LIFT07 speakers announced

The news is out, we put a brand new website and announced the first twenty speakers of the 2007 edition of LIFT conference.

We have a really cool event brewing, with talks about a number of interesting issues like the effects of disruptive technologies in business, innovation, technological overload, the rebirth of the web, the Internet of things, ethics, technologies in religion or education.

As usual LIFT will be an open and accessible occasion (only 295CHF for two days) to meet some of the moment’s brightest minds. Join us to get fresh ideas or energy for your projects. Register now!

mySpace

Je me suis fait encapsuler par le grandiose monsieur Pain, et la RSR a diffusé la première partie de notre brève discussion ce matin.

Laurent Haug, spécialiste de l’Internet.

Myspace est la première fréquentation planétaire sur Internet avec 100 millions d’adhérents. Myspace cumule les superlatifs qui font de lui un site étrange et incontournable sous maints aspects.

Lien et fichier mp3

Nous avons enregistré ça un matin et ça s’entend dans un certain manque de dynamisme dans la voix… Désolé, la prochaine fois je prendrai un red bull ou quelque chose dans le genre 😉

Less blog = more LIFT

Yes, nothing is really happening here these days. That’s because I am very busy putting the last pieces of LIFT07 together. Expect some big news (like a new website, the opening of registrations, 25 speakers, something called LIFT+) around monday night.

See you then 🙂

competitio.us

Behind this name of official web2.0 bubbler™ hides a pretty cool service, allowing you and your team to monitor online competition. After a brief setup (that basically consists in entering the URLs of competing services) the system creates a handy dashboard where you can access most of the public information about your competitors (blog posts, alexa rank).

Nothing magic, but centralizing all that information in one place is pretty useful, and the “clippings” allow you to let anybody contribute small pieces of information gathered around the web to the project. Give access to your team, anytime they find something regarding a competitor they can add it to competitio.us. Nice.

Competitious also gives one intriguing information: the number of people also considering a certain company as a competitor…

Amazon’s strategy

The Economist on Amazon’s strategy:

WHAT kind of company is Amazon.com? It is usually described as an internet retailer. But it has fingers in many other pies, too. (…) When Mr Bezos talks about these services his firm no longer sounds like a retailer at all.
(…)

There is A9, its search engine, and Unbox, a video-download service. It operates online stores for other firms, such as Target. It was a pioneer in developing “collaborative filtering” software to make recommendations to shoppers. And last week Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s boss, was out stumping for three of its “utility computing” offerings: Simple Storage Service (S3), which provides cheap access to online storage; Elastic Compute Cloud, which lets programmers rent computing capacity on Amazon’s systems; and Mechanical Turk, which connects firms with people who perform small tasks that are difficult to
automate. (…) In order to cope with the Christmas rush, Amazon has far more computing capacity than it needs for most of the year. As much as 90% of it is idle at times. Renting out pieces of that network to other businesses, such as SmugMug, an online photo site that uses the S3 service, is a way to get extra return

Amazon’s strategy seems to move from a retailer to a technology and logistics firm. What’s the underlying ideas behind that?

Common sense is (vastly) underrated

IDEO is this silicon valley based company that sells, hum, ideas. Whatever you ask these guys – a computer mouse or a dressing room – they will design it and make it better. Their tagline is: “IDEO helps organizations innovate through design”.

I watched a pretty old video about them yesterday, where they focus on reinventing a shopping cart (links: video, shopping cart)

What struck me is this: IDEO is selling an amazing design process, a lot of talent and creativity, but above all an inordinate amount of… common sense! What do they do to redesign a shopping cart? They ask the people who work and use them, start using some themselves for a while, think of all the different kinds of persons and situations the product will be confronted with.

Sounds like it would be stupid to do anything else right? So why are these guys making that much money selling something most of us have (to some very varying degrees I must admit)?

• they have good people
• they put an effective process in place
while day to day life (and products) demands common sense, it is a very underrated asset in the corporate world

Work is always about diplomas (the past), not ideas (the future), about the end-result (what?), not the journey (how?), about bragging (I impose), not listening (I understand), about me, not them.

I bet IDEO’s business model will be highly successful as long as we continue thinking along old dimensions like years of experience (irrelevant in new techs right?), domain of competence, age or appearance. A 20 years old doctor might design a better computer mouse than a 35 years old developer. Innovation is everywhere. And IDEO is refreshing.

So refreshing they have to educate their clients before starting to work with them.

Les changements de mode de communication

J’ai passé une partie de l’après midi avec Jacques Magnol (animateur et producteur de l’émission Cité Culture) et Bruno Vayssière (directeur de la Fondation Braillard Architectes) sur les ondes de Radio Cité.

Une discussion d’une trentaine de minutes (téléchargeable ici) sur les bouleversements apportés par les technologies dans le monde des médias.

C’était un exercice intéressant d’essayer d’expliquer tous ces bouleversements à une audience grand public, et d’aborder autant de vastes sujets en une demie heure.

J’ai pu discuter avec Bruno Vayssière après notre entretien. Il enseigne dans plusieurs établissements universitaires en France et et Suisse, et il me faisait part des changements que Google est en train d’imposer dans le monde de l’éducation, ou le rôle de professeur change profondément: les élèves ont tous un laptop connecté à divers chats, googlent le moindre nom propre donné par le prof. L’enseignant devient de plus en plus un pointeur vers les ressources pertinentes, de moins en moins un intouchable transmetteur de savoir.

L’éducation, vaste sujet qui mériterait d’être abordé à LIFT.