Video Blogging

I am thinking about jumping in the video blogging space. LIFT gets me a lot of contact with amazing people that I usually try to meet for a coffee or something. And these conversations might interest the readers of this blog.

For example, I met this week with Ben Segal (who told me the inner story of the birth of the WWW at the CERN), Paul Elosegui (one of the founders of Liberty Surf in Spain) and Thierry Maillet.

Could anybody recommend a good camera? Ideally it would be very easy to carry around, with good autonomy, and not much conversion work after wards. Any idea? Robert? Raymond?

Growing from coComment

I spent an hour today with Carsten Schloter and Daniel Ritz, the CEO and Chief Strategy Officer of Swisscom, the telecom giant inside which we developed coComment.

We met after Mr. Schloter participated in a TV debate (video here, in french), and we agreed we would meet again to review the (numerous) lessons learned on the project.

Obviously coComment was a very interesting experience, a frontal collision between two very different worlds: a fast paced, creative, crazy and unstructured web 2.0 project exploding inside a massive, structured and established organization. We all learned a lot, sometimes from our mistakes.

We talked about that today, with the two persons who can change things. And both guys left with a full page of notes about how the new economic conditions demand quicker decisions, a more participative approach, better preparation in case your idea becomes hotter than the superbowl, etc…

It was the final chapter of an amazing experience which, despite ending up with the fathers of the idea (myself and Nicolas Dengler, now head of product development at Netvibes) leaving the project, taught as a lot (check my lessons-learned presentation here) and took us around the world, from Sandhill road to Shibuya. A lot assets for the next adventure.

I was with Nicolas today, and we discussed a few ideas. Maybe we will have something else coming to your screen soon, stay tuned (and call if you are looking for investment opportunities 😉

LIFTcamp

I was at Barcamp last month to see how these 100% self-organized conferences work. It was a great experience, and I took some notes about this original format:

Positives Negatives
Barcamp is the best format to leverage the knowledge brought by the attendance. The rules are that everybody can speak. Few people will take a plane to attend a barcamp (at least in Europe). Barcamp is a format that leverages the local knowledge, so it works very well in the silicon valley, a bit less in Europe.
The world is flat. Everybody can speak at Barcamp, which can bring a lot of good surprises. The program is made by people who write their name on a board. The quicker you write, the best spot you get. This is not a very pertinent filter, we need a digg like system (like the one we are putting in place for the LIFTcamp talks)
Time investment in presentation preparation is a function of:
– the probability to speak
– number of people in the room
– length of time slot
– fear of saying stupid things in front of peers.
Because many dimensions are not known, everybody has to prepare with the same intensity for a barcamp. Nobody feels like a second-class speaker.
The classical conference format allows for better anticipation. A keynote speaker knows he will have to face 500 attendee and prepares accordingly. It is worth putting more efforts as the potential returns are better known.

Barcamp was an amazing experience. I hope we can build on top of that and integrate this concept in LIFT.

Firing clients

Back at SHiFT I had an interesting discussion with Stowe Boyd about firing client. He told me it happened to him a while ago (story here), he basically cut ties with a client who was not coherent with the direction he wanted them to take, and on which they had previously agreed on.

More than a stunt, I feel like this is representative of a profound evolution in the client/independent consultant relationship that new technologies – at least in part – have brought. Why is it happening now?

• reputation is your the one asset, and a very volatile one in a transparent world. A client not doing what an expert teaches them is a recipe for disaster in the new technology market. And disasters know no borders. Fuck ups won’t necessarily stop at the door of the client and can spread across the web in a few hours. Anticipating this is more critical than ever.

• most of the independent consultants have very light infrastructure – the magic of wifi and laptops – and therefore very low cost. They can live on a shoestring, and this buys them time. And time is freedom.

• most consultants are looking for projects where they can make money, but also learn and drive their value up. Unlike the big four firms – who can’t care less about the progression of their staffers – independent consultants have to constantly care about getting better, and learning is a big part of it. The current assignment should always allow to bill more on the next one. Not much more. Just more, to reflect a valuable experience.

• last but not least, let’s be honest: all this also happens because the IT sector is doing pretty good these days, and all the competent people get more propositions that they can handle.

Creativity will save us all

I really think that almost any business can make money on this planet. It is just a matter of being creative, and finding revenue streams where no one ever thought there was one.

Steven just forwarded me a good example of what I am talking about: Flickr Camera Finder. Flickr – the photo sharing website for trendy geeks – is leveraging the metadata it gathers when its users upload images to build camera usage trends.

Talk about creating value without hurting people’s privacy, while offering exclusive and useful information in the process.

It’s better to be creative than to sue your customers. If only the music industry could listen a bit.

LIFT +

C’est probablement la nouveauté la plus importante à LIFT cette année.. C’est pourquoi je suis fier et impatient d’annoncer l’arrivée de LIFT +, événement dans l’événement, qui va faire de LIFT07 une conférence unique en son genre.

LIFT + est organisé en partenariat avec Bread and Butter, et comme l’explique la directrice artistique de la conférence c’est une “plateforme vivante et créative, […], un concept qui veut créer un pont entre pragmatisme et créativité, permettant de nouvelles formes d’interaction entre les participants, regroupant différents travaux sur un thÚme central – DIGITAL FRAGILITY ñ€“ pour évoquer l’omniprésence de la connectivité dans notre vie quotidienne.”.

En un mot, LIFT + sera un endroit permettant de se changer les idées, de sortir des salles de conférence pour jouer, créer, construire. Des actvités dont on a beaucoup besoin pour rester en forme lors d’une conférence d’idées comme LIFT.

Tous les détails sont disponibles sur la page LIFT +, et n’oubliez pas que pour participer à LIFT il faut s’inscrire et que le nombre de places disponibles diminue de jour en jour.

La Suisse est toujours plus visée par les cybercriminels

Des courriels de hameçonnage (extorsion de données confidentielles en usant de la bonne foi des internautes) rédigés en allemand ont fait leur apparition. […]

Pour la premiÚre fois, des cas d’espionnage économique menés à l’aide d’Internet et ciblés contre des entreprises suisses ont été observés. Les attaques venaient d’ExtrÃÂȘme-Orient. Les pirates exploitent toujours plus les failles de sécurité des applications, comme les programmes de traitement de texte ou les logiciels antivirus.

Lien

Cela devait arriver un jour ou l’autre… Méfiez-vous de vos emails!

LIFT +

This is probably the biggest innovation we will have at LIFT this year, so I am really happy and relieved we can finally communicate about it. Here is LIFT + !!

LIFT + is, as the conference art director explained on the LIFT blog, “a living and creative platform[…], a concept intended as a bridge between creativity and pragmatism, allowing all possible forms of interaction, gathering individuals working freely on a specific topic – DIGITAL FRAGILITY – to evoke the overwhelming presence of connectivity in daily life”.

In a word, LIFT + will be a chance to change your mind, get outside the rooms and play, create, or build stuff. I think this is an indispensable enhancement to a conference like LIFT, where you can’t just sit and listen for hours. People need to change their mind, and LIFT + is about that.

Check out all the details on the LIFT + page, and don’t forget to register, the number of available seats is going down every day.

The internet is in no way a replacement for doctors

No no, but it’s helping making much better diagnosis on some cases:

Google ‘aids doctors’ diagnoses’

”[The] study suggests that in difficult diagnostic cases, it is often useful to google for a diagnosis.

Web-based search engines such as Google are becoming the latest tools in clinical medicine, and doctors in training need to become proficient in their use”. [But] “the internet is in no way a replacement for doctors – their clinical judgement and expertise will always be necessary to make sense of the information.

Full story on BBC News

What a fantastic tool. Shame the guys who did the study are so far away, they would have been more than welcome in our communication that saves lives track at LIFT07.