Articles | November 9, 2017
Web Summit – Uber, Start-ups and the Internet of Everything
The next day at the Web Summit in stunning Lisbon was also sunny and warm, just like it had been up until now. But we’re not tourists here, since there are too many interesting things to do at the conference – tens of thousands of visitors every day pass through the exhibition centers, and because of the strategically perfect location of our stand, many of them stop by here, which of course pleases us. We do what we can to talk to as many people as possible.
Uber strikes again!
In the meantime, however, I found some time to go and listen what is going on at the main stage, where the CEO of Uber talked about his vision of creating an Uber for helicopter flights (a pretty daring vision) and argued that the mission of the company is to make owning cars unprofitable. He forecasts that the cost of his services will be lower than people having their own cars. This point of view, of course, is interesting, but Uber drivers themselves probably don’t entirely agree with him, since they have exploited the situation by announcing a strike in Lisbon against the low rates enforced by the company. Since Uber will not operate from 3:00 p.m., the Web Summit will definitely benefit the Lisbon metro.
Mentor Hours – support for start-ups
For me, personally, it was a day I was particularly looking forward to because I was going to take part in the Mentor Hours, networking meetings with the representatives of start-up companies. There was a huge amount of interest, but due to time limitations, I managed to meet only three companies.
The first company offers a 360 degree multi-level tool for HR and internal team assessments (sales, HR, accounting, and IT teams). Their tool is used to study issues related to communication, the flow of information and cooperation with internal and external clients. The start-up is at the stage of sourcing the first companies that will pay for the service. During the conversation, we initially determined that we will test their tool internally at JCommerce, and work on improving and developing the system while doing so.
Another start-up, this time from the US, is already in the beta phase, with funding and customers secured. The product itself is at the MVP stage (Minimum Viable Product, a product with just enough features to satisfy the early customers and to provide feedback for future product development). The idea is to combine elements of VOD and a social network. The start-up owners have expressed the need for consulting support in terms of an evaluation of technology, coding and applied solutions.
The third company is fresh and inventive but is at the alpha stage, which means they have no ready-made solution yet. Its founders want to create a portal for “green building” architects (sustainable architecture). They asked for assistance which would be based on a preliminary technological analysis and an indication of the solutions that could be used to create the MVP.
Internet of Everything – Round Tables
Finally, I went to the Round Table meeting of the Internet of Things (IoT) discussion group where we discussed the challenges of this technology. The theme is extensive, so we touched upon just the tip of the iceberg, because other topics came from hardware or electronics experts, and still others from people working with software. Ultimately, we all agreed that continuous cross-technology training and cross-technological collaboration is required in every single IoT project. A great example of this is JCommerce’s project for the Swiss company Bystronic, where we have great .NET developers working directly on PLCs (hardware drivers), and vice versa – PLC programmers using .NET. An interesting summary of the meeting was given by a representative of CISCO, who said that his company has begun to define IoT as an Internet of Everything (IoE), which is actually the most accurate reflection of the situation as it stands.
The third day of the Web Summit was very intense for me, because it was my last day at the conference. Tomorrow I am going to Stuttgart for another conference, this time BlechExpo, where I will get to know the latest solutions and trends offered by Industry 4.0.
The rest of the JCommerce team is staying in Lisbon, so you’ll still have the chance to meet them.
For me it’s time to say goodbye but I hope that next year we’ll meet at the Web Summit as well!