Around the World Tour of LeWeb by Bloggers
Although LeWeb 2011 is past and LeWeb 2012 is already on the horizon for us, we wanted to take a moment to take a tour of blog posts from this year that provided us with great feedback that we always look for. We would like to thank all of you that helped us spread the world about tech innovation in Europe and around the world and for your support.
SoLoMo at LeWeb
SoLoMo has changed the meaning of media, and one issue that our SoLoMo and Media panel looked at is how you can scale local - - and whether big media companies can attack local. Also, what is "local"? Is it city? Region? Country?
Many bloggers, for example, (naturally) highlight which speakers and startups were there from their country - and LeWeb has been criticized for having everything in English - but what does it mean to be "international" today? Does it mean that you have to put your website and/or blog in English? Investing in startups around the world?
Bloggers this year looked at how services like Uber, Instagram, Foursquare, and others are adapting their models to or being used in city-wide markets to bring what you want to find - nearby - immediately to you.
LeWeb as a platform
This year we saw more announcements than ever before at LeWeb, and networking is still a huge part of LeWeb ; we hope that you were able to go outside of your comfort circle and approach people with whom you had never spoken before.
The number of launches at LeWeb was dizzying and we are thrilled to see that LeWeb has become a platform for launching new ideas and making company announcements:
- Uber launched in Paris just for LeWeb and announced raising $32 million
- Twitter focused on their "new-new service" that emphasizes being simple to use. They also launched iPhone and Android apps and announced a coming iPad update
- Eric Schmidt discussed an analytics platform that Google plans on launching shortly
- Path relaunched a new version - "Path 2" - after talking with users and making sharing easier, while retaining their privacy opt-out features
- Deezer is opening up their free streaming music service to 200 countries
- Spotify is opening its platform to developers (you can get a preview here)
- Facebook announced that you can now add a "Subscribe" button to your website, letting people follow your public updates directly from your blog or site
- Flipboard launched their app for iPhone and is now going to focus on one for Android
- Foursquare announced a new button that lets you save to Foursquare
- Evernote launched Evernote Food and Evernote Hello to help you remember your favorite recipes and new acquaintances
- Instagram announced a coming Android app
It's incredible to see LeWeb grow as we all support each other, "paying it forward" in our own way to help tech ecosystems grow. The web is turning our society into a highly collaborative one where either you get millions of users, or you die.
Workshops & Partners
We heard both positive and negative feedback about this year's workshops. Several people said that the workshops seemed to be mostly for "noobs," something we'll take into account when talking with our partners about workshops for 2012.
The Pullman and Eiffel docks were filled with partners including gorillas and startups - and our partners like Renault that launched its brand new in-car tablet, the R-Link.
This year's 16 startups were chosen from over 600 applications! It was tough to narrow this down to just 16, but thanks to Guidewire Group, our excellent judges and Google we found our Top 3 Startups and People's Choice Award winner. Is it a good idea for us to apply our yearly theme to the Startup Competition?
Having a great idea is one part of the game. Knowing how to present it and what is important about your company was resumed in 6 lessons (in French) by Guilhem Bertholet : know your numbers, think big, practice your English, focus, have your demo down cold, answer questions succintly and clearly.
"Change the world" was the mantra of a number of our start-ups - how can you create a simple ergonomic service like Twitter today that can have an impact worldwide?
Beintoo, an Italian startup, won the Startup Competition; they explained that they are the first user-friendly advertising platform that offers real benefits to users and advertisers: you play, you win points, and those points can be used as real-life coupons on partner advertisers' sites.
Almost everyone this year gave us great feedback about LeWeb's organization, and we couldn't thank our team enough.
The set-up was intense, starting on Sunday before the event and ending Wednesday morning before doors opened. Although we received mostly positive feedback, a few of you mentioned minor "glitches" that you thought might be due to LeWeb being 3 days this year instead of 2, like workshop times. We tried to make sure that everything was updated on the LeWeb app and online, but we'll look at this with our partners for next year. We also heard that the Wifi was not 100% in the Pullman hall when it was packed, so thank you for this feedback.
Many bloggers commented about the buffet throughout the days - - and did you know? - - LeWeb is actually the only tech conference worldwide to serve wine at lunch.
Looking forward to LeWeb 2012
There is of course a growing number of copycats, but as Frederic de Villlamil pointed out, huge successes seek to fix a problem that the (co-)founders see in the world, not copy an existing social network. We're excited to see what LeWeb 2012 will bring, including perhaps a focus on responsible consumption. Airbnb is a standout model of how our consumption patterns are changing, and other companies are being developed with a common consumption principle in mind.
Karl Lagerfeld - a self-proclaimed "paper freak" - announced that he is working on a book made up entirely of iPad sketches - perhaps an insight into how "non-techies" use technology for their own needs?
Eric Schmidt said that Silicon Valley needs a competitor - who will be see emerge in 2012? Maybe one of the cities that the Startup Bus passed through this year? Could the next Silicon Valley be in Lating America? Should we invite more startups from Asia? He also said that Google TV will be on the majority of TVs in stores by mid-summer of THIS YEAR. And by December?
George Colony from Forrester predicted a "post-social" period and that new actors are going to challenge Facebook, Google+ and the like for users time. Our use of social media, says Jeremiah Owyang, helps companies predict our consumption behavior, but they still need to connect business units and reduce duplicate efforts. In fact, there were a few services like Hojoki, Allmyapps, and Write ID at LeWeb that regroup your feeds (Hojoki) or your apps (Allmyapps), to help avoid duplicating information or efforts, or regroup your profiles across the web (WriteID).
It will be interesting to see how open data evolves with government involvement, including mapping pollen areas and handicap accessible travel routes. Eric Schwartzmann, Tac Heuer, Tac Anderson, Shel Holtz, and Neville Hobson recorded a podcast where they discussed Eric Schmidt's desire for governments and the tech world to work together. If you haven't seen it yet, check out what they had to say about LeWeb and European startups vs American startups.
Silicon Valley Bank and Lepe Partners sponsored 20 entrepreneurs through our Adopt an Entrepreneur program. We'd like to see more sponsorships for startups that want to go to LeWeb next year!
We can't express what it's like to see LeWeb grow year after year with your participation, becoming a "reference", according to Myriam, pushing startups and unknowns to the forefront and hopefully inspiring you in your own life. Our Social Media Track on Day 3 was a great success with a full audience for most of the talks. Ramon de Leon gave his own inspiration to the audience with his talk about giving your customers "WOW"; social media is a tool that he uses to do just that.
As the first week in December has kind of become a "week of the web" in Paris, so it pushes us to make LeWeb better and better every time.
Rumors had been brewing that LeWeb would change locations for 2012, but don't worry, we'll be back in Paris next year, December 4, 5, and 6!