Yieldritas on Tour – Web Summit 2018 Highlights

November has come and gone, meaning the Yieldritas made their way to Lisbon for Web Summit once again.

This year’s Web Summit had nearly 70000 attendees and my colleagues and I made up 5 of them. There was me, Content Marketer; Phoebe, Growth Marketer; Rese, Executive Assistant; Rita, Graphic Designer and Illustrator; and Mariana, Sales Trainee.

Here are our highlights from the world’s largest tech conference.

Quick Stats from Web Summit 2018

  • 69304 attendees
  • 1800+ start-ups
  • 1000+ speakers
  • 363k coffees (and man, it was good coffee!)
  • 2600+ media professionals
  • The average attendee walks 13.5km at Web Summit
  • 44% women

My Favorite Web Summit Talk – Jodi

Probably the Best Advertising Campaigns in the World…

Carlsberg’s claim as “probably the best beer in the world” was coined in the 1970s and still resonates today. The beer company’s Chief Commercial Officer, Jessica Spence, shared insights about why Carlsberg also has probably the best campaigns in the world. We learned that the word “Probably” created so much brand awareness, but people who loved the advertising weren’t necessarily drinking the beer.

Carlsberg realized that although they were experts at creating 30-second ads, they had lost a sense of authenticity. So they went back to their roots and created campaigns that didn’t rely on a 30-second ad for their huge success. The key lesson?

“Do something that is worth talking about rather than just saying it.”

One stand-out example was the introduction of “snap packs”. Carlsberg stripped all the plastic off multipacks and now use very small pieces of glue to hold beer cans together. This takes the equivalent of 60 million plastic bags per year out of the supply chain. When this campaign was shown, everyone in the audience started applauding and cheering. It’s really an amazing innovation for sustainability – and the world!

My Favorite Web Summit Talks – Phoebe

Growth Hacking: Waldo

After experiencing issues with her own contact lens subscription, Ashleigh Hinde, CEO and Founder of Waldo, wished to simplify the contact subscription process for the consumer. Hinde has worked to produce a service that fits seamlessly into the lives of millennials without compromising on quality and price.

Although Hinde strives to take on pharmaceutical giants such as Johnson and Johnson, her line of advice was to “sweat the small stuff”. It’s the small tweaks and increments that matter and ultimately make a product that's designed for the consumer.

She puts the exponential growth of Waldo down to small consumer-orientated updates. For example, reducing the delivery box size for the UK market by 2mm increased first-time delivery from 50% to 97%.

Can AI Be Creative?

BBC R&D and BBC Four teamed up to show how AI can be innovative and disruptive to modern industries. Can AI and machine learning help a well-established production company such as BBC to increase efficiency and reduce cost?

50% of all BBC production is recycled from their archive of content. However, trawling through millions of BBC articles is time-consuming and inefficient. BBC R&D proved it was possible for AI to scan the BBC’s extensive archive and user data to help filmmakers and documentarists find programmes that may have otherwise been lost in the depths of the BBC cache.

The AI reviewed past programmes – their attributes, themes and subjects – analyzing their content and ranking them for relevance. The machine then ranked the top 150 and made Mini BBC Four compilations that were aired 4th and 5th September 2018.

My Favorite Web Summit Talk – Rese

Is the Future of Search Visual?

As a person who actively spends a lot of time on Pinterest – like planning my upcoming wedding or looking for travel tips, I was really excited to see what Pinterest was planning for “our” future. Ben Silbermann, the co-founder and CEO of Pinterest explained the evolution of visual search since the inception of Pinterest 8 years ago.

Silbermann said that people use Pinterest in many different ways – from planning large events such as a wedding (I had to smile a little there) to smaller things like picking out a meal. When asked how he would put Pinterest in the context of other social networks, he worded his response very well: People really use Pinterest for themselves, whereas Instagram and Facebook are used more to project an image and communicate with other people. This is a wonderful perspective of the tool.

“Our belief is that technology tools should make you happier, they should make you feel good and live the life that you want to live, rather than feeling like you have to give up that app for lent or that it’s some sort of guilty pleasure.”

Pinterest’s goal is not to keep you online, but rather to get you offline and get you to do something. Its main purpose is to give inspiration for everyday life. I find that this is their niche. It’s quite a challenge today to find a social app where you’re completely in control of the content that you can see and have the subject matter relate solely to what you want to focus on.

My Favorite Web Summit Talk – Rita

I'm with Stupid

Susan Credle from FCB Global spoke at Web Summit last year and gave one of my favorite talks. This year she was back to discuss collaboration. She talked about the lack of trust that normally exists between a client and an agency, where people are prepared to be disappointed instead of building a relationship of mutual respect.

Credle compared collaboration to tennis – most of the time, each side wants to “win this point”. But collaboration should be more of a team sport, like basketball, where everyone fights for the same goal and each person knows what they do best to achieve that.

It's all about having empathy for who you work with. “MY Idea” has to be “OUR Idea”. We need to learn to let go and recognize that our partner might have a great idea too. There might be changes over some details, but sometimes we just need to let go for the sake of the bigger picture. Don't be stubborn!

Some final takeaways:

  • Be vulnerable with your emotions. Don't be afraid of showing them – be transparent about your opinions and feedback.
  • Listening is very important – sincere listening. Believe that you are NOT with stupid. Your client will have important input.
  • Build your own personal brand. Make sure that what you have to bring is valuable.
  • There are normally too many layers. It’s good to cut steps to get things running smoother and faster.
  • Generosity is a great key to collaboration.
  • Go from “I’m with stupid” to “I got your back”.

My Favorite Web Summit Talk – Mariana

How to Make Sure Technology Is Working for Everyone

There’s this understanding that technology should be accessible to everyone, but at what cost? This was the main topic during the panel discussion between Brad Smith from Microsoft, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and Laurie Segall from CNN. Society has a constant demand for new features and for faster and better ways of doing things. This leaves very little room for overseeing what can go wrong.

“You don’t know what you don’t know” were Smith’s words, meaning that even if we try to see as many tangibles and regulate what people will use technology for, we can’t foresee everything that will be done with it and who will use it in their own advantage.

From artificial intelligence to facial recognition and privacy issues, technological advances are stepping on the toes of governments that can’t seem to agree in regulations and sanctions for everyone. They used the example of China’s project to rate citizens based on facial recognition to acquire social credits. Is there a moral problem? Is it unfair? Should our lives be rated by what we do every single moment? What if the information is misused?

This talk was particularly eye-opening for the implications of wanting more, better and faster. Is it possible to achieve all of it without compromising something that could potentially harm us? “Technology is liberating, and not something we should fear,” said Blair. However, Western countries should unite and align on this topic so that the use and abuse of technology are on the same framework and governments can act and react together – not apart.

The Yieldritas who attended this year's Web Summit aren't in the most tech-focused roles in the company, but we all got value from going to the conference. We each left Lisbon full of new knowledge, ideas and inspiration – and we can't wait to go back next year!

Jodi ten Bohmer

Jodi ten Bohmer

Content Marketer