How can tech take your business forward?


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I was lucky enough to get along to Web Summit in Lisbon recently with 70,000 other attendees including a live-streamed Edward Snowden kicking the event off with a caution about data collection and privacy.

AI (artificial intelligence) was a hot topic, with Microsoft’s President Brad Smith stating that AI would be as revolutionary for our society as the internal combustion engine was.

If you have an online business and you’re collecting data on your customers, make sure you respect data privacy! Most companies are inherently tech companies, with tech applications enabling companies to scale like never before. And check out ways you can improve the customer experience, including through the use of chatbots. 

Key takeaways

There was something for everyone at Web Summit, with streams including:

  • Future societies: digital dawn, data rights, trust in tech, conscious design, protecting the vulnerable, political journalism in a post-truth era
  • MoneyConf: rise of the neobanks, democratisation of banking, FinTech’s role in the market, designing the future of finance
  • Content Makers: storytelling, the influencer economy, viral content creation including Baby Shark, real-time revolution, multi-platform media
  • Auto/Tech and TalkRobot: humanised interfaces, Spot from Boston Dynamics, IoT and urban tranport, helping robots make smarter decisions, drones, space, the mobility revolution and Lime scooters
  • Corporate Innovation: purpose as an accelerator for transformation, leveraging innovation, the technology fallacy, unlocking the true potential of AI
  • Growth Summit: the secret to hyper-growth, going global, getting a VC to “yes”, the art of the pivot, 5G and IoT
  • SaaS Monster: shaping megatrends, decentralised identity (DID), innovation and regulation, retention as the new conversion
  • Deep Tech: quantum supremacy, cashless society, brain 2.0 and unlocking machines with your mind, space junk, weaponisation of data
  • Venture: smart exits, winning the war for talent, FinTech as a safe bet, how to nail it before you scale it
  • HealthConf: the device revolution, the case for psychedelics, neurealms of brain tech, MedTech

Plenty to think about, and top of my reading list is now going to have to be Edward Snowden’s Permanent Record, Brittany Kaiser’s Targetted, and Brad Smith’s Tools and Weapons.

It was also good to see that wellbeing was a common thread. At the Google stand you could stop by for lunchtime yoga every day – and combine that with meditation for controlling tech with your brain, of course.

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