05 December 2012 • by marium

LeWeb 2012, 10 years on and still going strong

LeWeb’s main theme around the ‘The Internet of Things’ seems to be an appropriate way to draw 2012 to a close and welcome in what is likely to be an incredible era for forthcoming innovation. Nurturing a community of innovators and developers,  has succeeded in propelling some of the largest digital platforms today into a stratosphere where their capabilities are extended for users more and more. Not only are innovators a key to future success and growth but attracting them to create add-ons, plugins, apps is also a logical business extension for any forward thinking company.

SmartThings today launched their Developer and maker contest series after closing a $3M seed round recently. They’ve already registered interest from a 1000 developers and this new initiative is bound to bring in some greater impetus to quicken the pace in bringing about ‘the internet of things’ in a very real way.

“Every single consumer touch point is important in consumer product design, taking the frustration about a product and combining it with a product experience is the key to the success” according to Tony Fadell, CEO of Nest.

The internet of things is really just about interesting products that may be connected to the internet, allowing many different things to talk to each other. But as Fadell expanded its not necessary to build more new devices but just better devices. Phones are just appliances and you can personalize them through many different apps. Whats interesting about Smartthings is that they intend to grow that ecosystem of connecting devices and apps together into an enhanced product experience through an open platform initiative.

So why is Evernote apt to mention as a highlight from the LeWeb keynotes? Well firstly, its just one of those platforms that’s seen a huge boost through a cleverly nurtured developer community.  Whats more, today Evernote Business was launched as a ‘not for enterprise’ business solution – strange though it may seem that Evernote are not seeking large corporations to adopt Evernote business, they simply and quite earnestly insist that they want to service the small to medium businesses. ‘We want to make it easier to collaborate – when you join Evernote Business – you have this business library …. its automatically accesible with business and personal notebooks – and you can share and collaborate’ says Phil Libin, Evernote CEO.

Whats interesting to note is that the drive to ‘discovery’ seems to be a key feature in the new Evernote Business, and similar to Soundclouds ‘discorank’, Evernote will offer ‘Related notes’ as a feature in its business platform. ‘How do you know what your team knows – how do you get it without thinking about it. We take lots of opportunities to show you other information in your co-workers accounts’ – Phil Libin.

The ‘Related notes’ feature is generated through writing a note for yourself – it works when you’re in Evernote and in Google search. For Libin, “The goal of Evernote is to be your external brain – it started with memory and now we want to help you make better decisions, make everything beautiful and make you work better with other people but we’re not social- its about getting something accomplished’. ‘We want the experience of using Evernote to be like its completing your thoughts”.

SoundCloud is another one of those platforms thats generated an incredible community around its platform, not to mention that its proposition to be the best and largest collection of sound in the world is pretty much spot on! According to Alexander Ljun who spoke at LeWeb, there is now over 10 hours of sound uploaded to Soundcloud every minute. The Next SoundCloud has now come out of beta, and so Soundcloud has become next in line to bring ‘discovery’ to the forefront. What is more interesting is the way search has been rebuilt from the ground up adopting ElasticSearch. Frumatic have been working with ElasticSearch on a number of projects and now observing how SoundCloud have enhanced their capabilities so that newly-posted sounds are discoverable in about 3 seconds is pretty impressive. With the new ‘DiscoRank’ derived from the pagerank algorithm of Google, you can find relavent sounds from the world. The new search has a new UI and its fast and is really personalized. The new onboarding experience of SoundCloud, is driving discovery through the ‘explore, search and related sounds’ and gives you options to import your Facebook likes and choose categories of interest.

So our thoughts from the first day at LeWeb?
‘Discovery’ and ‘Disruption’ are still predominantly at the forefront, but what seems to be on everyones brains from Google to Evernote to SmartThings is how to reach that utopia where a platform or a device or simply an ‘Internet of Things’ can act like our external brain!


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