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What we learned from DigitalK 2018

DigitalK is the leading CEE technology event and this year it had a focus on how to navigate the future of business. The conference had dozens of great speakers and they had something useful to say for anyone and everyone. From small startups to big enterprises – the short describtion of the audience on each DigitalK. Along with the investors, of course.

So, there was lots of great information. This can be overwhelming when you get so much info in such a short amount of time.

So, we decided to share some of our thoughts of what we learned at DigitalK 2018. After all sharing is caring, right? Plus, these are the types of quick snippets which can really help you out in a jiffy.

This is why we will employ a slightly different approach this time. Instead of long-winded thoughts about the future, we will focus on the quick, bite-sized snippets.

Changing your mindset

When starting a new business or simply a new product, you often get bogged down with lots of resistance from yourself. Often you don’t really realize that sometimes you are your biggest challenge for a project. At least that’s the jist from Brian Solis, Futurist, World Best Selling Author.

He had a great talk about how you can and should be transformative. He also isn’t afraid to speak loudly about somethings we know, but still do. A few examples:

“Let’s brainstorm! I’ll pretend that I have brilliant ideas and you will pretend that you care about them while we all play on our devices.”

“Following the rules is the enemy of innovation. They were developed fora different time for different reasons. It is not our fault, we were taught to follow the rules.”

“#learn #unlearning the rules that define the standards.”

“When it comes to real innovation – there is no box.” So, don’t waste time thinking how to think outside the box.

“Snapchat turns conversations into moments.” So, adapt for this.

“You compete against Netlifx, Amazon, Tesla, Apple.” No matter how small you think you are or if you are in a different segment. Those are the companies which shape the future now, Solis says.

“Digital Change Agents are tomorrow’s leaders. Your missions is to empower other leaders”. If you are reading this, chances are you are a digital agent.

“The critical roles of digital change agents – data gatherer/story teller, influencer and case maker, relationship, champion.”

“Common challenges digital change agents face – ego, fear, bias, self-doubt.”

“The future of innovation is human. It is difficult. But it will happen to us or because of us. Make no mistake, you play a role in the future. It’s yours to Shape”, Solis says.

Reshape your work

Changing the way you think is only the start of your new journey. It will also lead to you changing the way you work. And you have to do that as the landscape today is very different that it was less than 5 years ago.

“The new normal – Modern customers are connected and empowered. Try to be relevant”, Solis says.

“The Four Horsemen of the Modern Apocalypse – Wifi, battery life, 4G, Loading time.”

Adapt. Learn to adapt to the situations. Make the most of them. This is the jist of what Jessica Gioglio, Author of Visual Storytelling and Digital/Social Media Strategist said.

“Turn Customer Responses into Storytelling opportunities”, she noted.

“The best marketing does not feel like marketing”, she adds.

“Know your mission and share it with your users”, says Elizabeth Barelli, Head of Digital Marketing, Performance & Media at Medium.

“Don’t rely on channels that you can’t control”, she adds. Often companies think they have to be everywhere.

“Get users to Aha moment”, says Ludo Antonov, head of Growth Engineering at Pinterest.

“Deliver Core Value often”, he adds.

Of course, many companies wonder what exactly is growth? Growing sales and revnues is obivous, but there’s a lot more to it.

“Defining growth as a function what growth teams do effective growth teams. Look at data -> Try things -> Measure effect”, Antonov says.

This goes both ways

Don’t forget the internal growth, too. For that you need the proper company culture. Antonov says its nice to have this:

Build individual ownership:

can do attitude

can wear many hats

also can shift between technologies and functions

can be fearless

Encouraging individuals to work outside of the boundaries of process and roadmapping, teaching them to look for opportunities in the patterns of data

Culture of celebrating of curiosity and wins

The end goal? To create Growth teams that are empowered, tech savvy, self-motivated and understand the user.

They will help you bring your company to the level it deserves to be. And that’s possibly one of the most important things you can learn and should do.