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Le Web London – Vive la Vie Digital

Le Web London – Vive la Vie Digital

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

There are conferences about the web everywhere these days, it’s the topic du jour and I’ve been to many of them, but I’m here to tell you that Le Web London was undoubtedly one of the best produced, most relevantly informative and entertaining geeky get-togethers I have ever attended. It was also reassuringly affirmative that what we, the digitally literate business community (and in this esteemed category I, of course, include you) are busy creating The Future.

I felt I was among like minded friends and informed by accomplished luminaries when I attended le Web London (http://london.leweb.co ) last month at Central Hall, Westminster. The venue is directly opposite Westminster Abbey, an historic location which, in itself, provided an ironic backdrop to this energetic gathering of the very people who are not just at the cutting edge, but are actually helping to hone it into shape with their adventurous, ingeniously inventive business concepts.

I was left open mouthed and awe struck by the sheer creativity of the ideas and practical value of the entrepreneurial insights the two day geek-fest brought to me and my 1282 fellow attendees. By the end, I was gasping for more from host and Le Web founder Loic le Meur (www.loiclemeur.com ) and his eloquent guests.

Whilst there was certainly a rather engaging Gallic accent and charm to the way the proceedings were introduced by French born but now San Francisco based Monsieur le Meur, the diverse speakers he and his team had brought from every corner of our connected planet (over 50 countries) ensured that Le web London more than delivered on its promise to examine how all of us building our careers in a world now moving ‘Faster Than Real Time’ can not just survive, but prosper.

First came Jamie Oliver, (www.jamieoliver.com ) speaking alongside Kevin Systrom of Instagram, whose illustrious career has taken him through Twitter and Google before he founded Instagram, the ground breaking photo enhancing and sharing site recently acquired by Facebook for $1billion.

What Kevin had to impart was thought provoking, to say the least. And Jamie is surely one of the most digitally aware individuals in the UK business community, having built a globally successful brand using not just his TV persona, but crucially, digital platforms as an integral part of his strategy, the latest of which is Instagram. He grabs and runs with every opportunity the web affords him to engage with his audience. Articulate, committed, he’s nothing short of an inspiration to all of us.

Over the two mind-expanding days that we were all lucky enough to be part of at this event, Le Web showered talent on us with a list of acclaimed speakers too long to describe here, but too auspicious for you not to check out at http://london.leweb.co/2012/community/speakers. There was even a hip-hop violinist to entertain us. We were treated to conference plenaries, as well as product showcases in demo zones and workshops for startups. There was a competition for startups (http://london.leweb.co/2012/leweb/startup-competition) and plenty of rock solid advice on hand from business angels, but don’t forget, Cambridge Elevator is always here to help you as a sounding board for your new business plans and potential routes to Venture Capital.

But the closing thought was a useful guide for all of us to take on board. It was that, rather than obsessing about living out the entrepreneur lifestyle, we should concentrate our efforts on building solutions that solve problems in innovative, unique ways for our customers. In other words, success follows breakthrough ideas that enhance people’s lives. Good advice, from people who know it to be true and have reaped the rewards of applying this theory.

You’ll find videos of all the key interviews and presentations at www.youtube.com/leweb Enjoy, learn, move forward with renewed confidence. And next year, you’ll find me very definitely attending le Web again. Won’t you join me?

Richard Kirkby