Top Insights from Day 2 – Web Summit

My Takeaway #Insights from Day 2

Attended talks with the following:

John Collision (Stripe)
Dave McClure (500 Start-ups)
Nicola Mendelsohn (VP EMEA Facebook)
Han Wen (VP of Digital & E-Commerce at Clarins)
Dan Rosen (Global Director of Advertising for Telefonica)
Padraig Harrington – Three time Major Golf Winner
Niall Bruton – Commercial Director at Orreco
Nicolas Brusson – Co-Founder of BlaBlaCar
Philippe Botteri – Partner Accel Partners
Robert Gentz – Co-Founder Zalando
Mike Janke – Silent Circle (The Black Phone)
Kristo Karmann – Co-Founder & CEO TransferWise
Hardeep Walia – Founder & CEO Motif Investing
Andy McLoughlin – Partner SoftTech VC
Jack Welde – Founder & CEO Smartling
Peter Weed – Head of Growth Tech at McKinsey & Company.


1. Only 3-5% of Global Commerce is Online Commerce.  Different Markets have different payment habits so you can never rest on what you have done in one market but look at the opportunity of solving problems in International Markets unique to those Markets.  Innovation and change is constant! (Collision – Stripe)

2. Watch your customer’s behaviour – look at and think about what people do every day and Build Habits. The goal should be that your technology/innovation should be invisible (a daily habit – part of a person’s routine) rather than people having to seek it out. (Dave McClure – 500 Start-ups)

3. The speed of the shift to video content consumption on mobile has been unprecedented. In 2014 there were 1 billion video views on mobile per day – In 2015, that number is 4 billion.  This is why Instagram is currently a mobile only App.  In fact, Instagram is growing quicker than facebook was growing at during the same phase of development.  People are demanding to be Visually Inspired. (Nicola Mendelsohn – facebook)

4. Probably my favourite quote of the day “The way a large Organisation treats Innovation is like how your body treats a virus – it will do everything in its power to kill it!  Large established brands are very good at protecting legacy and history but are very slow to embrace change and therefore very susceptible to challenge from more agile and disruptive earlier stage brands” (Han Wen – Clarins)

5.“Always think about what experience your consumer wants, not what you think they want!” (Han Wen – Clarins)

6. Creativity on Mobile is hugely important. You need to target them with the right data, in the right place and at the time.  Telefonica use a software they acquired called ‘Programatic’ to target people according to their Mood – people on average consume 30% more content when they are Bored! (Dan Rosen – Telefonica)

7.People want content that is personalised to communicate with them…..not to target them! (Dan Rosen – Telefonica)

8. “The body will find ways to get rest – even if it means injury”. Padraig takes 9 weeks off every year rather than competing in winter events for appearance fees. He feels that Rest and Reflection are key for increased performance. (Padraig Harrington)

9. Orreco performance works with over 2,000 elite athletes worldwide.  It is as important to know when to back off as much as it is when to push forward.  Often one step back and lead to two steps forward. (Niall Bruton)

10. If you enter a new market or launch a new product and it feels so logical and comfortable – it is more than likely too late (Nicolas Brusson – BlaBlaCar)

11. AcquiHire is an interesting concept that Accel use to describe when you acquire something strategic for people smarts.  Through acquisition it is hugely important to maintain and reaffirm Company Culture and Values that transcend across borders. (Philippe Botteri & Nicolas Brusson)

12.Localisation in E-Commerce is of the utmost importance throughout the supply chain. For example in Italy the norm is Cash on Delivery, Germans prefer to pay on Invoice, and in France people still like to pay by cheque. You need to understand local market habits. (Robert Gentz – Zalando)

13.There is no such thing as an unhackable device or software…period! (Mike Janke – Silent Circle)

14. Banks say they are supporting their people with technology – however the panel’s feeling was that the universe of banks as we know them are doomed to extinction to be replaced by technology. Becoming High-Tech versus High-Touch. (Kaarmann & Walia)

15. Large Banks on average make $300m a year from charging customers to transfer money. (Kristo Kaarmann – TransferWise)

16. Another favourite quote of mine “VC backed start-ups over the last 3-4 years have been very focussed on the Accountancy Policy of GAAP – Growth At Any Price!!  Now there needs to be more of a focus on the return on Customer Acquisition and the good old fashion notion of being profitable!” (Andy McLoughlin – Partner SoftTech VC)

Web Sumit Meeting

Refreshingly honest insights from a VC and CEO – Winter is Coming? Picture L to R: Andy McLoughlin (Soft TechVC), Jack Welde (Smartling), Peter Weed ) McKinsey & Company), Dermot Karaian (Quartz)

17. Often start-ups and emerging companies are focussed on Funding Rounds to surround themselves with excessive numbers of talented engineers.  There is a more valuable Funding Event….it’s called Sales!! (Jack Welde – Smartling)

18. Sustainable growth should be every company’s focus. Focus on being 3-4% better every quarter and this will lead to good annual sustainable growth and change. (Jack Welde – Smartling)

19. Leanness inspires Creativity. Great companies should always be looking at where they can cut fat & become more efficient. (Peter Weed – McKinsey & Co)