I was at the Irish Internet Association‘s Annual Conference held in Dublin yesterday, where the theme was “Vision 2020”. I could only stay during the morning, but it was worth my while, with some good presentations, some “same old”, and some thoughts that I brought back with me…
There was a panel discussion which ranged from the future (if any) of journalism as we know it, through to the feasibility of paid-for-news online, mobile ready websites and even European regulations for ecommerce.
Here are 3 thoughts I rescued from my goldfish memory regarding growing your business in the coming years:
- “Internet strategy for your business is not an add-on any longer, but a must for survival”: This would indeed be a “same-old” in conferences if it wasn’t for an interesting debate in which speakers argued that those businesses which don’t adapt should die, while others suggested that there should be an apparatus of contention for those companies who find it hard to catch up with the internet economy. Regardless of what should or shouldn’t happen, I think our old friend Darwin will prevail.
- 2010 is a turning point regarding a mobile oriented web: Again, something you hear a lot nowadays, “More and more people will know the web through a mobile rather than a laptop” . One problem I see in this adoption (from a European context) is not the user, but the SME website owner acknowledging all these needs for their web presence (and associated investment).
Bill Liao ran a study recently which indicated that amongst the poorest people in Africa, 15% do not have access to electricity but 50% do have access to a mobile phone. Yes, get thinking global and how you can get your business into those little things we all carry…
- All you need is a good excuse: This was my favorite piece of the event, Bill Liao encouraging the Irish Internet entrepreneurs to “get out there and do it”. A lot is said about Californians and their friendliness, positivism and easiness. According to Bill, this explains partially the concentration of capital and action in places like Sandhill Road, or why a Silicon Valley Party is something memorable. Well, guess what? Here in Ireland, we’ve got the friendliness, the can do attitude, the talent, we just need a bit of speed and to take a plunge again (Big players like Google, Microsoft and even Facebook are already here, it must mean more than favourable taxation). We are also a small country where all we require is some important density of good things (call it entrepreneurship if you want), in order to cause a success-chain-reaction. People in the audience questioned how can the business community show the dinosaur-ish authorities what the so called “smart economy” requires. Bill answered, “Don’t treat them as foolish, even if they are, start with some sort of celebration” As Bill said, “The difference between spamming and informing is having a good excuse.”
It seems to be about giving people a positive reason to get involved.
So I managed to get Bill (founder of Xing.com by the way) to give us 30 seconds on video for you the Bloggertoners. I hope it encourages you to work on your own story this weekend!