Musings From DLD 2016

It's all about your environment and the specific, desired experience you have within it.

[Attendees taking a break]

Whether customer, product or architecture, this year's DLD was all about highlighting how the environment around you enables you and what we can do to challenge the ideas that most consider normal. I was actually pleasantly surprised by some of the larger established companies coming out with new perspectives:

  • BMW tells us your car will soon switch on your heating during your journey home
  • Allianz want to help finance start ups and calls out to entrepreneurs to help them understand what the community needs
  • The banks and big data - rightly or wrongly they believe regulation, especially in Europe is the main barrier of change. They tasked the room to help take a stand and ask for more interactions with banks that match our day-to-day lives, from being able to transfer money, to speaking with a customer representative on whatsapp. In their opinion - Google and Apple will let you bank for free, just so they can see how you spend your money.

Unsurprisingly, Publishers were in the limelight - conversations across many panels about the ways they, and journalists, need to survive were rife - against a backdrop of the ever-increasing dominance of the big 4 (Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google). The outcome? Improving subscription and discoverability could go a long way to help.

Elsewhere, Google is still Google - they didn't really tell us anything except in their solid belief that partnerships are the future (even if they're also competitions) and they'll will continue to pursue more business opportunities horizontally across their value chain in the face of potential regulation challenges. Whatsapp, on the other hand, announced its intention to scrap the 99p annual subscription, and charge businesses to connect with its users instead - mirroring the functionality that has proved very powerful with WeChat in China.

Second home, the achingly cool (their building contains no straight lines) and expertly PR'd start-up community, will have a second home. Opening in Lisbon in May, they are also adding two more floors to their London office with a reflection pool on the roof so you can purposefully get some antisocial time.

[Rohan Silva delivers news of the Second Home expansion]

Other interesting things of unconnected relevance:

  • Beekeepers in NYC are using their honey friends to determine human growth, migration and natural shifts in urban living by looking at poop.

  • Exercise accounts for only 1-1.5% of your overall wellbeing when it comes to assessing your risk on health. The real driver? Your nutrition.
  • Niall Ferguson thinks we are in a period of trade off from hierarchies and networks. Who will win? Well, actually we will live in a Metropolis, but don't expect a Revolution.
  • Roubini believes China will have a bumpy, rather than a crash landing. His main concern though is how key indices will react when inter-related against gluttonous supply.
  • Reed Hastings called out that the loss of the authoritative broadcaster voice is diversity's gain, rebuffed by Claus Kleber that only giving people what they think they want leads to a lack of breadth of society and politicization that Hastings, in part, might be responsible for.
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    [Niall Ferguson reminding us how the world really works]

    DLD also announced they will be creating a new steam in the Summer to solely support social entrepreneurship. They welcome the chance for social entrepreneurs to bring their stories to the tech community.

    But certainly one of the things DLD does better than anything is still as strong as ever - getting to hang out with thinkers, doers and above all, friends like these.

    [Lucian Tarnowski at BraveNew, Me and Tariq Krim at JoliCloud]

    All sessions from the DLD conference 2016 can be found on their YouTube channel here.