“Davos for Geeks” – Last days


Day 3

What is wrong with you?!

Day 3 was similar to the previous day, but a very particular event centered all the attention: Donald Trump won the election for the Presidency of the United States of America. Just like the day before, Simdea had no appointments for this day and learning was the main goal for the day.

US Election

The “impossible” happened, Trump won the election, and everyone in the conference was either angry, questioning the future or just plain sad. It was a rough day for many people and in the morning talks in central stage it got to the highest upset moment of the conference, when Dave McClure, during the talk “Is ego the biggest reason for failure” that obviously started with the day’s hot topic, shoots his angriness to the audience at the Meo Arena screaming:

“This whole election is a goddamn travesty. We shouldn’t just sit up here and act like nothing just f–king happened. We were robbed. We were raped. We were lied. We were stolen from.

If you’re not pissed right now what the f–k is wrong with you? We need to stand the f–k up against this thing. I’m sad. I’m ashamed. I’m angry.”

He proceeded, after two minutes, to face the audience again and asked them to “stand the f–k up” to show the world that, as entrepreneurs, we can make the difference.

Attended Talks

  1. Payment fraud in digital currency :: Soups Ranjan (Coinbase) :: Binate.io stage

    1. Digital currency is quickly becoming an important currency with interesting uses. However, security is still the biggest barrier for its maturation. In this presentation, Coinbases’ Director of Data Science showed practical use cases for this currency (offered by Coinbase services) and more importantly, showed real world threats that occurred in Coinbase and how the company is working to stop them from happening.
    2. The presented solution pertained stopping hard payment fraud problems using both human and machine intelligence (machine learning risk engines).
  2. Social & smart data: Connecting with customers in new ways :: David Doctorow (eBay) :: Binate.io stage

    1. This talk was definitely interesting. The Head of Global Growth at eBay introduced the topic of how can companies reach their customers and offer the best possible deals (for both the customer and the company), in other words, brand experience.
    2. The key point was that although companies nowadays collect endless amounts of data about their customers, analyzing that same data proves to not be enough to understand their actions, behaviors and desires.
    3. The solution, according to David Doctorow lies in combining data and social insights to create more authentic ways of engaging customers.
  3. You’re welcome: Marketing for the masses :: Breon Corcoran (Paddy Power Betfair), Simon Kuper (The Financial Times) :: PandaConf stage

    1. Simon Kuper, journalist for The Financial Times, interviewed Breon Corcoran, the CEO of Paddy Power Betfair in this talk. The subject? Guerrilla marketing.
    2. Essentially, Breon explained Paddy Power Betfair’s marketing strategies and how even the most controversial could be beneficial to the brand.
  4. Brand discovery online :: Ryan Hoover (Product Hunt), Diane Yu (Free-wheel), Randy Wootton (Rocket Fuel), Scott Heimes (SendGrid), Mary Swant (Adweek) :: PandaConf stage

    1. This discussion panel aimed to discuss the effects of understanding user behavior data, personalized advertising and consumer psychology to capitalize on the consumers’ spontaneous delight of discovering something new.
    2. For us, this was a follow up to David Doctorow’s talk (although more centered on the existing practices).
  5. Ubiquitous connectivity :: Nick Weaver (eero), John Horn (Ingenu), Normandy Madden (The Digit Group) :: AutoTech – Talk Robot stage

    Ubiquitous connectivity #WebSummit #Simdea #SimpleIdeasAreTheBest #TeamAwesome

    A photo posted by Simdea (@simdea.pt) on

    1. Another discussion panel, with a different target than the previous one. On this talk, the participants aimed to discuss the Internet of Things, it’s technological needs regarding public connectivity and the state of WiFi and wireless in a both public and home settings.
  1. How content drives marketing :: Simon Sproule (Aston Martin), Rene Rechtman (Maker Studios), Jacques Méthé (Cirque du Soleil Media), Constantin Eis (Casper Sleep), Jeremy Goldman (Firebrand Group), Roxanne Taylor (Accenture), Ambarish Mitra (Blippar) :: PandaConf stage

    How content drives marketing #WebSummit #Simdea #SimpleIdeasAreTheBest #TeamAwesome

    A photo posted by Simdea (@simdea.pt) on

    1. Is content king? This talk presented the audience with a discussion panel around the evolution of content used by marketers to engage with their consumers.
  2. The front page of the internet :: Alexis Ohanian (Reddit) :: PandaConf stage

    1. In this talk, the Co-Founder of the social news aggregation, web content rating and discussion website Reddit, explained how the Internet can influence the masses and how users belonging to the impressive Reddit community interact (from the early years of the platform until recent times).
    2. We were introduced to the concept of influencers and how the traditional word of mouth marketing is the only one that stands through the test of time.
  3. The business of football :: Bruno Carvalho (Sporting CP), Ken Early (The Irish Times) :: SportsTrade stage

    1. This talk started with a question about Trump on the part of the moderator who got a bit out of step.
    2. Bruno de Carvalho then presented his image of world football, talking about television contracts, the involvement of social networks to bring people back to football, about how football nowadays gives a bad image to children, and about the new technologies for referees.

Day 4

Attended events and talks?

The final day of the Web Summit 2016 came and with it came the better (or rather, the most anticipated) talks of the entire conference. We were heavily anticipating Gary Vaynerchuk’s talk and as such most of our day was spent on the events’ Center Stage. On this day some of the most important tech guys were giving their talks, including Jon Skeet and Richard Stallman. These three were mandatory to for us to attend!

As in Day 1, on the final day of the conference we also had prepared and scheduled a few meetings to which we attended (we even had some unplanned, spontaneous ones). Once again, a big thank you to the people we met, it was a real pleasure!

Attended Talks

  1. Startups the next global generation :: Mohit Rajpal (mytaxiindia.com), Ganesh Sonawane (Arcatron Mobility Pvt Ltd), Corinne Clinch (Rorus Inc.) :: Center stage

    1. In this talk the winners of the Pitch winners of SURGE, Collision and RISE share with the audience their startup’s experience and how winning these contests impacted their work.
  2. The truth about the music industry :: Tinie Tempah, Hans-Holger Albrecht (Deezer), Eric Wahlforss (SoundCloud), Ne-Yo, Andrew Flanagan (Billboard) :: Center stage

    1. Independently of taste, everyone enjoys listening to music. At Simdea we are no different! This talk was educational and gave the audience the perception of different ‘players’ in the music industry: from artists to record companies, disclosing business models across the last decades.
  3. Majority world report :: Saul Klein (LocalGlobe) :: Center stage

    Majority world report #WebSummit #Simdea #SimpleIdeasAreTheBest #TeamAwesome

    A photo posted by Simdea (@simdea.pt) on

    1. In this talk, Saul Klein from LocalGlobe presented his view about the role of entrepreneurs in the current world affairs (Brexit, Trump election, etc.).
  4. Visualising a gaming future :: Ambarish Mitra (Blippar), Shawn Layden (Sony Interactive Entertainment), Holly Liu (Kabam), Blaise Zerega (VentureBeat) :: Center stage

    1. This talks’ topic was gaming. The panel discussed the evolution of gaming, from the time when plugging in a console was mandatory to nowadays biggest trends: mobile, augmented reality and virtual reality.
  5. Afraid to fail because of other people’s opinions? :: Gary Vaynerchuk (VaynerMedia) :: Center stage

    1. This talk was golden. The CEO of VaynerMedia stole the show with an outstanding talk which inspired the audience. We were certainly inspired!
    2. There was not one, but several, lessons to take from Gary’s speech: we need to do the work and be self aware not only of ourselves but also of others (care for the needs of your customers!).
  6. API design & Stack Overflow: Why context matters :: Jon Skeet (Google) :: FullSTK stage

    A ouvir o Jon Skeet // Listening Jon Skeet #WebSummit #Simdea #SimpleIdeasAreTheBest #TeamAwesome

    A photo posted by Simdea (@simdea.pt) on

    1. Google’s and Stack Overflows’ legendary Jon Skeet presented his vision on how Stack Overflow is similar to the concept of an API and how that related with its users.
  7. Reclaim your freedom with free (libre) software now :: Richard Stallman (Free Software Movement) :: FullSTK stage

    1. The final talk Simdea attend was Richard Stallman’s argumentation on digital technology freedom. What are the threats and what can we change to fight them were heavily discussed.

Paulo Ribeiro

Hardworking and passionate individual keen on learning and clearing any challenges coming his way.
Working in such a fast paced industry as Application Development, Paulo always aims to try and learn new technologies and new ways to perform his work, either through optimization or efficient process management. He is always open to embrace projects as long as they represent a brand new challenge and learning experience for him.

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