The Web Summit was born in 2009, in the city of Dublin, Ireland, with the goal of connecting CEO's, startups, investors, media, politicians and content creators to talk about innovation and trends. Since 2016, the event has been held in Lisbon, Portugal.
The Web Summit, without a doubt, has become one of the biggest and most important events for the digital market, technology and startups worldwide. This year, the event had more than 71,000 people, 160 countries, 2,600 startups, 900 speakers, and 1,000 investors talking about what is latent in our market and in the world.
Brazil was represented by approximately 70 companies, 57 startups and 13 innovative companies through ApexBrasil (Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency), not counting the companies that went independently, such as levva and Advice by levva.
Throughout the event, numerous topics were covered, but it was clear that there was a focus on a few themes such as:
A lot has been said about the technological limitations we still have, so that this topic evolves at the speed you hear about it. In order for people to "experience" the metaverse that will truly "transform the way we consume things," hardware, high-speed network access, and Web3 need to become a reality.
Another important point: The metaverse is not just a world seen through virtual reality glasses, but how your gadgets (smartwatches, television, glasses, car, and the like) will provide you with immersive experiences through their context.
The gaming market is an object of desire for almost every company, as everyone believes that it will be the future where young people will interact and spend most of their time. There are already studies that prove that 13 to 17-year-olds spend 40% more time in gaming environments than other forms of media, such as social networks, music streaming, and video streaming.
The opportunities are in large virtual world games, with fewer but more engaged players. This product model will offer more opportunity by allowing micro-financial transactions to purchase special items and expansive experiences such as virtual events.
It is clear that the use of user behavior data through AI is a global concern, and also what about user privacy in this context. Since, in order to deliver better experiences, it is inevitable that there is cross-fertilization of data. There is also the challenge of how to use all the data that applications are able to absorb.
Another panel I had the pleasure of attending was the "Text to image" technology, where an AI automatically generates an image based on your database. This will revolutionize the market in a few years, as you will not need any image editing software to create a publication or artwork. With this technology available, the famous "deep fake" is accessible to anyone, which can be a big problem and needs to be discussed and regulated.
Many startups raising the bar in diagnostics through apps, using artificial intelligence and biotechnology. One example, which drew a lot of attention, was a startup that promises people who are afraid of needles or have suffered an insect bite, to relieve this sensation through a device. This gadget is calibrated via application and applied to the skin, emits waves, which relieve the pain. (Su)real, right?
Many startups introducing blockchain for supply chain control, payment methods, communication and open finance. Also very present was the decentralization of finance (DeFi) - which are applications and projects in blockchain. One of the panels dealt with the first cryptocurrency created for students. Through an app, you can learn about Web3, financial education, and payments with very low transaction fees.
It is clear the gap between the speech and the actions actually carried out among the companies that talk about ESG. This was reinforced, even in a lecture by Lisa Jackson, VP of Environmental Initiatives at Apple. We must demand, more and more, from the companies to which we relate through consumption, their ESG actions. Another extremely relevant point made by Brad Smith, Microsoft's VP, is that only innovation can help us slow down global warming, but even so, it will take longer than we imagine.
I come back from the Web Summit with an excellent perception of the Brazilian context and its technological and digital maturity. We are extremely mature and aligned with what the big Big Tech's of the world do and apply in all their products and services.
Brian Collins questioned the MVP(Minimum Value Product) culture that all companies have been pursuing for many years as a mindset for creating digital products and solutions. He asks exactly how we can find a balance in building digital products and focus on MLP (Minimal Loveble Product). I believe that balance is necessary, because then we get away from the "standardization" that has been created by having this kind of thinking.
Here is a reflection for you, Brazilians who have the "mongrel" syndrome.
Brazil is fertile ground for innovation and entrepreneurship.
We have excellent professionals working at practically all levels and owe nothing to the so-called "first world" countries.
Brazil needs people who believe and, mainly, who invest their knowledge at home. Our market is giant and we have many people and companies able to help.
Let's do more for our big Brazil!
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