This Week on teh Interwebs

LeWeb liveblogging Day 1

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(Going to refresh this post every half hour or so as program sections change with cleaned up copy this eve or tomorrow as this is really a skeleton so don’t tell me. Friendly reminder–left hotel in rush, forgot old sim card. wireless seems to be working this am so will keep old-new phone number)

Flogging chocolate today (I am running low on t-shirts y’all but glad they are a hit, don’t forget to wear them) and prepping blog posts for MoreThanChocolate /Alp ICT (startups, y’all call me)

Carlos Ghosn’s keynote:

Had some comms to do and jumped in in the middle of Carlos Ghosn’s keynote and I feel like I’m starting a book on chapter three. What I’m getting is that “cars aren’t the problem, cars are the solution” ….
the electric car is a platform. Hmm. I wasn’t feeling it until he said, “Autonomous transportation is not going to fade away, it is a basic need” – I can totally cosign that. In fact, that is my main takeaway from his speech. His speech was like a term paper than pulled it all together in the end.

State of the Industry Talks

Very distracting
Charlie Kindel, Microsoft:

Loic: How many phones do you plan to sell in 2011?
Charlie: A lot.

Bullshit aside, I enjoyed that Charlie admitted that Microsoft was coming from behind, I’m still skeptical about W7 being all that and chips, but *IF PEOPLE CAN STOP INTERVIEWING CARLOS GHOSN IN FRONT OF ME* I would like to hear more about what he has to say. There is a good mix of bullshit and straight answers, I like his factual responses (numbers of phones, numbers of apps in app store…) and liked his lip service to “Does this add value to the end-user?” But he still kinda bullshitted on the tablets.

Hold up- is Facebook integration what people really want? *checks tweets* It’s not what I want. Did I just hear that wrong?

Ethan Beard and Michael Arrington

MA: “Are you going to deny the existence of the FB phone”
EB: “I”m ready to deny.”

EB: full of win when he said “Game over, Android and Iphone won? I think it is a little early [to count Microsoft out]”

I totally disagree with him when he says FB has the most comprehensive privacy controls of any other platform. The biggest and most myriad privacy controls, maybe. So yeah right when EB says privacy is important and that they give users control. In reality, the privacy options on FB are notoriously hard-to-navigate and changing. I’m not a privacy freak (I tweet my whole life) but I don’t think FB’s default settings are the MOST PRIVATE for the maximum amount of users.

Luck: as part of the entreprenurial experience for FB. Do you really make your luck? EB says it is luck but also being smart and prepared.

1500 employees at FB, MA mentions 100 ish come from Google. Why are people leaving Google? Is something rotten there? EB says google has changed a lot- that people who joined Google to join a smaller-ish company don’t have that any more. Other side is that what is going on at FB right now is “exciting.”

[blah blah break]

MA ” Do you care about the platform any more?” e.g. FB connect, developers… what people should be thinking of in terms of opportunity?

EB: *bs stream in one ear and out the other* e.g. do I build something on FB or just FB connect it? Over time a few things emerged: 1) he thinks people should use FB inside or out 2) FB users tend to want to stay on FB : 3) the expectation of a social experience is different on FB than off of FB;

MA: so you are supporting apps inside FB? EB: blablablabla

MA: Facebook credits. Discuss. Not mandatory? EB: No. Our goal is to make it easy and fun to buy virtual goods in any application.
MA: So it is awesome for the user. For the developer who pays you to use the credits? EB: blablablabla having a single currency across the apps…drives spending. If you build with credits from the beginning, you can actually increase revenue [per user.] MA: what about the 30% ? EB: blablablabla

Who is the crayzee screaming in front of me?

Jason Goldman, Twitter interrogated by dude from TC, MG Siegler

JG is the least bullshitter of all the speakers so far.

JG: Details pane: rich media…”moving beyond the tweet”

JG: I still use tweetdeck and seesmic and I think those apps will still have a significant role in the ecosystem. Test of 3rd party promoted tweets, sharing revenue…but room for innovation, e.g. specialized platforms (twitter for sport) as well as different takes on showing the best of the content (showing innovation)

[blabla break]

JG: introducing options due to a lack of innovation is bad product design

MGS: social stuff. discuss (toobar sharing etc) Why do you think nothing has caught on for Google in social media?

JG: classic innovators’ dilemma. Hard to prioritize and focus on “that other stuff.” Other aspect is just attracting product people with the right DNA who are interested in that particular problem, and that is harder for a big company to do with different types of folks working in products.

[blabla networking break]

JG: New Twitter biggest and most complicated launch I have ever been a part of.

[blabla break] ZOMGS dude just resigned on stage. !!!!

Next update: Mike Jones myspace. Robert Scoble, interviewing

I really liked Mike Jones’ speech last year, he was easily my favorite speaker. Scoble just called it a death spiral, so I am interested to see how Jones’ optimism last year may have paged.

Mike Jones: Old company. Got very scattered, broad strategy. Still have substantial user base but we felt we had to make a big change (both product and brand) in the business, new strategy launched around social entertainment (launched in recent weeks).

RS: tell me about it and how next year we will see more hands in the audience.

MJ: sub-35 demographic. Myspace about tv and movies with stream of personalized entertainment for you. :/

RS: is Murdoch going to give you the time to rebuild before they pull out?

MJ: feels very supported by newscorp.

RS: What about FB integration?

MJ: realized as a company we would not win in social networking and the web is social. We wanted to be the best at connecting to content. That way if a user comes over from FB they can add all their likes, etc. etc. Found that the myspace audience has higher levels of engagement after FB sync.

RS: What are the next steps for the FB sync experience?

MJ: a lot of the 130 mil user base use myspace for social networking so we have been tentative about how we roll those networks out. BRings about part of new strategy to integrate third party platforms, so we want to use all other platforms to be the best at that.

RS: *sorry I blanked out when MJ said the below*

MJ: (NOOO HE SAID WEB 2 and WEB 3) I took about five minutes for my brain to recover.

RS: What are you going to do [to keep artists using myspace]?

MJ: to learn about and listen to new bands, music that is like other music you like…eventually buy music through third party service… So it is important to modify the high-quality experience without replacing Itunes

RS: layoffs?

MJ: PR-prepped bullshit about optimizing resources and restructuring.

I actually shut down and turned off after the layoffs question because I am really disappointed by this talk, I found Mike Jones very spontaneous and engaging last year. This year he sounds like he was prepped by his PR people.

Swissitude up next with Bertrand Piccard

I have already seen Mr. Piccard speak in a particularly Swiss context regarding Swiss science and innovation. I was interested in how he would translate his talk to a larger, non Swiss and more general public. The into video smacked of PR but whatevers, I can see it. Im interested because this isn’t a QA session.

BP: Starting to talk about what a newb he was in social media. *zzzz* Theme appears to be “Pioneering Spirit”. Pulled the family card. Promised himself a no-fuel, solar powered, batteries “whatever but no fuel” flight. …There’s nothing left to conquer, but so much more to explore, to achieve. Achieve these goals for a better quality of life; trying to be independent from fossil energy. … Climate change is also being misunderstood as a huge problem that costs a lot. How can you motivate people if you speak of problem and cost? What about solutions? Available technologies (including those available today). New products, new markets (with solutions). –> Relying on new technologies- public mindset is crucial because these new technologies exist. So many people are not pioneers and rely on certianties and common assumptions.
…. (airplane talk)…. big takeaway: when some plane manufacturers refused to build SI, a shipyard who didn’t know it was impossible did….
In our world, if we don’t manage to invent a new future, we will never make it to the next generation before a major disaster. Said he didn’t come before because he had nothing to show. Now he has something to show SI. What happens when we think out of the box and implement adventure in our daily life. Says this speech is the most important he has done if this audience understands what he is doing. Relaying not just what he says but this mindset- stopping relying on old habits and certanties, and seeing the future with the eye of the pionnier, the explorer…we will not be ready for the end of fossil fuels without adopting the new technologies and developing those available to day. Innovators need to be encouraged, led and helped.

Motivational, light talk. Not unpleasant and nice after the pile of bullshit in the other sessions.

last installment for today with Stephane Richard of FT-Orange and David Barroux from les Echos. Two Frenchies speaking in English. Why not. Unfortunately, Bertrand Piccard and Robert Scoble being interviewed next to me while I am trying to listen to two French men speak English (and not always succeeding) causes a liveblogging fail.

DB: are iphone sales slowing down?

SR: IP4 is successful, should be successful through christmas. Orange is the 2nd seller of iphones in the world (30 countries), 2nd after AT&T

DB: Do you have a special treatment from Apple in that sense?

SR: I think Apple sees us as a solid and reliable partner. But they are smart business people.

DB: Growth of mobile traffic in France/ anticipating the future?

SR: 3G+ network has been invested in heavily in the past years. 10x more traffic in two years time is huge. Must prepare for 4G and LTI

DB: do you think there is room for everyone with the 4G licences in the tender offering?

SR: do know that there will be enough for all the players in the market.

DB: Pricing?

SR: must adapt pricing approach to the explosion of mobile traffic.

[blablabla break]

DB: Will mobile communications be able to create their own ecosystems?

SR: no coalition against Apple etc. However there is some need to be more coherent, exchange more between operators as they will face common challenges. E.g. network sharing in the respect of competition rules by sharing networks. Also cooperating in innovation.

Boring talk but stayed on time and had a good flow. Would have liked to heard more about 3G versus 4G and network sharing.

This is my last live for right now. Will rewrite/edit tonight/tomorrow, and look for some blog posts on the Alp ICT blog from me in the coming days which will be edited correctly the first try 🙂


Author: Nicole Cunningham

American Expat and convert to Islam living and working between Lausanne and Zurich, Switzerland.

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