It’s been my dream for three years to attend #WebSummit and now it finally happened. We got an email, in March 2015, asking us (me & Roswitha) to attend and cover the event on our blogs. You can imagine the joy that I felt and I can still remember screaming when I got the news.

With approximately 42,000 people attending the event, there was a lot going on and I’ve covered some of the most interesting talks and events from day one below.

With approximately 42,000 people attending the event, there was a lot going on and I’ve covered some of the most interesting talks and events from day one below.
 
Spoiler alert: there’s a picture of green & red colored sheep at the end! (No kidding!)

Elbi – Good on the go

In my search for awesome startups, I always look for these few things in them: purpose, authenticity and creativity. Exactly in that order. Today, I’ve stumbled over a great startup called Elbi.

Elbi it’s actually an app founded by Natalia Vodianova, a Russian supermodel famous for her seven-figure contract with Calvin Klein. The main purpose of the app is to connect charities with regular people that don’t have millions of dollars to contribute to charities no matter how much they believe in them or how much they want to make this world a better place. Within the app, charities post

According to the latest stats, there are over 4.5 million likes given on Facebook every single day. Elbi has created a “love” button through which you can donate $1. If Elbi gets to just 1% of Facebook’s total likes, they could raise $45,000 every day or $1.35 mil. every month.

The app is still an MVP, but I truly believe it can be another great tool that could make this world a better place. As Natalia says it very well:

“If you love something you have to put money in it.” – Natalia Vodianova

 

Forbes vs Wall Street Journal

There was a very interesting conversation today between Charles Yardley representing Forbes and Carla Zanoni from Wall Street Journal. As one would think, these two media companies are very similar and you’d think that they’re approach to gaining more readers and a bigger reach would be similar as well, but I noted one big difference.

Forbes puts a lot of accent on demographics, on finding new ways to engage “Millenials”, while WSJ is more focused on what exactly do users look for when browsing over their website. They are more into the psychological side of things.

Another interesting fact that I’ve learned from this talk was that Forbes is actually paying their contributors by the number of followers they have, which I believe to be a very fair way of rewarding their content creators.

 

The power of a pixel

Mike Krieger, co-founder at Instagram had a nice talk with Anna Dickson, photo lead at Google about the power of visual content these days, especially pictures. However, one of the coolest things I’ve heard today was:

“Image is the last thing a journalist thinks, but it’s the first thing the user sees.” – Anna Dickson

As I talked in my latest webinar, you can write the best article ever, have amazing references and a great storyline, if your image is not telling users anything or if your title is not catchy, no one will get to see your amazing article. The image and the title are the first things someone sees when you share your article on social media, so make them count!

 

Changing the way the world moves

This was the talk that made me write the most and that says something.

One of the very first books that I’ve read on my journey to become a better man (join the free email course here!) was “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill and I became very passionate about the stories behind how he ended up working with Andrew Carnegie and the whole secret societies behind the wealthy people.

Bill Ford at #WebSummit

One of the wealthiest men of the time was Henry Ford who, according to some sources, did not want the book to go out, but he said one of the wisest things ever:

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t. Either way, you are right.” – Henry Ford

I was very excited to actually see Bill Ford, the great-grandson of Henry Ford, on the stage talking about Ford and how they aim to make the world a better place.

One of the key takeaways from his speech was “one company can’t and shouldn’t do it all” as he talked about how Henry Ford did everything but the tires when he first started out, but now we live different times and people are becoming more focused on partnerships and ways in which companies can grow together and help each other succeed.

He also mentioned something about perfectionism, which is a fascinating topic for me at the moment as I am focused on dealing with my perfectionist thinking as I read Brene Brown’s book “The Gifts of Imperfection”. He said:

“No company is perfect. We can deal with reality and define it.”

Bill Ford gave some awesome advice on hiring talented people. He said that people like to solve interesting problems and that if you give them something interesting to solve, you can hire and retain better people.

 

Other mentions

1. Saul Klein ended his awesome talk “Majority World Report” by saying:

“We can learn from US, but I believe the future is no longer there!”

He was referring to Africa, of course.

2. Yancey Strickler, co-founder at Kickstarter said gave some great, timeless advice to all the business people present at the event by saying:

“Don’t sell out. Don’t sell out on your principles and have patience!”

And I got to take a cool selfie with him

Selfie with Yancey Strickler from Kickstarter

3. Mike Krieger showed everyone what it means to have a clean presentation by having about only one word written on approximately 50% of his slides, simple text on a one color background. Loved it!

Mike Krieger Speech WebSummit


Conclusion

All in all, I am very impressed with #WebSummit so far, everything seems to be working according to the plan. There is a lot going on and I feel like there’s not enough time to do everything that I’d like to do.

A lot of interesting speeches, startups and fellow press people and I feel like I would need at least two weeks to cover everything.

I will leave you with this weird picture:

Weird stuff at #WebSummit 2015