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June 14, 2010 / jamieai

Wired Business Conference: Disruptive by Design Part IV


Terrific talks at Wired Business Conference! This is part IV of highlights and tweets (hashtag #wiredbiz):

  • Mark Pincus, Founder, CEO, & Chief Product Officer, Zynga: 230 Million people log on to Zynga games each month. What makes successful social games experience? (a) Play with your friends (b) Express yourself (c) Invest in your game. Lowest bucket of social media: accept as friend. Highest bucket of social media: You’ll do something for me or with me (engage). Once a game is launched, it’s difficult to change. Software gets more complicated, more QA. A bold beet should excite users and inspire them to play for another three months (in LOST, the bold beet was the hatch). Conventional wisdom: Game is like a movie – peaks and then goes down. Games can be serial, social and multi-dimensional. Mafia Wars was flatlining and declining in 09, so new city expansions were added, along with new game mechanics. In Farmville, establishing elder game with new social components – farmer’s market to buy, sell and trade crops. FrontierVille released last week. Most successful first day of user attentions (more than 100K downloads) and over 70% retention on day 2. FrontierVille is Zynga’s greatest level of investment.How can social gaming further integrate into our lives? Virtual goods will have amazing future for affiliate marketing. Mechanics and payoff (incentives) can extend into physical goods and physical worlds. How? Not sure yet – opportunities here. Zynga’s mission to engage people and enable fun. Maybe iPhone app for tax credit if doctor gives you a good score? Will start to see game mechanics everywhere. Games are the latest frontier in building social capital. “The blackberry and the iphone have raised the opportunity cost of time, so we can’t afford a half hour in front of the TV.”
  • Caterina Fake, Cofounder, Hunch: Goal is to create a taste graph based on responses to (simple) questions. She explores the science of online recommendations. Some movies resist affinity, like Napoleon Dynamite. Hunch is analogous to a dating site: provide personal descriptions as a profile and are matched based on that data. A taste profile works the same way. Your hunch profile should be able to be applied around the Internet (shops, hotels, more) – and those sites should be able to personalize for us. We take our hunch profile everywhere on the web and get personalized results from this. With our information, Hunch creates recommendations – nothing else (privacy) – social contract isn’t violated. Questions for profile also come from the community – not all questions come from Hunch.
  • Clay Shirky, Author; Faculty, Interactive Telecommunications Program-NYU: New book coming out. Compelling story by Clay about an attack in Mangalore that was published in social media channels last year. Attackers announced their next attack in Mangalore. A Facebook page was created to respond to this announcement, which led to action and an averted attack on Valentine’s Day, 2009.Cognitive surplus: (a) cumulative free time and (b) media landscape that lets us work collaboratively. Wikipedia is the largest and oldest example of general collaborative project (about 100 million hours of work went into wikipedia). Americans watch 100 million hours of TV every weekend in the US alone just watching ads. Suddenly, wikipedia seems like a small amount of time! This surplus has led to lots of innovation and creativity. The stupidest creative act is still a creative act (LOLCats). LOLcats may be silly, but, unlike TV, at least someone has crossed the gulf from inactivity to creation. Review of Josh Groban ‘pass the hat’ from physical to social – raised 75K for David Foster Foundation. Review of fans who created Grobanites For Charity. Review of day care centers – add a fine if pick up child more than 10 minutes late – once tied to negative, behavior changed immediately. The absence of a contract was the culture. When contract was revoked, nothing changed. Patientslikeme.com allows patients to share prescriptions, conditions, mood and much more. PatientsLikeMe displays aggregate data. Review of Openness Policy of PatientsLikeMe. Behavior is motivation filtered through opportunity. Are the opportunities we create for each other going to be communal or civic?
  • William J. Bratton, Chairman, Altegrity Risk International; Former Commissioner, NYPD, & Chief, LAPD: Poll: Why has crime continued to drop: 70% say because of more data and more police accountability. Police work is an information job. Can track crime in real-time now. Criminologist: Broken Windows theory: take care of the little things and that will take care of some of the big things. Accountability and transparency: Everyone publishes content for others on the force to see. Variance audits in place. Many crime figures are confirmed accurate with assistance of other stats (stolen car, also logged with insurance and bodies also logged with cemeteries). Compstat allows faster, more accurate access to, and timeliness of, crime information. It’s all about control of your information. Chief of Police job is to keep crime down – how do you if this isn’t measured? On Order Out of Chaos: Using Big Data to Enhance International Security. Preventative or predictive policing is real and innovative. State of the art in 1970 was a 3 lb walkie talkie. Now we are in the predictive era of policing. Created 911, then computerized 911 call processing, then focused on partnership, problem solving and prevention. Post 9/11 is now into intelligence era of policing. Next is predictive policing (funded in part by federal government). As information is obtained, it’s entered and instantly accessible to police force. New diagnostics testing tools and more will continue to revolutionize policing. Is conceptual ‘Department of Pre-Crime’ too Orwellian? Police can’t get certain information without a warrant. Privacy protection laws are in place. Courts ruled it’s OK to videotape people in public places (outside). (the video stream gave out during this! It was a great presentation!)
  • Frederick W. Smith, Chairman & CEO, FedEx Corporation: FedEX is 3rd largest vehicle fleet in the world, largest air express company in the world, 8 million shipments a day, 85,000 trucks and vans – extraordinary scale. When you look at vehicle technologies and how you can deploy, what’s most encouraging? Pick-up-and-delivery Prius with 43% greater energy efficiency than a vehicle of the same size. Continued work and development of plug-in electric vehicles: about 15 of these in Europe and four prototypes in Los Angeles with 100 mile range (no emissions). Another 50 miles and price cut in half continues to make this promising. Price continues to drop. Electrification of light-duty vehicles becomes enormous. Recharging capability in place. This can significantly reduce reliance on petroleum, especially in countries not friendly to the US. Electric vehicles are the key to reducing oil dependency – FedEx will have 20% electric fleet in 7 years. FedEx is part of Electrification coalition. Rather than power vehicles with natural gas (refueling required), electrification is a better option for light-duty vehicles. Diesel is marvelous for home heating and other options. Future FedEx fleet (20 years) may be unmanned vehicles, although this is in the range of technical possibilities now. In the cargo sector, there will be a mix of drone and manned airplanes.
  • Final survey of the conference: Who is most responsible for disrupting markets or industries? 47% say Scrappy upstarts with big ideas.

    My review of the conference: This was one of the most thought-provoking conferences I’ve attended and recommend it.

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