DLD (Digital:Life:Design) celebrated their 10th conference anniversary this year. This annual invite-only conference, with 150 speakers and 1,000 people in attendance, brings together influential opinion-makers, industry leaders, startups and digital giants to Munich, Germany for three days of learning, networking and setting the stage for the coming year.
DLD streamed all of the talks – a great way to consume top-notch content if you can’t attend the conference or symposium in person. I attended for my second year and absolutely encourage everyone to put this on your conference “bucket list” as it’s an absolutely incredible group of attendees and speakers.
The theme this year was Content + Context. To that extent, here are the top takeaways from this year’s conference to help you and your business in 2014.
It takes time
Tony Fadell, CEO of Nest Labs, spoke in an interview a week after the big announcement of their $3.2billion acquisition by Google. The money came up multiple times in the interview. Tony talked about how he has been in Silicon Valley for 25 years. Some success comes quickly, and to those whom it does, they are extremely lucky and rare. For most, it is a long road with ups and downs.
We are swimming in data but drowning for wisdom
Arianna Huffington, Chair, President and Editor-In-Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, sat down with Paulo Coehlo on the topic of mindfulness. Both spoke about how hard it is in a constant media cycle to find time to unplug, spend time with friends and loved ones and disconnect. Arianna’s new book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder is about her own journey to create mindfulness and meaning in her life after her exhaustion and subsequent well-documented TED talk on the value of more sleep.
B Corps go mainstream
Albert Wenger, Partner at Union Square Ventures, discussed the rise and value of B Corporations. People using business as a force for good was once only the talk of sustainability and environmental conferences. Their mainstream rise in both awareness and adopting the designation is a testament to the cultural shift in how we view the future of work.
Privacy is dead, get over it
Anke Domscheit-Berg, a German political activist and politician, and Jeff Jarvis, the journalist, professor and public speaker, sat down to discuss privacy and how our information can be used against us. This wasn’t a singular conversation at DLD but rather a recurring one. Many speakers called for an end to widespread data gathering and called it dangerous for the future of society to have our data gathered without our consent for unknown purposes.
Focus on the product
Jan Koum, CEO of WhatsApp, talked about continuing to focus on the product, not on competitors and not on advertisers. With over 430m users and over 50 billion messages sent and received daily, they might be in a unique position to not have to focus on monetization but it was an important point he made. “No ads, no games, no gimmicks,” he said. Focus on what you are building and your core, not on what others are doing.
Other announcements to know about: Humin launched their iOS7 app as the next generation personal contact tool. Jimmy Wales plans to save the world through mobile phones and is joining The Peoples Operator as Chairman. Fabien Cousteau is planning to spend 31 days undersea in a nod to his grandfather Jacques Cousteau’s own 30-day undersea adventure.