Dec 05

Le Web 12: Tuesday Notes

The first afternoon of the conference was characterised by lots of small talks – product announcements and quick snippets instead of any indepth look at a subject.

In general, my takeout from the first day of the internet of things is around household objects and toys – those are the main areas of focus. The costs are coming down and the components are started to be commercialised if not well on the path to commoditised. In the same way that web tools became easier and easier, not requiring any technical knowledge, then the connecting parts between the web and world become click and play.

Below, I highlight any interesting points from the various sessions on the Tuesday afternoon. (generally liveblogged)

Misha Lyalin, Chairman & CEO, ZeptoLab
The company have had 250m downloads; 50m+ MAU. 25% of US smartphones. It is the largest DAU in China. Tablets less than smartphones, <7% smartphnes in BRIC. Android is growing fast. They do multiple platform - web as well as phones. They take it to real world. They do merchandise - plush toys. They take the toys onto the phone (feed the toy). Do animations. Have new game. Going to do a live production (signed with Sony Pictures). Most ideas from internal process. Everyone in company can submit ideas. They prototype and test. Doing pretty well as a company. They are profitable. Phil Libin, CEO, Evernote
Have 10 countries with more than a million USA.Japan, China, UK, South Korea, Canada, Germany, Spain, Russia, Brazil. They grow organically, do little/no paid marketing. Their marketers focus on getting the audience wanting to use the the product through WOM. 66% use at work. for knowledge collection. 85% have brought it in themselves. Now they are launching Evernote business. In Phil’s opinion, business stuff is crappy. This is being launched to allow companies to discover the knowledge they have. Evernote business They are bringing in contextual searches, as you add info, then it brings out and highlights the related info in the system – hopefully to create knowledge. It’s not just storage – it’s an emergent search tool.

Tech Spotlight: Adam Wilson, Founder & Chief Software Architect, Orbotix
Uses a robot controlled by phone2 way wifi, 6 axis IMU, API and SDK, plus apps. It’s a robotic gaming system. This are games that are between physical and virtual. THer eis a whole continuum available to build games in this space., THis is mixed reality. .Nice demo!

Tech Spotlight: Carly Gloge, Co-Founder & CEO, Ubooly
Creative and educational creature. Uses iphones to control Listen and tell stories. VOice recognition. Games etc. To react with children
They get lots of data back about what the children do, so can amend the content and adapt to what is being used. They are building new content – eg travel packs, plus social elements. Building on ways for Ubooly to feed back to the parents about childs behaviour

Fred Potter, Founder & CEO, Netamo
Some things matter and some don’t. For his kid, his Teddy is important. For adults, the smartphone is important. If it’s not important, then it’s on your smartphone. Now more and more of your life goes onto your smartphone. The weather matters. Indoor matters – we spend 80% of time indoors. Air quality indoors is important. Netamo have created a weather station. For outdoors and indoors. Monitor C)2, pressure, humidity, noise, temperature. We send data to cloud and phone. Product announcement. Buildin gnetwork to help enhance wellness and help understand environment. If you don’t start by measuring things, you can’t change them

Tech Spotlight: Phil Bosoa, CEO, LIFX
LIFX is a lightbulb controlled with your smartphone. raised money through kickstarter. $1.3 in 6 days. It’s about different lights in your life. Sync lights with music. Wants to be disruptive in the lightbulb market

Tech Spotlight: Gil Blander, Founder, President & CSO, InsideTracker
So how is taking care of your body like taking care of your have checkups. If you miss a oil change, it affects your car. You need to take care of the body. Body needs the same as a car – diagnostics. Building a way of monitoring your performance and whether if in your optimal zone. Then ideas to get you back to it if not there. Eg if low VIt D, then ideas to improve it. Will also give some total solutions, optimise the diet

Dec 05

Le Web 12: Google, Twitter and Facebook

Liveblogged – so mistakes

On Tuesday afternoon, representatives from Google, Twitter and Facebook were on stage. The Google talk was an interesting insight into how search works and the ways Google are thinking about ‘things’ – objects they can build search results around, where there is context. (couldn’t capture all of this due to some work stuff). Twitter and Facebook were both there to do minor product announcements. Twitter about extension of trend results to more cities and Facebook to launch Messenger for all – even those without a FB account (OK, that was not so minor)

Ben Gomes, Vice President & Google Fellow, Google – Moving from Strings to Things.

Le Web Paris Dec 2012

Google starting to understand context, synonyms, spelling etc. They have to move to understanding what is being talked about, the object. They need to start to treat key words as references to things. To start to understand this, have to create a mapping from keywords to a large number of things. Have 560m data set of people, data and things, with 18n connections. This allows you to give meaning. It is a graph that is created from things on the web etc. How do you bring them together coherently? Now when you type in something, you start to get a knowledge panel about it. If you look for a person, you get the data about the person, but also projects, the people involved and connected with them etc.

A big challenge is internationalising it. So look at US and UK. Football is different. ‘Chiefs’ means different teams in different countries. Plus languages. Launching in French, Japan, Germany, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Portuguese. A lot of it comes from free sources on the web, plus own databases. There are humans cirating underlying datasets, but algorithms bring it together. They stay objective as far as possible. Loic asks about quality, if Google are using Wikipedia. Google know there are problems – and allows you to report a problem.

Have been focusing on making search a lot richer. Eg Verbal search improving. We are working on translations etc. Building up options for natural language processing. This will help with internet of things. Eg ‘find me my keys’

Q: what is search in 5 years? The path we are on, the dream is the Star Trek computer. THat is the fantasy. But we have made steps. Speech recognition; natural language interpretation. As search gets better, then people start pushing it harder. Search will get smarter in ways that you won’t recognise as it’s happening.

Q: now trying the future? It goes from search with a query, but search where the question is implicit. We can guess with time and save you a lot of effort. You can see there is a lot of space, about predictive search. Translation can bring more information to more people….eg Hindi speakers have very little web content

Katie Stanton, Vice President of International Market Development, Twitter

Role is to grow the audience of Twitter outside of the US. So increasing discovery; working with partners around events. Build the team on the ground. Been working with media companies in France – TV companies here are ahead of many places. Being great to be working here, inspiring creativity. Available in 33 languages, accessible on many devices. In about 33 markets, you can see trends per country, and in some places cities. This is being expanded to more markets and cities.

Q: How do you guide your partners in being in the rules? There is a lot of creativity, so don’t bound this. We show best practices, what to do and not to do. The biggest lesson is to be genuine with themselves. We also share real-time analytics with partners.

Q: What diferences in cultures in how people using? Everyone comes to connect. Japanese use as SMS replacement. to communicate directly. We see Latin markets, being open and expressive and creating lots. About 60% create, 40% just consume. Latin markets over index on creation.

Q: We’ve seen lost sof things. What are you favourite examples? Like the everyday things, the human touch. Like that it humanises institutions.

Q: Does it mean that orgs\celebrities are becoming more savvy about comms? Yes, celebrities see that they need to be on these platforms.

Peter Deng, Director of Product Management, Facebook

Q: How is the shift to mobile? Big. Our product teams are now focused on a mobile first company. The teams now all take care of their mobile products now. We learn from mobile now and then bring it to web

Q: So everything is mobile first? Not going to say never (turn up on web first) but that’s the aim. That shift is as big as launching platform. We have taken the platforms..they have different affordances. The phone is different. They are always on and always with you and always logged in as you. They are interuptive. They can buzz you. That is different to what a PC can do. So as a result we are focusing on the messaging (and mobile) Affordances are about what the engineered object naturally does.

Q: Would you say the internet industry have viewed mobile as smaller desktop..but now FB is thinking different. Yes, Tradiitonally, it’s a scaled down version with less functionality., But now at FB, it is about the experiences, the mobile experiences. We’ve been investing in mobilke messaginf over the last 18 months. We have built FB Messenger etc..we see that people want more than the SMS. Up until today, we assumed that you had to be FB user to user Messenger and that it was just for your friends. Now we change it today. You can just have a Messenger account and you can use it with just a phone number (for free)

Q: So why does FB care about this? We want people to care about connecting with people, Messenging has always be care. We need to give people more than the type of messaging they are used to on the phone.

Q: So there are 2 ways this can help – it’s a pathway to Facebook. And to increase usage of existing members, to give them more people to communicate it? For dev world, a lot of times it’s just messaging and we are allowing this. This could lead to them being able to do more.

Q: now you need an email address to sign up?
yes, 6% of teen use email daily., 66% of them use SMS daily. So a different shift in comms habit. People have been known to get an email address just to sign up for Facebook

Q: Should the carriers be worried? We have worked closely with carriers. A lot of people use Facebook already – paying for the data. We work with 2 carriers to provide a reduce rate of data plan for those who just want to use Messenger.

Dec 04

Le Web 12: Muse, Soundcloud and SmartThings

Some notes from the shorter sessions on Morning 1 of Le Web

Ariel Garten, CEO, Interaxon

Le Web Paris Dec 2012

This is Ariel’s 3rd appearance. Now they finally have a product to announce. They do thought controlled devices. Shared with us about thought controlled technology 2 years ago. Last year, showed you how the tech connected you with your inner world. This year, it’s coming to everyone.
Presenting Muse – a headband, that reads your thoughtwaves and connects with your cellphone. It comes with an app and an SDK. First area is about control – goals, parameters etc. Then self discovery, about knowing more about your self. Thirdly, it’s about context. you can add emotions to your writing – it changes the font of the email (showed demonstration) . It’s available to buy now, delivering next spring. You can develop.

Tech Spotlight: Jeff Hagins, Founder & CTO, SmartThings

SmartThings – about making it easy for hardware connectivity. To make the physical world progammable. So showed how phone can be used to connect with multiple devices. (demo’d turning on Christmas tree lights from Paris). Can take same devices and use them for multiple ways. Eg contacts stuff, when things are opened. Can send text messages, or turn other things on etc. It commercialises web connectivity and makes it simple. Have IDE, app modules, arduino shield.

Alexander Ljung, Founder & CEO, SoundCloud

Le Web Paris Dec 2012

Every minute, 10 hours of sound uploaded. They reach over 180m people across the multiple platforms that their stuff is used. That’s 8% of internet population. Has grown a lot. Lots of different users. The White House (Obama) uses Soundcloud. Cousin uses it to capture the noises of his new born baby. They are hard at work on the next version They are getting +30% increased engagement. It is switching today.

First is about discovery, finding new stuff. Now has an EXPLORE section. Categories etc. Uses a lot of real time info. They have improved SEARCH. Rebuilt everything from ground up. Called it DISCORANK. Fast, relevant and personalised. They have RELATED sounds. Secondly is about how sounds bring people closer. New onboarding experience. Connects with other platforms to bring likes across etc.

Also launching section for creators, both existing and to encourage people to start creating. They are improving ways of sharing. Reposting etc. You can create sets of sounds. Finally, updating their mobile apps on Thursday.

Dec 04

Le Web 12: Scott Harrison and Charity:Water

Liveblogged – possible mistakes

Scott Harrison, Founder & CEO, charity:water

Le Web Paris Dec 2012

Will be talking about how he got into Charity:Water. The Water Crisis etc.
A little about him. Started as a nightclub promoter. Got paid to ‘promote’ things like vodka and beer – get photographed. Looked good – no heart to life. Decided to make a change. He was miserable. Had to move on, to make a difference. Decided to go help the poor – but denied by everyone he applied for. He had no skills that would be useful. He found someone who he could pay $500 a month and help them ( He became their photographer. Went to Liberia. Saw real poverty and issues. (lots more about what he saw). Signed up for another year. Started to learn what was making people sick – it was dirty water. Started looking at where people are drinking from – ponds, streams, dirty water. Worked with a guy who taught people how to tap into ground water. The team was doing the surgeries, the water guy was affecting 1000s people for a fraction of the money. Came back to NY..and knew needed to make up for last time. Had seen lots of problems..but kept coming back to the water. And charity:water was born

800m people don’t have access to clean, safe, drinking water. Up to 80% of diseases by bad water and lack of toilets. 40 billion hours are wasted fetching water in Africa every year. Imagine what can people do with the time. But this is a solvable problem. There are solutions. Wells, filter water, harvest rain etc. There are ways to get this fixed. If you can bring water to community, it can change everything. Healthier, more time. Chance for better life. To learn. to start businesses. UN says every dollar invested in clear water and sanitation, gives $12 back to economy.

The challenge set was to end the water crisis, to give help. But also to re-invent charity. Friends were not giving, they distrusted charities. They gave money and it went into a charity blackhole. So had to change that. Decided that ALL the public money goes to the charity, not the operational costs. Two accounts – raised money to run charity separately to the money to effect the charity. They made sure they had proof – made everything public, so all spend can be tracked. Thirdly, wanted to build a brand. There were no aspirational charity brands he wanted to be involved in. So decided to change this.

First, ran party, Then took all the money to village in Uganda, built wells. Sent the evidence back. Did product collaborations. Challenged the marketing. Did partnerships. Pushed social media. did galas differently. Everything was creative ways to get story out there. Then they stumbled on the big idea to drive support. This was ‘give up your birthday’. Donate to charity instead of presents. etc So turned birthday into a giving moment, an unselfish day THere are many, many stories about this. One such is that of Rachel What started out as ‘our story’ turned into ‘Their Story’. So continued to make everything transparent. Showed where all the money goes, exactly what the money that you raise builds Now we are moving on remote sensors – to connect with the things they are building. THe project is now completely funded. Have received grant. To develop and put the sensors out in the field, so you can see what is happening.

They have raised $77m. Have been growing every year. do not think of themselves as traditional charity – but as a start up. Last year, gave 725k people clean water. Want to talk about this problem being solved – go after 100m people in next 3 years. Need to raise $3billion. PLus $300m to run the projects. Are you willing to help, to make it your story? Can you get your company involved? Can you give up your birthday?

Dec 04

LeWeb 12: NASA and Mars

LIVEBLOGGED = there will be mistakes

Benjamin Cichy, Chief Software Engineer, NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Le Web Paris Dec 2012

Talking about Mars. For years we knew little. It could be like earth. It had seasons, polar ice caps, had winters and summers. It could have had a rainy season. It has always fascinated us. It could have looked like Earth. Was it like us, can it tell us about ourselves.

In the 1870s, that is when we started to map it. Through a telescope. There was a network of channels, these features, covering the surface. When published,d potentially a mistranslation, there were now ‘canals’ ie built objects. From this, thinking about life on mars, public got excited. Asking questions about are we alone.

But not until the space age, we finally got some focus. Across the 1960s, we started our first attempts. But the frist 12 missions failed. We did not understand the Mars secrets, how to get there. In 1965, that was the first glimpse. There were 21 images, what was remarkable, was there was NO channels, it looked far more like our moon. It did not look to be this live planet. But we still wondered, was the fly-by too fast. So we still pushed to land on Mars.

Viking programme in 70s. 2 landers – legged, to get a single point of access. It was a success. We got our first images from another planet. We saw it was dusty, barren, rocky, There was no life. And so we retreated. We did not send more. We stepped back. We looked inside now. And we learnt that life on earth could survive in far more places than we thought, We learnt all we needed was energy source, like sun, we need water and we need the building blocks. So we went back – we could still have life, hidden in the soil.

But we could not go back as before, using a lander. A different approach. So let’s have a different approach. Cushion the lander so it bounces across the platform. And let’s not just use a legged lander, let’s have e a movable robot. So Sojourne rover created in 1996. But it would be another 8 years to go back. We tried again, but in 1999 they had 2 failures.

It was 2004 before they went back. They were able to answer the second question. They found evidence that Mars was once a wet place. They saw evidence of sea. They knew they had energy and water. In 2008, the Phoenix saw there was water on Mars now – frozen water in the poles.

But what about the last ingredient. The building blocks. We had to go bigger. So we built Curiosity. It is huge. It is international. Many countries involved. It is the ultimate offroad vehicle. But we did not know how to land it, how to get it to Mars. We knew we needed a protective shell. We needed a heat shield. The biggest we had built. Then largest parachute. 15m wide, 50m long. Parachute took us to 300kph. So how to get from that to soft landing. So they came up with a ‘jetpack’. They would lower it down, under a hovering jetpack. Then cut it and fly the jetpack off.

11km above surface, we deploy the parachute, Takes us to 300kph. Then we have to decide when to cut the cord. Too late, we’ll crash, Too soon, we’ll run out of fuel. So 1km out, we cut and we fire the rockets. SLow down over 30secs. 20m above, we start the lowering. then have to get the rockets away.

So much. 76 explosions to co-ordinate. All out of touch from the earth. it’s 14 minutes to get here. there are 5m lines of codes. to control this. We had to build all the software to teach the rover to land on Mars. We also knew that only 33% of missions had landed successfully. We could not test all together…there was 1 chance to get it right. Had run millions of sims etc.

We landed (played video). We had these never before seen views of Mars…took the first self portrait. Look at the image and think of all the people who got involved. We saw evidence of flowing water in Mars. We took soil samples, investigated. It is a long mission, will take us a long time to understand it.

On the night landed, there were 1.8billion hits on the website. It speaks to something more, it is not just about the science, It is something fundamental, about ourselves. We had visitors from almost every country on earth. All looking at what we were doing.

We have a fill packet, which is sent back when nothing to say. I added names, the teams etc. And a quote from Carl Sagan. It’s not just about connected things..Rover is the most distant connected object that we have, that downloads to web. But important too to think about WHY we connect. Think about how can we flame that spirit of exploration, of curiosity. Think about that when you are building the internet of things.

Q: what is most exciting?
A: the images, Every new image goes DIRECTLY onto the web. We can inspire people to explore, to connect with us

Nov 27

Le Web. Again

It’s December, that means’s it’s time for Le Web? Not strictly true this year, as they also had a London edition in June, for the first time. But the Paris version is the main one and I’m looking forward to being one of the official bloggers again this year – and meeting up with the regular crowd and meeting new bloggers. One thing that Le Web has done extremely well is build up a network of bloggers from across Europe, ensuring a spread of reporting in many languages, even if the official conference language is English.

If you’re not able to go, then there are multiple options to follow the action. Make sure you’re following your preferred blogger of choice (and we will be blogging, not ‘live-tweeting’). Alternatively, if you have the time, check the Live streams being provided through Le Web You Tube. There’s even going to be be translations in French and Spanish.

I’m going to be doing my usual Live Blogging of sessions. Depending on the set up, this will most likely be from the main stage. If there’s power this year, I may do some from the Social Business Track as well.

Hope to see you there – in person or online.

Dec 09

LeWeb: Fabrice Grinda

Fabrice Grinda, Internet Entrepreneur, angel investor,Co-CEO, OLX “The Trials and Tribulations of Angel Investing in Brazil, Russia and around the world!”

Has made mistakes with everything…has made them all. So here’s some tips about not making them!
Brazil has many successful internet companies; there is a huge business ecosystem. Brazil is growing fast, 7.5% in 2010, largest ecommerce market in LA. Russia has a same thing, amazing internet economy. Is the largest internet population in EU.

But globalisation is fragile, few people live, go to college, experience other countries. There are barriers to trade and travel. And to investment.

After he sold his last company for $80m, made a lot of money. But he lost $6m in the next round of investments And made a lot of mistakes in his angel investments.

Look at ecommerce. You have suppliers, shipping, payment services etc, low risk in US. In Russia, there’s no XML feed, no idea what they have, there is no real shipping activity, It’s COD for payment. You need warehouses, inventory, delivery people steal product, or the cash and the product. So he build courier service…no losses, but only delivers 2 a day. So they removed the second seats and it went up to 5 a day – the delivery people were doing taxi service. Made it impossible to pick up people, then 10 a day. They had to understand the local nuances.

In Brazil, things work with delivery and services etc, but you get sued a lot. Very litigious. Lots of things can go wrong like that.
He lost of first 6 companies., So he decided to change his model. He started making more investment, 7 in 08, 9 on 09, 22 in 10, 35 in 11 so far. The more investments, the more chance of success. Narrowed down on what he actually invest in. It is about 1 in 20 projects he invests in. They only invest in consumer facing companies, in certain geographies, where it fits expertise. Innovation in US, proven models in other areas.

Has 3 buckets of investments. Mostly small investments. Up to 4 projects a year, advise and accompany projects. Full screening, actively involved. One a year, partnership, get really involved. They take a concept that they have identified and get the partners in. They take one hour to assess – do they like the team, the pitch, the product and the deal terms

Lessons learnt: quality of time is more than quantity. They stick to investment principes, have good diversity. They need to be lucky occasional. They need to be patient, exits can take a long time. And most exits are less than $30m

Dec 09

LeWeb: Fernando Madeira

Fernando Madeira, Co-Founder & CEO, Terra Latin, America Latin America update

IMG_9830 - Version 2
(photo by Adam Tinworth)

You should never tell a secret to Loic, as he asks you to come to LeWeb and share with anywhere. The secret is the digital revolution in Latin America. There is a lot of activity there, 1000s of entrepreneurs, plus lots of people using the web, how they interact is changing the rules. The economy, in the last 50 years, there has been loads of crises in LA..they know there is light at the end of the tunnel. They have built a different kind of economy.

In last 15 years, Brazil has been growing a lot. The new economics has been shared with the people. Min wage goes up 2.5x, 20m new jobs. Over 30m people escaped from poverty, a new emerging class. They are all consuming. They love electronics, they love chips. Brazil home digital US$ is 7k, US is only 2.5k Computers are important, mobile devices, especially phones. There are 90mm broadband connections. 492m million devices, from 69m in 2002. It is about news, information, entertainment, people creative about getting this, not just with data plan

There are 220m people in internet every month. From a quality perspective, 96% go on web daily, 86% more than once. They really embrace the internet. It is 41 hours monthly. 86% on social networks. 60% on video online. 82% on Terra (this guy’s company)., It’s social Live, video and music. Video is the killer app, it has changed dramatically in last year in Brazil and LA. TV used to be so important, it had elected presidents etc. But switch to online. 96% of classA/B watch video online. 31% watch TV series online

Terra tend to offer lots of content for free. The revenue is in advertising. Sonara, is a music service, with 6million users. They treat as a platform, So they have the service, they do live shows, they do festivals. Live shows at least once a week. They had 1.5m people watch Paul McCartney. They offer Terra TV, so people can watch TV for free. It also has a premium offering., they get to see more for money, first for free. They have a portal, with 100m visitors. Again premium offerings in this. They show the Olympic games, with lots of extra information. For London, will offer more channels, HD, more stats etc.

Dec 09

LeWeb: Ben Parr

Ben Parr: Some top trends

IMG_9813 - Version 2
(photo by Adam Tinworth)

The Local Social Network: it’s not just location, it is about groups, about communities. It’s about meetups, or social enterprise groups

The intersection of entertainment and digital, that is Hollywood and Silicon Valley, It will take off next year. Web integrates into shows, YT has TV. Hulu copied the TV model, but Ben does not think that is the right way to go about it. It does not generate revenue for the premium content it shows. There will be more models!

The End of the Real Time Web. THere will be better ways to control and parse through the information that come through to it, so you get info in your own time

So what challenges for entrepreneurs?

The money. The Financial Crisis. There’s uncertainty, It is supposedly the end of good times, there are now leaner times.

The Talent Wars. Hiring great engineers is difficult. There’s not enough talent out there for a digital economy. There’s loads of employee transfer across the big companies, diff ones win the war at the diff times, But there’s just not enough in total. Only 34% of US high schools interested in science/tech, but only 38% of them graduate with a STEM project. People are going to great lengths, to keep and get talent, big money and perks.

There are lots of ideas out there. But how many good ones? Most ideas are stuck. We should not give the easy money, for ideas that suck. We need to focus and get people to build better businesses.

Changing the world is really, really hard. So here’s some advice for you

Don’t plant a flower, plant a sequioa. Build something that lasts. It may not be a fast growing or as pretty as a flower, but it will survive. Remember that Revenue-costs = profit, the easiest way to build a lasting service

Be adaptable. Great ideas can change, so can great entrepreneurs. YOu need to be able to take critique, understand what is attack as well

Finally, don’t build a company. Build a cause. Build something that will matter, that you can believe in and get behind. You have to believe in it, that it will change the world. That it will matter.

Dec 09

LeWeb: Twitter

Ryan Sarver, Director of Platform, Twitter and MG Siegler, General Partner, Crunchfund

The new version has rolled out to a few people, (the one on the web), it is a slow rollout. They want to focus on being simple, consistent and fast, so it works across multiple devices. This is a combination of the long-term projects and new focus of Dorsey. they have been talking about it for a while, but this drove it.

Was last year’s new Twitter a failure? THey learned a lot, eg, expanded tweets etc, do you get the info in the context of the tweet. But in right pane was not connecting, so new version has that in the stream. Some of the feedback so far is mixed (although Ryan says very positive!). The longer term users/power users seem to be surprised at the changes. Where are the DMs, why are they not a main part? Ryan says the overall strategy is to simplify, so they narrowed down to the impactful part. They are in the place relative to rest of product, refer to how people use it. Not the most important.

With employee testing, they have been critical. There has been lots of debate about the things; most company feels good about what is there. Ryan’s favourite place is the activity section. with all the follows etc. For the Discover section, it is the big bet for the,m. They have over 1b a week, massive amount of content. The challenge we have is making sure they connect people with content that is most relevant to them. How do they find the other amazing content that they could care about. THis is part of the way of viewing content, as to use twitter you don’t have to tweet. A few years ago it switched, away from the drive to create content to the lurkers. WHo consume only, or at least consume first and tweet later. The Discovery tab is far more important, one of reasons there is no DM on front page. It is key for where the company, they are focused on science of discovery and the experience of it.

Embeddable tweets, which is part of the launch, means you can embed, as like YT, and you can take it anywhere and then you can interact with that tweet where ever it is. The content lives where the audience exists. Twitter needs to help brands, etc express themselves better. To get that content in front of people

Twitter has been focusing on making sure there is a consistent experience across all the platforms. Making sure it is simple and easy across all the places, but still make sure you make the most of the platform quirks. Is this more about new users? Twitter had to balance old vs new users, but it was about getting new people, making choices about emphasis. There’s a new Tweetdeck as well; is this a twitter pro? Ryan is proud of the team, wrote it from scratch. It’s for newsrooms, for power users. an important product for this audience, with lists, searches etc. They focused on the needs for this audience. The death of lists is overreported – now on the profile page, They will invest, but they need to make it a better product first.

The Apple integration open up a whole load of stuff for partners, a lot of interesting things to open. Twitter is a beautiful horizontal layer on top of the vertical OS. There are third-party elements, but twitter is focusing on own apps.

There are 700 employees now in Twitter; they have a good focus to get best people to the team, to keep challenging themselves. There has been a bit of turnover recently, but seems to be a natural thing, you make decisions about if it is the right place for you.

From the design point, there’s a lot of new little tweaks., It’s been important for Twitter and rivals have been doing more. Twitter views it as one of the critical things; they think they have one of the best design teams there is. It’s how design, product and engineering work together, a great synergy to be more than the individuals.

The Twitter Ecosystem, is in one of the best places it has been There are 750k devs that have created an app on the system. There is a lot of people in it. Twitter needs to do the right job in giving them products to build on. They need to engage with community, they have been building relationships, doing a lot of listening and looking forward to 2012. There was controversy about Twitter saying don’t build clients, so what are the opps for the devs. That’s the question they have lots of from entrepreneurs. Twitter will invest in core experience, there are lots of opps outside of that. Eg in analytics. Radian 6, Dataminer, huge opps there.

For Twitter to last, there needs to be money. Where’s it going? Twitter needs revenue, but it is not the point o living. It is incredible, some of the campaigns have 5% engagement, Excited about where that is going, they need to scale up to keep trust of users and build right product.

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