’s not just the number that watched.

Is using this for developing insights. Looking at how to produce visualisations to share their data. Provide conversation patterns, ways to show engagement – which is not numbers, but about what is being talked about it. Does semantic analysis. Looks at audience, how they are linked etc, what types of shows people talk about.

Privacy. Only uses public data, looks at audience patterns and analyses on an aggregate level

Personal note: I worked with a media client 2 years ago to develop something very similar for them on Twitter. They wanted to track information around their shows, to be able to understand what was being said, the sentiment etc and visualise it in a way that the average show producer could get a handle on the social web.

Dec 08

LeWeb: Social Thunderstorms

George Colony, Chairman & CEO, Forrester Research
“Three Social Thunderstorms”

1: The Death of the Web
Processing power doubles, Moore’s Law, every 18 months. Will be there for next 10 years or so. Next, Hitachi Law, doubling of storage every 12 months about. Then the network. It is improving, not at the same speed as the others. So if you were to build architecture based on network, you would be wasting all the other stuff. Thinking about trends over the longterm, the centre is becoming more powerful, and the periphery is becoming more powerful to. So datacentres and the devices. So the iPad2 is equivalent to 1986 Cray 2. in 1992 it was one of the 30 fastest in world. So what will we have in 5 years? Some of the old architects are dead. The PC..does not leverage the cloud. Everything in cloud? Then have to run through network, so that causes issues. So is the app internet the model to go for? Powerful things in cloud, plus powerful devices. Share between them. Been driven not just by technology. Users like apps, they are simpler, faster etc. Gives a better experience. This is app to internet, not the web.

3 companies emerging in app internet systems. Apple (although may have an overcharge system). Google, with Android. Third he sees as Amazon

2. Social Saturation
Do lot of research. Finds that social is running out of hours and people. From US research, they are using social more than they are volunteering, being religious, more than phone/email/post and more than exercising. Only a little less than childcare and shopping. They are running out of hours. With people, in US/EU, 80% in EU, 86% in US are social. Asia btw 70=90%, emerging world (in urban centres) mid-high 90%s.

So we’re in a bubble. If you need more time, users, then in trouble, If it is timewasting. Moving to a post social world, like web in year 2000. Lots will not survive. believes next wave will be faster,more efficient, more value per hour used. So post social players will dominate.

3. Enterprise
72% of large corps are implementing social or are interested. It’s about the customer, better cust interactions, service, then only internal use. Beyond Sharepoint, there are massive opportunities in social. So Salesforce, IBM, a far better Sharepoint, all possibilities. Think though will see new players. We’ll get rich professional services opps, and a major test of marketing and biz tech collaboration

Dec 08

LeWeb: Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer, VP, Product Management, Google and MG Siegler, General Partner, CrunchFund

LeWeb 2011

Now focuses on local and maps. Bringing things together. Checkins are useful for users, bring them together with friends. Interesting ways for us to monetise and for users to save money, so checkin offers, and daily deals etc. Looking to launch this next week with merchants. With G+ and latitude, big push for G+, but are still working on latitude. They have 10m users, huge service, quite popular. Also useful for find, eg finding phone. Also just launched google maps for mobile 6.0, bring in more things out for it.

So with FB buying gowalla, how does she think the space is doing? has it cooled down? NO, she does not think so,t here is a lot of activity, there is a lot of potential. Lots of activities and the successes are coming through, But what makes success. Is this about transaction, is it about owning data, which means you can innovate (she sees Google strong here). Location is useful, sees huge rate is uptake in this. Mobile usage surpassed desktop in June across all platforms. Started last Christmas, over spring saw crossover at weekends, no permanent cross over. Location is here to stay, even if some are falling away

What are they doing with indoor maps? They think indoor spaces are really important, being able to understand spaces and find things, to reduce confusion. So the last release of maps had indoor maps, airports, retailers, etc. Not just the maps, but being able to place you in the space. Using wifi. They did a survey tool to map the wifi

Talking about some of the other companies. How about Groupon, which Google looked at. Is it seen as a long term standalone business? She won’t comment on another company, but deal space is compelling as it helps the users. She thinks things will change a lot, integration, more relevance, that is where we can focus

Now Google+, how does that play into Marissa’s role? Has it changed the company? Her part does get surprised. They have had 40m users in 4months. It is critical for local, local and social feed each other. Social context is a key input. Need to know where friends have been, what they liked. So G+ impacts what location services can offer their users. G+ was not first attempt, they have learnt a lot from Wave and Buzz. We need to not overpromise, make it simple, about privacy and how to communicate it. We field tested, launched it differently to prior attempts. Is design a new area of emphasis? It has always been important, it supports what a user wants to do. Speed is key, but by organising better, a little more focus on design, you help the user work more effectively. Need to make things more findable.

How is Android being used, in the location space. So Google maps have to work all over; but Android is something special, as we can do far more with features. Last year we launched the vector scheme. They can offer 3d buildings, as the maps are smaller. We can cache maps. They like it most as they can do more. They showcase them there.

But what is the biggest fear: Becoming MS or becoming apple? She thinks every company is its own thing, will not pick one of them. It’s about relevance, innovation, tech etc.

Some audience questions

A great product manager hires great people, people who can look at tech and translate it to a great use. She focuses on their outlook, what captures their imagination, who get excited. (they’ve usually done the tech stuff before she sees them). They need to know what delights them. Once working on a product, you need to understand the tech, the limits etc, what works etc. Listening is important. you don’t know all the answers, but have to work with people who do know, bring a teams vision

What are her thoughts on the mad projects? Is it exciting, or distracting? She thinks it is important to explore the ideas, and knows that some of the far flung ideas become core. Orkut started in 10% of wild things, as has Chrome. The car has some of the things that are not too different from search – lots of data, making decisions.

Dec 08

LeWeb: Principals of Innovation

Carmine Gallo, Author,
7 Principles of Innovation based on the “Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs.”

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(photo by Adam Tinworth)

Writes books, seems to write things about Steve Jobs. He’s also a communications coach. So Presentation secrets of Steve Jobs was previous book, now the Secrets.

Principal 1: Do what you love. Passion is everything. You need to know what you are passionate about
Principal 2: Put a dent in the universe. Have a vision, be inspired.
Principal 3: Creativity is connecting things..association. Bring things together. it’s not just your own domain that will bring the answers
Principal 4: Say no to a 1000 things. Keep it simple, Remove things, don’t do too much
Principal 5: Create insanely good experiences It’s not just the product, it’s how you experience. People at Apple stores are told to enrich lives. People want to know what they can do with the tools.
Principal 6: Master the Message. Know the Pitch. You have to be able to convince people. Think visually to help with the message
Principal 7: It’s about customer needs.

The main advice: Dream Bigger. See genius in your craziness

Dec 08

LeWeb: Evernote

Phil Libin, CEO, Evernote and Loic Le Meur, Founder, LeWeb

So it starts with another product launch (to be fair, the first today). Brings on person from Orange….Evernote and Orange met last year at LeWeb, Orange wanted to offer these platforms to their customers. So all Orange customers in France next year will get access to Evernote premium for a year. Will roll out over EU later.

Evernote asks people to trust them with their lives, so we share our numbers, so they trust us as well. Has 20 million users, 4x greater than last year. But how do they behave? Showed a nice chart about return users by cohort age….biggest returns in first few months, if you return for a few months, you don’t leave…then older accounts start coming back more, as people who leave start coming back more. They have a steady rise of longer term users who will pay -the longer you use it, the more you love it, so 20%>3years pay. Have about 750k pay, out of the 20m users. They are profitability, as of 6months ago, but back in read as hiring fast so can build things quickly. At this point, time to grow quickly

They launched new products yesterday, Evernote Food and Evernote Hello. Food is about capturing all the meals. A simple way to capture your food experiences. A new apps need to be simple and direct. Want simple and elegant apps, so unified experience on desktop and simple focused on mobile. So capture on Food, see on main desktop. Evernote is private, to capture for own memory, but there are sharing abilities. Evernote Hello, is about people

Dec 08

LeWeb: Bill Gross from Idealab

Bill Gross, Founder & CEO, Idealab
“Learning From Failure: 20 Years of Entrepreneurial Lessons in 20 Minutes”

Solar power plans at highschool. Gave Lesson 1: Market Power, when market taking off without you doing, is best. Need to get in early for this.

At college, designed high end speakers. Sold at school and in stores. HAd to convince people to buy.. This lead to Lesson 2: master the demo. Know how to sell and convince people.

Graduated and bought first computer., Worked with Lotus 123, developed accountancy tools. and ways to make Lotus easy. Sold on to Lotus. Had a great time there. This lead to Lesson 3: Pursue your Passion. You have to work at something you love, only way to get over the great challenges.

Then started an educational company, to get kids to fall in love with learning. Started doing weekend demos at the companies, just got people to do this from the company to make the numbers. They shared the stories…which led to product development…making narrower products, for a single year of age. Despite Sales force being against it, they tried it and it sold well. This is Lesson 4: Focus, Focus, Focus, do fewer things extraordinarily well.

Next up was Idealab, to get people to try things, without punishment. Has started 100 companies from this (about 300 rounds of financing, raised about £2.8b. Had 40 failures, but rest good. This led to lesson 5: Recognise your Strengths. Brough in people complemented him.

Talking about successes, failures and in progress. A failure was eToys, ecommerce for toys. Raised 400k, Grew over 3 years, then went public. At one point had market cap greater than ToyRUS. Post IPO, it grew very, very quickly, did 160m in revenue, but had built for 300m. Then dotcom crash, could not do second, so Lesson 6: Don’t overbuild. So grow slowly, better to do that than fail due to going to fast. was another failure, comedy stuff. Got people to do lots of content. Needed broadband..not enough. So slowly. They hired 120, then cut and cut and cut…ran out of money. Ahead of time. So lesson 7: Survive until market is ready. Should have cut burn until ready.

CarsDirect started in 1999. Wanted to sell cars online, without going to dealers. Tested over a short time, 3 months, low cost. Got someone to run it, was looking deals, doing lots of planning…site live on day 80…sold 4 cars first night. THen turned it off, they had proved the idea, so spent 6 months building it properly! So lesson 8: test, test, test. Don’t spend money in advance, have to make it a real test though, with the customer was in 1998; companies were buying traffic, through ads, or through portals. Developed model of cost for click (instead of CPM as it was then in the main). People did not like the idea…launched and it grew…it became Overture. Everyone signed up. Sold to Yahoo..who 5 years had said they would never do it. Lesson 9 is stick with it. They had a great idea and kept at it

Now looking at Solar, building something that can be deployed quickly, to drive costs down. There are challenges, huge capital needs, so GE invested. LEsson 10, You need the Partners. YOu need the right partners to develop.

Finally, Ubermedia. Saw tweets leaving stream, without relevance, wanted to make it easier to find things. We grew, we acquired, we have built own. Lesson 10: you have to harness users passion

Final lesson, all truth has 3 stages. First is ridiculed, the violently opposed than accepted as being self-evident. You need to be ready to face ridicule and opposition….

Dec 08

LeWeb: The Money Panel

Money Panel: Moderated by: Jonathan Goodwin, CEO & Partner J Goodwin & Co LLP

  • Jeff Clavier, Founder & Managing Partner, SoftTech V
  • Harry Nelis, Partner, Accel Partners
  • Dave McClure, 500 Hats
  • Eric Archambeau, General Partner, Wellington Partners

HN: looking at game sin Mobile, eg Rovio etc, one of the first investors in Facebook. Looking at next-gen ecommerce.
DM: mostly tiny incubator seed investments, one of the most active. over 120 deals in last 12 months. Biggest miss is Parse – missed the volume
JC: about 20 investments a year, 400k average, mostly in the US. a lot of mobile services, next-gen ecommerce
EA: invest in early companies throughout EU, still looking for a good French deal. Involved on mobile for a while,

Are they worried about debt crisis, underfunded IPOs? Looking longer term? YOu have to be worried about collapse if you want to continue doing business, but there is a resilience in anything you are doing. What is being done by EA is really long term; looking at studies, it takes 9 years from funding to IPO for average company. Average time for VC is 6 years, for decent investment. There is a disconnect btw investor expectation and reality, EA focuses in long term

At the moment, short term JC not seeing changes in microeconomics, but macro will impact at some point. HN thinks the flow of money will continue, there is a self-reinforcing mechanism in place, that investors make money with exits and it flows back into the investment. DM the environment has more impact on the LP environment, that is investment in investors, rather than VC investment in companies. THere are a few v large funds and a lot of smaller funds, they are the trend. A lot of VC are finding their models squeezed btw the very large and the very nimble and small.

In last 3 years, says JC, US venture has invested more than it has raised. A lot of transactions are in early companies, the employees on FB etc releasing their liquidity through personal deals. Last stage VCs are seeing more deals than used to, so more choice. DM, thinks it is positive, it is getting better environment, lot of positive reasons for investors to reason. One area to have a little concern is to look at valuations, a little overheated, across the board.
HN thinks the private companies are overvalued a little, instead of public companies. JC looks at public companies, that investors have lost money (on paper)

So what is going wrong if public companies not keeping value? HN says we are having worst crisis since WWII, so prices are not so great. So prices being lower is not to do with investors or banks going wrong, but general environment. But JG says that this sector has generally been good, so thinks there are too large exits which impacts the public deals. But DM says you can’t lump all the web together, lots of different perspectives.

One of the mistakes we need to learn from, says EA, is what is a bubble. It’s a disconnect btw the investors and the floaters. When the stock exchanges become an VC. They hate surprises (due to the model they work with, eg pensions), their views of what stock should be, the movements that should be happening, is different to early stage companies, that needs to work on infrastructure, such as managing outcomes. Looked at companies that have been made public and then look at infrastructure, a lot of work to get the processes in place. Companies can do revenues, but won’t be predictable, won’t suit markets.

JC says that what is happening, with Zynga etc, not there 3 years ago, so only a few quarters of data. Is the structure there? In mobile, says EA, we are yet to see that. There are a number of mobile businesses that are seeing exciting trends, that are getting ready to take advantage, so growth could be faster. An enormous platform for interesting biz opps.

Looking at returns, DM is looking in Asia etc. China is mobile phone largest market, inc smartphones. YOu are seeing dramatic growth in those markets. DM is now 25% international development, was 10%. JG asks if length of investment will be longer in these markets but DM does not think that. THinks that 6 years is too long, companies are having liquidity events before the IPO. DM average investment is 3 years, in 1-5 years is the normal for him. HN thinks the cycle will shorten. Businesses are growing faster than they have ever done. THinks mobile biz will grow even faster. DM thinks the cost structure changes have helped – you don’t have to spend a lot to start things, more being tried, then you can see the successful ones. HN sees massive trends you can take advantage of. JG knows that a that smaller end there is more M&A than before; seeing a lot more US corporates getting involved in EU, seeing a growth in this. EA thinks the big returns, for institutions, has been from the big IPOs. You have large amounts of money from institutions, getting big returns from IPO. There are also lots more smaller ones, from small VCs.

Looking forward to next year, hopefully Euro sorts itself, but what excites you? HM focusing on mobile, emerging economies. DM is looking at subscription verticals in commerce, eg coffee, condoms etc. Straightforward to go after, easy to go after, predictable revenue. Also looking at books, educations, for children, eg on ipad. Education was difficult to go into historically, but now you can go direct to consumer. Not been looked at as much, but it is huge and easy to get into. JC is in same geography, but very excited about mobile, building mobile equip of successful webservices. See about 50-60% of mobile investment. EA sees the same kind of businesses; always surprised by creativity of entrepeneurs. EA is EU focused; looking at Berlin, the place to go, Stockholm is brilliant, plus London.

Dec 07

LeWeb: Virgin Galactic

George Whitesides, CEO, Virgin Galactic
Wants to talk about space but also about sharing about dreams (shows video of Branson and the space plane/rocket).

When we think of space, do we think of a large gov programme that needs lots and lots of people? or is it closer to Virgin Galactic, which is smaller. Galactic is taken up to 50k ft and then dropped. does not need the same type of infrastructure.

Galactic started with X-prize, Scale composites who wanted to compete, then Paul Allen who wanted to do it to, then Branson looking to commercialize it and bring it to people around the world. SpaceshipOne flew 3 times to space and won the xprize and showed that a small team could make it

We are excited to bring space to many people, including global leaders, let them see the world from space. We bring weightlessness. Brings something completely new to people. The third part is the most profound. looking out, to the galaxy with no atmosphere.

We have 475k people signed up. Amazing group of people. Incredible group of people, we share experiences in the lead up to commercial flight. Since the beginning of space travel, 525 people have been to space. We want to to that in first year. We’ll be flying from spaceports, they are springing up all over the UK, around the world. Will be flying from spaceportamerica, in New Mexico Building spaceships in California, getting new investors, company capitalised at over 1b.

Project is testament to that small groups can do things. Space industry is going through the same phase as aero industry 100 years ago. Expect to see space trips, but turns into commutes, eg going across the atlantic in

Dec 07

LeWeb: Instagram

Kevin Systrom, CEO, Instagram and Alexia Tsotsis, Writer, TechCrunch

Learnt at Odeo, it’s about the team not the first product you worked on. At BOurbon, learnt same thing, the product not working. With no dark moments, you just go sideways, you don’t learn. With Instagram we realised we had to do something new. And that was a hard decision.

Is it mainstream? it’s normal behaviour, to take pictures. Instagram just makes it easy. It had not been done the right way in mobile the iphone4 launched, network speeds where there, so hardware supported it. We’ll see the same net change with video.

If facebook added Filters? They’ve always been available to some extent, but instagram is not the core competency, it’s not the defensible asset. it is the community, 15m users that are excited about sharing photos to friends. Filters get people taking more photos, but it is the network that excites me

Twitter shares a lot of the same DNA, it’s about what is sharing now, around you. Instagram is the start of something, it’s not just photosharing.

Instagram is not grown-up yet, at stage of FB when it was college only. But if you look at larger idea, it is bigger than iphone app. We have all these other platforms to hit. We are at the tip of what we can do.

How will you get revenue to afford the scale? The focus is to grow the network, or no advertiser will scare. We love how many brands are signing up everyday, doing beautiful pictures everyday,, sharing message of brands through platform. The advertising experience will be engaging. We are growing network now, that is later.

We have 2 people working on Android now (just hired someone). It’s very exciting…to get a new market,

Planning on hiring…when building a team it is not about the headcount. We bring on the best people we can find…at some point you can talk about scale, not we’re not there. It’s about picking best positions to fill and putting the best people in there.

Looking at other people, apple, twitter etc, photos are what ties us together, as people want to record their lives. Apple is about base consumer experience, it’s about sharing across devices. They have an open platform, that others can specialise on. We have a great relationship. Going forward, we want to be independent, as we have a lot to accomplish. We chose iOS first, as we were all iOS users. The screen on iphone 4 was a turning point, someone had to take advantage of that.

Dec 07

LeWeb: Foursquare

Dennis Crowley, Co-Founder & CEO, Foursquare and Robert Scoble, American Blogger, Technical Evangelist and Author, Rackspace

LeWeb 2011

CLose to 30m locations around the world. Started with a couple thousand venues now. 15m users, 4m checkins a day. 600k companies. Using Ec2 at the moment, getting expensive. 170m API calls a day. About 50% of usage is outside US. eg Brazil has great growth.

Landscape is pretty wide, more than now a checkin, but explore opens up what they do. Not too bothered about the smaller ones, but keeps an eye out on all. a lot of interesting things.

New features of the year, working on the Explore recommendation engine, announced at SXSW. With explorer, used checkin info to build these, about helping people. Now we have Radar, you don’t have to ask questions about this. It knows about things you want to do, and can tell you about things you may be interested in.

As a platform, using 4sq data, lots of apps using it. Devs think location generator is one of the best datasets out there. Satisfied about how quickly it is adopted. We need to find ways for people to push data back into the 4sq database, so we build the data connections

People are changing user behaviour, conditioned a lot of people to share places through 4sq. See people who use app but don’t checkin, so seeing people consuming data rather than creating. People can figure out what to do in new places; don’t need to checkin, can still get info from others

Bullding a new company is difficult. Everytime we add 10-15 people, the company breaks. We have to keep the ratios right. Wehave 100 or so people. We think about monetization a lot, about the tools we use, the tools the merchants are using and making 4sq a valuable long term business. We do not have a sales force, but 600k merchants by word of mouth. We can help merchants by telling them who their best customers are

We are growing out machine learning and big data team. Explorer came in March, Radar in Oct, those are the 2 big directions we are going. App is good at telling you what you should be doing.

Fav apps are 4sq/ 7 years ago. Brings you checkins from last year. Reminds you what you were doing. Also Don’t Eat at. Using the health scores to send you info about restaurants. We see mashups, piggyback off the checkin, sending people sending something interesting.

Dec 07

LeWeb: Eric Schmidt

Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google

LeWeb 2011

SoMoLO: Mobile is always the first question and answer, everything goes mobile. Local and social, that’s where people are.
We have seen breakouts in companies over the last 5 years that don’t need technician to’s all easy to use now
Google promo for phone on Android, from Hugo Barro. Includes facial recognition for unlocking phone; regular used apps and connection, has social apps – real time updates etc. has widgets, moveable across screens. Widgets allow you to more easily control, via notifications, what is happening across the apps, from the home screen. Spent a lot of time making it great for everyone.
Have tried to weave people and social into the platform, see who you follow, can get favourites etc, shows all the data connected to people and what data you have with them

They started off thinking phones were like computers, and forgot that they were about people talking. Focused on this in this release. Lots of people things. Taking and sharing photos, can do panoramas, share it easily from screens, from lots of different apps that are hooked into photosharing api. Android Bean is NFC…can easily share between devices…just touch the devices. Has open APIs, so people can build apps on top of it. Every app can respond to an NFC sharing request. Also a way to share apps – if you tap and you don’t have it, then will take you to the apps market. Starting to build out data about inside places, eg Malls, so that maps will work inside places.

Also announcing a web analytics programme for social. So you can see what is being said about you

Eric talked about where we are going. Big scalable platforms, lots of personalised devices with the clouds. Thinking about computing evolution, computers will do what they do well, humans will do what they will do. Computers have infinite memories, solve needle in haystack problems, Phone should remember my trips to Paris, what I have seen, have liked etc. There is an explosion in big data, and phones can learn. Can start doing suggestions based on previous behaviour.

What is the impact on countries…it is easy to start a revolution, but the social tools won’t produce a new leader, a new government. Once you have started, with mobile connections, expectations are very high. As Sarkozy told him, it took 100 years for France to stabilise after French revolution,who would wait that long today?

One thing he told Sarkozy, is that Silicon Valley needs a competitor. Paris is one of the cities that could compete. entrepreneurship tends to be young, less commitments, more risk taking etc. Cities as this is were these people to be found,. The diversity and ideas is also strongest there. paris has a good shot of this. Politicians tend to nod and listen but take no action; they care about jobs, so we need to do this. Internet is creating new jobs, as its creating new markets for businesses. The role of gov is to make sure citizens have low cost fixed and wireless broadband and citizens will do a lot more.

What about regulation? They’re concerned about premature regulation, about laws that prevent products being invented. Gov recognise internet importance, always saying that you should not turn off the internet. If you don’t like the mirror, don’t break it, figure out the image problem. We need to get message out that internet is core source of future growth in Europe. There’s not enough early stage investing here, and entrepreneurs need to learn and share

But what about the competition….Eric says Paris needs to get its act together..or move to the US where they won’t give you a visa (as they’re idiots). There is huge race to get on these platforms and own it. It’s a race. Lots of people trying hard. THere are the opportunities. You have to find it.

Google+. how is this going. Eric says Facebook is great, a great job. but competition is good. Focused on G+ as opp for more privacy controls, and then Google benefits from the information you provide it (with permission). THe social signal is useful as a ranking signal.

Eric thinks Android is ahead of iPhone, more vendors, lower prices, more unified, free. Android was founded before the iphone 🙂

So what about TV? Found ways to get GoogleTV/Android embedded in the TV, so they’re starting to get into TVs

Dec 07

LeWeb: Morning sessions

I combined notes from the morning sessions, many of which were about new product launches.

Travis Kalanick, Co-Founder & CEO, Uber and MG Siegler, General Partner, CrunchFund

Uber have got cars now on the ground at Paris. They’ve launched here. (that’s their big news). 18 months into operations as a company…came up with the idea 3 years ago at LeWeb. Had cars on the ground since Friday. moving across Europe. Also just raised a large round of funding – just closed $32m in funding. They have 60 cars in Paris. a third to half the drivers, are fully committed. Expect to be rolling out 2 cities a month next year.

Steve Jang, Co-Founder & CEO, SoundTracking and MG Siegler, General Partner, CrunchFund

Look, another announcement. Soundtrack is a sharing music system, you can check in your music. Sharing ‘music moments’ across social networks. Now they’ve launched on Android app as well. A couple of new things, better clip integration, and better ability to share when playing songs.

Dave Morin, Co-Founder & CEO, Path and Loic Le Meur, Founder, LeWeb
Loic interviews Dave about Path.

It relaunched recently
It’s about sharing the stuff with the people who are closest to you. Took last 6 months to do the new one. Care about quality and design, design driven organisation. Launched on iphone and Android at same time. Building apps, gets complex for each platform. Can’t really do it with HTML5. Have raised about 8.5m last Jan, with long term partners. Want to focus long term, to do quality design and products. Thinking about turning Path into a platform, no real move, just thinking about it. There’s a start here on latest version, with being able to send content out to favourite platform. For new version, asked users, looked at user behaviours, eg, screenshots of notes, of others, used this to define what content should be on the version. THey asked people how they saw Path – it was a journal. So enabled people to do what they were trying to do already with screenshots. Some good advice: stay with the problems for ling enough to solve them! People get afraid and ship bad stuff, too early. Shipped v1 as min viable product and thought they could iterate…but it takes 3 weeks or so and not fast enough for people. So spent more time to get to quality version

Mike McCue, CEO, Flipboard and Loic Le Meur, Founder, LeWeb

Raised $60m for the one app. You have to beleive the iPad would be a major new platform, believe it will change behaviour. Not enough Android tablets yet, had to pick a platform to focus on. Have 4.5m downloads; (out of 45m ipads), (did not say active users).

Kevin Rose, Co-Founder & CEO, Milk with Leo Laporte, Author, Speaker & Broadcaster and Sarah Lane,

TechTV was were KR was first on TV. THis is when he started thinking about Digg. Looking at how slashdot worked, thinking about getting users to vote on them, in 2004. To surface more story. Used TV platform to promote it. Had cool people at TechTV, saw they were like him, got inspiration to try cool stuff. KR still on board, but not working at it. The first 3 years were insane, chaos to keep it going. Users often caused problems – had death threats. It was being gamed, there were problems. Gettting sorted..has about 20m monthly uniques. Highest was 38m. They had seen traffic going down before the relaunch. Agreed they should have spent more time listening to core users, instead of listening to everyone esle, investors etc. Thinks the new versions has done a good job of getting the core features back.
Now with Milk, new product is Oink. A rating system for items in places. Eg meals in restaurants. It was invite on the app store, had to get people who were passionate to create the content to open it up. Dropped the invite fairly quickly as it caused issues. YOu can like ‘anything’ in the world. IS that too broad? But people are focusing on specialist areas, to get levels in the various elements,eg sound systems, burgers etc.
This a challenge for apps like this, the users have to put energy and content in there. It’s not ‘gamification’ as stuff, it has to be utility to keep people there. Working on new features to keep helping this.

Mobile Demo: Leah Busque, Founder & Product Officer,TaskRabbit

An online and mobile market place, to outsource tasks to people in community. Eg shopping etc, They also have virtual tasks. Most popular task is ‘assemble ikea furniture’. Virtual tasks can be done from anywhere. You fill in the tabs, People will bid etc

Dec 07

LeWeb: Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld, Fashion Designer, Photographer, Publisher, Designer and Film Director & Loic Le Meur, Founder, LeWeb
During the dicussion, Karl & Loic will be joined by Natalie Massenet, Founder & Executive Chairman, THE NET-A-PORTER Group Limited

The show started off with some live breakdancing, then the first person interviewed was Karl Lagerfeld, the fashion designer. It’s not immediately obvious why he is up on stage, althoguh he’s funny and droll. He has a special bag containing 4 iPhones (each one for different sets of people), an iPad, a few iPods (he loads them up, has different music sets on different ones out of the 100s that he has). He uses these tools to help design, to sketch ideas.

He has over 300k books, a self-declared paper freak, but also uses a Kindle and the iPad for other content consumption. HE doesn’t see paper going away, but sees like TV and theatre. They will still be there.

He does 3 different collections for Lagerfeld (plus Chanel)…does not spend a lot of time on web as having to do collections.

Ahh, now we get to the reason, Why we have a designer on here.. Karl Lagerfeld is going to be online, ‘Karl’ a fashion brand entirely online for the first time. A new line from him. It’s going to be a ‘truly online launch’, from AR, mobile etc. It will be on from 25 Jan (plus netaporter). Apparently it’s all about accessibility, online with ‘accessible prices’, with women all over the world having access to Karl (yes, Natalie is quoting the marketing message) It’s ‘modern’ that is going directly to the consumer, not to the fashion press first. Shipping all over the world.

With Renault last night and this launch, LeWeb is being seen as one of the the places to launch anything…even if the tech collection is actaulyl small. For me, just because it is on the web, does not mean it is tech. The web is ubiquitous, it’s not longer cutting edge. They’re celebrating that they are on all the social networks, etc etc, that they’re being innovative. They’re not the first, they’re just one of the first with a huge name!

Yes, I’m being a little cycnical; for the people launching this, it is seen as the next big frontier, really innovative. But it’s not really. It’s all about where they are on the journey.

Dec 07

LeWeb: Early doors

I arrived slightly too early at LeWeb this morning, before they were really ready. People were running around still setting up, on stage, rehearsals were taking place, running through demos and videos, some of the ‘top secret’ that we were asked not to mention as they are big reveals for later in the day.

I’m predicting coffee problems though, there’s 4 small Nespresso machines in the main area, serving up expresso. I guess it tastes good (I never do expresso unless forced to) but I’d prefer big coffee! And service will be slow. But that’s the only niggle so far, wifi is fast, I have a seat and a table for blogging (although I’m going to have to continue to get here early for that, as only 60 seats set up), food is good and I’m expecting the usual mixture of big speeches and interesting interludes. As well as one of the best places to connect with the best tech and web people in Europe.

Dec 07

LeWeb: Kicking off with Renault

I’m here at LeWeb in Paris for the next few days, again as an official blogger. Expect the usual set of liveblogs from the main stage, plus the odd tweet and photo.

The event kicked off for us bloggers last night with a reception held at the L’Atrium Renault, on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. It got a thumbs up from me by providing chocolate, champagne and a fast car in the form of a Red Bull Show car but the main purpose of the evening was to launch Renault’s new in-car innovation, what they are calling the RLink. It’s an integrated touch-screen tablet for their new cars, starting with the Clio and Zoe, providing all the usual interfaces with the car, navigation aids etc as well as being connected to the web and the ability to connect with your smartphone. But the reason for launching this at LeWeb, and what makes it unusual, is that the tablet is open for third-arty apps to be developed. They’re hoping the start-up/app developers will try some new things and provide useful apps for the car user.

I asked the head Renault person there, Patric, if they had already built the driving app to control the car from your mobile and he just laughed. But in serious, they are looking at the things like being able to connect to car park data etc so that the car will be able to direct you to empty spaces – or even drive itself. Looks an intereasting opportunity to build something in a new space. What would you like to see?

Update: Here’s a video Renault have pulled together