That yesterday from last post went a little too far, but here we go.
On the 2nd day there were 3 panels: Technology, Out of the box and Startups.
Pedro talked about how we can prevent/avoid some situations if we have
- the right information;
- the right person;
- the right information at the right moment.
To build a related informatic system you need:
- Real-time information over time of the day;
- Historic information;
- User interface to allow the user to feel the information.
We live in computer science golden era, everythings cheap & powerful.
In Pedro’s point of view, the tipping point of computing is real-time data processing, and today it’s already a reality.
He ended the talk showing 2 portuguese products that use real-time data processing in real life: a heart attack monitor and a home energy monitor – great stuff!
Hugo presentation was awesome.
He gave a retrospective of old ‘view of the future‘ thinking and how it affected his life and dreams.
Old movies pictured a really bright future for year 2k, as people would have ships instead of cars and could be spending their holidays in the moon. That is(was?) the dream of Hugo.
But well, we’re in 2010 and it seems that that future is still the future for today’s standards.
But that dream lead Hugo to talk about entrepreneurship, he said that for you to be an entrepreneur you have to have dreams, pursuit them and the most important thing, don’t lose your path and if you do, make use of Hugo’s example and reboot your life.
He gave a great advice to the audience about what you need to do in order to make money
You have to find out stuff that is within your skills, is technological and can be a business.
The main focus of inovaworks is to transform technologies that are brought to the market and make good use of them, doing it cheaply. Well, after all we live in the golden age of computer science.
You can’t sell technology per se, but you can make great products using cheap technology correctly.
Build a prototype, market it, get it bootstrapped, or ask for funding.
Hugo finished the talk talking about interactive 3d and simulations. This was extremly expensive some time ago, but as he said, the trend of technology is getting cheaper and cheaper.
Probably we will be able to fake the space trip using technology
The keep up the quality, Frederico gave probably the best talk of the day.
He talked about boosting UX best-practices in large enterprises.
By the book usability is effectiveness, efficiency, satisfaction and bla bla bla.
Frederico defines usability as how easy it is for a user to perform a given task in a given environment.
He gave some key point on usability:
- First you need to study the users, know the user and you’ll get the value.
- You have to put the user on the focus of everything you do.
- The paradigm shifted: Brands were in control, now the users are.
- Products have to keep up with users expectations, user experience is a key factor to any product.
- Usability must be part of organization.
He then talked about the challenges to bring usability to big corporations:
- Fight the organization, the smoother way;
- Infiltrate (disguised), you observe the structuere, the users;
- Choose your weapons;
- Define strategy;
- Costumers vs end-user;
- Adapt to the environment;
- Spread the word, share information ‘you can do this, you can do that’;
- Build a team, you can’t do this alone;
- Get peer recognition, you need and identity;
- Network with higher rankings;
- Train/educate others.
Sell usability, don’t sell the concept, sell the final product. Show passion!
As Luis said, currently we are living in a digital paradox which will model us and allow us to live differently.
The highlights of the talk were:
- We are in a information war;
- We need new tools to deal with information overload and information quality;
- Nowadays everything goes digital;
- Place is a very important notion for us. we need to be there, but with computers and networks everything changes. Time and space don’t have the same importance. world becomes our place;
- We need to reinvent time & space, time is not the same for everyone;
- World is not related to physical space anymore but humans still need a physical place to be. With this in mind, what should attract humans to live on the same physical space are other humans;
- The society must be centralized in humans. We need new tools that allow us to collaborate locally.
So we need to work on how to make things happen near our place in our time
Out of the box
Highlights of the talk:
- Pizza is the best example of social media. Pizza has various slices that you can share. You can choose the ingredients.
- Challenge as a tv broadcasting was ‘let’s look at this pizza and see what we can actually do, without failing with the audience‘
- The audience must engage more audience.
- The communication is the content.
- Decision to make a talk show was the ability to test new content and to bring something new everyday.
- Television is still a big droug.
- Some inicial ideas changed based on user feedback/audience reaction.
- Great impact on web comunity!
Frederico gave his presentation in portuguese, so here I’ll write the highlights for the english reading guys:
- DNS Economy – Economy behind website and not companies;
- Coworking allow product creation by several companies;
- Don’t look for a job, create it. And think globally while doing it;
- Social support for people who want to live outside the city? Check this out http://novospovoadores.pt/
Prof. Freitas Magalhães
Definitely the most out of the box presentation.
The theme was the science of human face but well..the audience spent all time staring to a black monitor looking for a face..
Alexandre went up on stage to present Bubok.pt, a self publish platform for writers.
He explained why and how self publishes using Bubok:
- Authors choose to publish, not publishers;
- Self published books are product of a dream;
- Interdependency is 1 of the reasons to self publish.
First Rodrigo made a amazing music set with a didgeridoo, really nice for a change!
Then he talked about the instrument, how to play it and how to make them, even from toilet paper. YES toilet paper!
why we should play music – create new connections, music is a form of communication and music is within everyone of us.
Felipe talk was untitled ‘best time to start a company’ and explained why he thinks that we currently are in the best time to start a company even with the current economic situation.
All you need:
- Good idea, technology transfer
- Money: If you really need money you have government support and can always think about VC funding;
- Talent: If you are here you’re probably talented;
- Entrepreneurs skills: Not everyone is made that way;
- Events: Go to every event and promote yourself and your project;
- Information: Nowadays you can find any type on information on blogs and books;
- Office: You can work at home, use a co-working space, Jelly!
- Incubators: They are great for mentorship and networking
What are you waiting for?
On the couch were Fred Oliveira, Felipe Avila da Costa and Pedro Falcão from Novabase Capital to discuss the current startup panorama in Portugal.
The Startup panel started with Francisco Costa and João Rosado presenting their project, bondiu – an event planner on steroids. They presented a nice video showing what was the aim of bondiu and it future feature set.
João Magalhães from Hive Solutions presented ‘À la carte’ which is a kind of a social network for restaurants where the key feature is semantic search and the wiki-like editing of restaurants information. Props for them for showing a partial working prototype.
Both projects have shown ambition and ‘vontade’ to turn a simple idea into a kinda of complex web application.
After both of presentations, the startup discusion started with Pedro Falcão takling about the kinds of investments that companies can look for in Portugal and what kind of projects they (Novabase Capital) are investing into.
The discussion generated by this panel was great to bring some enlightenment to the audience.
To check what people said on twitter you can read the #switchstartups hashtag, it was generated great content there.
André is the person who brought TEDx events to Portugal.
He talked about this year TEDx events and the upcoming TEDxEdges Algarve in October. He chose Algarve because he thinks that it has a great potencial to become a portuguese Silicon Valley.
José told the audience how music made him a better professional.
He used WordPress as a freelancing work so he tried his luck sending an email to Automattic asking for a job… and they answered back!
Automattic is the company behind WordPress.com (And for a side note, they have 12000 servers!).
Everyone from Automattic works from home and they actually don’t have an office, they have kind of a lounge for yearly meetups with all company members.
Ricardo went on stage to turn off the lights on the conference.
He started saying that Switch is all about speakers, sponsors(he thanked each of them individually! kudos to him), partners (again, all of them) and all the attendees.
He continued saying:
- Switchconf was number 1 trend in TwitterPortugal;
- All the videos will be online;
- 900 people watched the live stream through sapo videos (just WOW).
He ended calling his team and jeknowledge to the stage, thanking them and thanking all of the people inside the auditorium.
Now comes the criticism…
They clearly had bad luck (which btw seems to be a trend this year) with some late dropouts, but they got pass it really well.
They allowed people from the outside (or shy people) to ask questions from facebook or twitter, which was great but I don’t think anyone took advantage of that.
No wifi connection during conference was really a drag to alot of people, but as it came to my ears, the password the university gave didn’t work. I have to thank Hugo Monteiro for giving me his eduroam password.
On the first day there weren’t enough power plugs, but the organization took that in care and on the second day, everyone who had a laptop was connected to the power grid.
There weren’t a lot of attendees, which was great to networking because almost everyone was engaged in a conversation and you just needed to join, but I suppose it wasn’t that great for financial reasons.
Q & A’s were amazing! Really! The organization had to limit the number of questions almost every time.
The coffee break snacks were good, but the coffee itself was.. well.. next time try to get other brand
Last but not least, Coimbra is a really good place for events like this, and the timing couldn’t be better, Friday night I saw Guano Apes perform live in Queima das Feitas.
Now I just want to thank Ricardo and his team for this amazing event, and I’m most definitely waiting for the second edition.
And now is time to make a SWiTCH!