Collaboration and convergence while the political system is torn apart. Day 2 at the Web Summit.

Taking a walk around all the exhibitor stalls this morning there was a wide variety of different start-ups all looking to sell or seek investment: 

  • A Drone fast food delivery service looking for investment: Think Deliveroo in the air!
  • ‘Clarice’ a personal travel assistant powered by artificial intelligence;
  • HOVE a VR marketing tool that connected people with realtors to showcase homes for sale or seek an evaluation
  • A 3D printing company creating sports equipment and engine parts. They even allowed me to try on the 3D printed Iron man costume.  
  • Kami.ai an artificial intelligence platform that continuously learns and converses with real people, which kind of scared me! 
  • Through these different offerings I was trying to find a connection between them.

What where they all trying to achieve (apart from fame and fortune). And it kind of boiled down to three things:

  • Reduce the inefficiencies
  • Create better experiences
  • Improve our everyday life

Every exhibitor was conversing with those that were interested. You could hear the same opening question coming from them: “What industry are you from?” It was amazing to watch and overhear all the cross dialogue and sharing of information. Some people were just simply interested in how they started. Others were sharing information or offering advice on how to further their venture. There was a very collaborative feel about it all. And yet this all took place on the morning when a man became president on the back of an election campaign that drove segregation, fear and hate.

This willingness to collaborate came from big established brands too. On centre stage Elmar Frickenstein from BMW Group was outlining their plans to deliver the first fully automotive car by 2021. A 6 stage transition plan was laid out, it was fascinating to see the amount of cross collaboration that’s taking place to achieve this. Companies such as Intel, AUDI and a company called HERE who developed a (first of its kind) High Definition map, all coming together to get this technology ready for market.

Elmar was delivering his pitch in a very Steve Jobs type manner and announced that the autonomous driving technology would be an open inclusive platform in the aim of making it industry standard. Allowing other companies to use and adapt. In one sense I found this reassuring in terms of it being open and transparent for the good of the people. On the other I realised Elmar was fighting to save the automotive industry and BMW from the clutches of Google, UBER and the rest.   

Breon Corcoran CEO of Paddy Power talked about the merger with Betfair. Betfair brought the data and technology that Paddy Power lacked, while Betfair gained a gambling company who know how to entertain and market themselves.

Breon also highlighted the importance of knowing each countries culture before embarking in any marketing campaign. He discussed a failed attempt in Italy where they used an Italian Porn Star to launch their Italian gambling service, to only find out that the Italians took gambling very serious. The jovial approach was very much frowned upon. His final thought for the listeners was to always test and learn and don’t be afraid to fail.

Every piece of today’s talks can all be used to help the advertising industry. The sharing of information, collaboration and taking risks are something we’ve probably been too afraid off, in case someone takes a competitive advantage or we lose. The flip side of that is we stay still and lose anyway. 

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