I’ve just attended for the fourth (I guess) year in a row the biggest Romanian conference on Internet and mobile. Bigger and bigger each year, I always had a love-hate relationship with Internet and Mobile World. At the beginning I say that it’s not interesting and it’s probably the last year I will attend, but then a few presentations and exhibitors change my mind. This year was no different.
I read lately a Dale Carnegie book and he was saying that if you want to sell something you shouldn’t talk about you and your product, but about the customer need. Nothing but true. In this idea, I saw some really boring presentations. First of all, some of them were given by managers or CEOs. I don’t have something against CEOs, but let’s get one thing straight. They got there, not because they know how to captivate the audience, but because they know how to run a business. Unfortunately, some managers, as soon as they become managers they also instantly gain access to the entire world knowledge and become proficient in every skill known to mankind. No! Again, they became managers because they recognized talent and they knew how to acquire it into their business. They should do the same here – get someone else to give a really interesting and captivating presentation.
I understand that you want to brag about what cool things are you creating and how good your company is doing. But, me in the audience, I’m also doing cool things. And if I’m not, I probably hate you. Or I simply don’t care about it. You don’t care either about my needs or interests, why shouldn’t this be a fair relationship?
I can easily get a financial report, projection or a product/service portfolio from any company website. So don’t come and present long and boring slides about any of these topics. But if you talk to me about any of my needs and interests and then slowly you introduce me on how a new technology can help me you can arouse my curiosity. And now that you got me, you can also happen to mention about your cool and innovative product that is the incarnation of that technology. And don’t make any false claims, either on the product or your expertise on the field. If I realized it and I will surely do, if I’m interested on the subject, taking into account the multiple channels of gathering information nowadays, then I will drop your presentation like a rotten apple. As a shadow of doubt, at the very best, felt on its entirety.
High level managers of large corporations, which they haven’t evolve from startups, usually tend to have a results oriented presentation. Whoa! I did not pay a ticket to came and make your business here. I got it – your company is the greatest and I think we established that already. Developers on the other hand tend to lose themselves in small technical details – I even saw slides of code in front of a general audience. Whoa again! I did not came here to work. I came to get fresh ideas, new contacts, to see where the market (not a company or product) sits as a whole. So you better arouse me, show me something cool, interesting, spiced with clear use cases. Walk in my shoes and show me a road to your product, but an interesting road.
Few presentations were like this, but those that were, they felt in the interesting area, even though I knew some of their content. And for God’s sake, speak loudly and in no way in a monotone voice. And if you don’t master English better ask your audience if you can do your presentation in your mother tongue.
I also need to highlight an interesting idea materialized in a cool product by a Romanian company. Altom built a robot that by using two motors and a camera was able to automate testing on real(!) devices like cameras and tablets. Using the camera it was recognizing images and then it was able to move on XY axis and tap on the device. And you could write your testing scenarios directly from your IDE, just like a Selenium test case! I would vote them as the most innovative product on this fair.
In general, the market trends seemed to be streaming and video on mobile and Internet of Things. Robotics seemed to be catching on, but this was always the case with this field for years and years, having spikes, but never really becoming mainstream. Indeed, in different forms and shapes they already entered our life, but not at the expectancy that SF fans always hoped. Cloud moved more to a mainstream level, which is kind of the case. I would definitely not think today of creating my own infrastructure, no matter the size of the project or company.
So, all in all, IMW 2015 wasn’t a waste of time with some, not majority, interesting presentations and exhibitors. Will I go next year? Will see :).
I guess I was so bored about the last day speakers that I forgot to write the post about the final day.
Come on, it wasn’t that boring, at least not entirely. On the plus side I liked Ionut Oprea’s presentation about the Romanian blogging scene and different marketing campaigns made with bloggers. The blogging world in Romania is not that big or influential as other Western ones, but it’s steadily growing and there are major bloggers that are moving to the professional side. Encouraging.
Also encouraging is that online marketing agencies are started to push for YouTube advertising. I’m not thrilled that Google’s cash flow is growing, but this trend could also result in that the online TV could take over in matter of years the classical one.
As usual, Dan Virtopeanu was dealing with some cool aspects in the mcommerce space, as one of the speakers at the end of the day.
On the other end, it was the presentation “How to increase conversion rate, display relevant content to your visitors and get quality leads for websites and online shops” by Adrian Ursu and Ana Bucuroiu from Dynamicweb. It was even more boring than its long title – we practically found out their company offer in one long hour.
And now the overall conclusion. But first some administrative stuff. I was annoyed (not much) about the scanning of the badge, every time you enter or exit a conference room. I understand that the organizers wanted to check the attendance and even have some contacts for follow-up. But it was a conference about future of online and mobile. There were some speakers talking about NFC. Just put a few RFID gate readers and voila, problem solved. You have seamless attendance tracking, without any man power costs and you could even cover a wider area.
Altogether, IMWorld was an interesting conference, focused on the online marketing industry. Mobile was clearly one of the hottest topics and, at least, slightly touched by all (interesting!) speakers. A new emerging field, m-commerce, is on the rise and at this moment the numbers could not be totally relevant, but the trend should be.
I would say that the second day of the conference was a bit more interesting than the first one, at least for me as a developer.
I would recognize three more in-depth technical presentations. First one was given by Alvin Richards, Technical Director for 10 GEN, the company that created MongoDB. His presentation was about NoSQL databases, but with a very strong focus on MongoDB. David Mytton, founder of Server Density, backed up with his presentation and three study cases about NoSQL databases – MongoDB, Cassandra and CouchDB. From his presentation, I would give a try to MongoDB, taking into account performance and features.
Another presentation, not a technical one this time, but engaging and aggregating some interesting numbers was given by Doina Costache from Google. She gave some interesting figures for mobile adwords. If I remember correctly, only 8% of mobile queries are matched queries, but CTR on mobile adwords is 12%. So a growing opportunity for marketers.
On the other end, I was disappointed by the presentation from Nick Nicolescu, Territory Manager SEA at VMWare, which was nothing more than reading prices of the VMWare offer list from the slides.
I will come back about day 3, the final one, and general conclusions about the event.
Today was the first day of the Internet & Mobile World conference in Bucharest. I attended quite a few presentations, mostly presentations of case studies, with more focus on the bigger picture and less on the in-depth solution and implementation.
One concept present in two of them caught my attention – Remote Expert. The idea is simple: give access to experts to a wider range of people through some kind of teleconferencing means. Practically it is an older concept, but I like that it is becoming mainstream. Two speakers from Cisco presented its applications in banking and healthcare. A bank in Canada opened branches in remote areas and created in those branches hi-def teleconferencing rooms to offer its clients access to a wider area of financial experts. The second case study was in the healthcare industry with a focus on its applications on SMURD, the Romanian medical emergency service. Highly trained doctors from four main medical centers were connected with smaller divisions in remote areas and they were able to save lives through their expertise.
I was just leaving these presentations and I got the chance to test a similar application in the banking industry. Citibank, one of the leaders in the online banking market in Romania, launched OnlineBranch. It is an online service, so even accessible to a broader range of people, through which you can discuss with the bank financial advisers. Unfortunately the internet connection was poor and I couldn’t connect. It supposed to work from a mobile phone as well, but 3G connection wasn’t again enough. I personally think that this kind of low bandwidth cases should be targeted too, but I’m confident that they will remedy this in the future.
And if we’re talking about bandwidth, I gladly saw that satellite internet is becoming cheaper. At one of the booth, Tooway was advertising its home packages, starting with 20 EUR/month (for 2Mbps download and 1Mbps upload for first 2Gb). It is not yet affordable for the average consumer, but my hopes are high for the next few years.
It was advertised as a phone for seniors and it seems a success so far. Of course, we cannot discuss about mobile web here :), but sometimes simplicity and ease of use takes over functionality. Just 15 big keys, a monochrome screen with 12 big digits and a big red emergency button in the back.
That’s completely insane. US Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent on smartphones. Actually the term is “Mobile entertainment and communication device”.
The patent holder filed three lawsuits against almost anyone who ever thought to a smartphone once. They even did it one day before the patent was officially issued and they had to do it again next day.
This made me think at those stupid, frivolous lawsuits against multinational corporations (e.g. McDonalds, Marlboro etc).
I bought me one of the HP iPAQ 500 series Voice Messenger. I finally dropped my old (and lacking of any cool features) phone. If you’re not a game addict then probably the below will be interesting for you.
I mainly like the Outlook synchronization. So practically you have all the appointments and contacts from Outlook directly to your phone. And I will describe how to make the best out of it.
But first things first. How did I moved the contacts from the old phone to the new one? I have to remind you that the last phone was a really old one and it didn’t feature any synchronization with Outlook. I could though edit the agenda on the phone using Oxygen. I didn’t have the application (and the special USB cable) with me, so I simply copied the contacts to the SIM card. I’ve put the SIM card into the new smartphone. Unfortunately Outlook synchronization doesn’t work for the contacts on the SIM card, but only for those on the phone. So I’ve downloaded a small application to be able to copy the contacts from SIM card to phone and then synchronize with Outlook. Actually I moved the contacts from the SIM and the uninstall the application, after all from now on I can synchronize with Outlook.
Another thing that you have to take into account is that ActiveSync synchronizes only the Contacts folder from the Outlook contacts. So if you’re using subfolders, forget about them. But there’s a much cleaner way to organize your contacts: categories. There are like the tags (a real trend now in web – GMail, Flickr). So assign to all the contacts in a subfolders some corresponding category (or categories) and then move them to the Contacts folder. This way they will all be synchronized with your smartphone. And the good thing that you can even filter the agenda on the phone (or Outlook) using these categories. So after all this came even more handy than the subfolders.
And the last thing was birthday reminders. I know that the Calendar on the phone automatically puts the birthday reminders (if you specified one for your contacts), but I wanted something more. So I searched and found NS Birthday. The nice things about this application is that it also tells you how many days are until every birthday in the agenda.
So now I have a very cool agenda solution, easy synchronized between my phone and my Outlook. All I have to do is to put all the info for every contact in Outlook. But this comes in time and anyway is much easier with a real PC keyboard.