Dry your eyes folks, the break up is nearly complete. As the final Day of the summit kicked off, a delegation of Portuguese government officials, including the deputy Prime Minister, joined Paddy on stage to tell us about how great next year’s event will be. Sunny, cheap and delivered as described were the highlights.

Carl Pei

The first talk we attended this morning was with Carl Pei from smartphone manufacturer OnePlus. Spencer Reiss, who was questioning Carl, was keen to dig deep into the company’s marketing strategies but was left somewhat shocked when Carl told him there was none. Infact he stated that he felt they did a very poor job of marketing the product and if you gave him a marketing budget he wouldn’t know how to spend it!

When pressed about how much they had actually spent on marketing to date, Carl said they’d spent around $20,000 and now had revenues of over $300M.

Listening to Carl really showed you what a small dedicated team can achieve with a disruptively priced product. The anger inducing invite system which they used for their first phone launch resulted in an average 8 to 9 month waiting listing just to be able to order the phone. On the flip side of that, the company runs continual Guerilla Marketing style competitions which encourage social media interactions and allows people to jump the queue if they win.

Their latest smartphone just started shipping today and while it is also using the invite system initially, it will only be used for one month as the company recognises to scale, the invite system is too cumbersome. To keep control of supply and demand, the company will instead change to having one hour sales each week where anyone can buy one and when they have capacity to produce more, they will extend the sale times further and further.

Home Auto

Several of the remaining talks we attended were about home automation adoption, its future and its evolution to date. During the panel discussions, which included people from companies such as Philips, Logitech, Canary and August Smart locks, the main points raised were that a truly smart home is probably five to ten years away. For it to happen, your home will need far more sensors and be aware of who is in each room of the home for instance. Current technology is being driven forward by Moore’s law as simple home equipment can now have high powered processors fitted to them.

With regards to pricing, the panel pointed to the fact that for less than a $1000, you can now have an excellent home set up whereas this would have cost 10 to 15K only a few years back and wouldn’t have been anywhere as easy to set up. The panels also felt that people needed to be shown the benefits of the products so they could see their real value with the example given of bulbs where people are used to paying a small amount traditionally, and without being shown what a smart bulb can do, people would feel that they are way overpriced.

On a final point, many of the panel members felt that the real tipping point for general adoption of smart home tech will happen when the equipment becomes really easy to set up and use and requires no real interaction from the user.

Once again there were wifi issues as 30K people tried to connect but it was better than last year. Vodafone have released figures for their network usage over the three days of the event. Gives you a good idea of just how much data is being moved at events like these:

·       Over 55k total voice calls carried with seamless voice performance and no congestion

·       Total Data Volume carried 830 GB on 4G and 211 GB on 3G

·       There was an average of 5000 users on the network each day and peak speeds of over 90Mbps was experienced

Day

Total Voice Calls

Total 4G Volume (GB)

Total 3G Volume (GB)

1

20000

290

77

2

20000

290

72

3

15000

250

62

Event Total

55000

830

211


So that’s it. There’ll be many more follow articles on all the great companies the whole team met at the Web Summit this year. It’s been a busy three days but great to meet so many companies with such great ideas.

We’re all off to have a few beers at the Night Summit now!

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