What a fantastic show we had the pleasure to experience at Web Summit this year! 70,236 people, over 25 onstage tracks, and more than 30 topics touched by tech.
The primary objective of this tech celebration was to foster meaningful connections among opinion leaders, visionaries, the media, and the public sector — bringing together those actively shaping the world. And it's safe to say that this objective was successfully achieved.
If you're eagerly anticipating some insights from Web Summit 2023, this article is precisely what you need to dive into the magical atmosphere of the event. We warmly invite you to grab a cup of coffee and relish in the retrospective of Web Summit.
Insight 1. Soft skills are the core of professional success
Today, software engineers shouldn't solely depend on their technical expertise. Cultivating emotional intelligence and establishing effective communication with colleagues and stakeholders are essential for a successful career.
During his talk, Pierluigi Meloni, a co-founder of Utterskills, emphasized the significance of soft skills in professional development.
"Engineers who don't have soft skills would be more likely not getting a promotion, even if their experience is fascinating."
The truth is that specialists must understand that they work with other people. Like in any other industry, having a personal touch and well-honed soft skills holds significant weight in one's career journey, management approach, and visionary outlook. Hard skills can be acquired through experience relatively easily, whereas upgrading soft skills requires diligent effort, as it involves working on a mindset, which is never a simple task.
Lesya Kasyan (CDO), Iryna Manukovska (CSMO), Anna Tyschenko (CEO)
Insight 2. Businesses should formulate an AI strategy
The widespread accessibility of Generative AI came like an avalanche, surprising, fascinating, and at the same time, terrifying. Notably, out of the 2,600 startups showcased at Web Summit, a staggering 308 are focused on AI/ML, indicating a considerable readiness among people to embrace this new reality. However, a majority of companies are still contemplating how to leverage this technology to enhance efficiency, boost productivity, and increase margins.
To steer clear of implementation mistakes in AI/ML that could impact your business, Sami Bouremoum, CEO at Hofy, and Tamara Steffens, Managing Director at TR Ventures, advise answering three crucial questions before integrating AI into your business:
What additional layer can you offer on top using AI?
How can AI enhance product and user experience, and make your team more productive?
What extra value can AI bring to your business?
“Someone who is applying AI to their problem will get to the solution faster.”
Managing Director, TR Ventures
Insight 3. Fasten your seatbelts and get ready for the AI turbulence
AI is not just about margins, revenue, and competition; it also brings along expected challenges in data security and talent recruitment that businesses should be prepared to address.
Misinformation and fact-checking
One pressing concern is the surge in AI-generated content, leading to an increase in misinformation and the need for effective fact-checking. This issue is particularly critical with upcoming elections in the UK and the USA.
As of July 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration has successfully secured voluntary commitments from major AI companies, including Amazon, Anthropic, Google, Inflection, Meta, Microsoft, and OpenAI, to tackle the risks associated with AI. These commitments involve developing robust watermarking systems to help consumers identify AI-generated content.
A substantial skills shortage
There is still a huge skill gap in the AI workforce. Just like with cybersecurity, one has limited capacity to have a good one on board. Hiring a crackerjack specialist requires a significant investment. On the other hand, reskilling is possible as there is less need to invest years of education and training into becoming an AI specialist.
Anna Tyschenko (CEO)
Insight 4. Corporations & startups synergy is coming up on the next level
A new trend has emerged, reshaping the relationship between corporations and startups. Instead of seeking to acquire startups, corporations are now aiming to collaborate with them. This strategic shift is driven by giants looking to:
Enhance the efficiency and sustainability of their core business
Introduce additional services and products to both their existing customer base and new audiences
Diversify their funding programs, irrespective of any direct connection to the core business or industry itself
This year, Shell has brought together a collection of startups from around the world in which they have invested. These startups cover a range of areas, including portfolio optimization with AI, predictive monitoring, wave energy converters, battery waste management, and metadata management for manufacturers.
Maersk Giant showcased itself with a booth and simulator, providing attendees with the chance to win a distinctive LEGO set. In doing so, the company aimed to draw in top talents with innovative approaches to accelerate their journey towards building a more sustainable business.
The JEVERA team remains thoroughly impressed by the expansive Web Summit exhibition. We've distilled the top four insights that should guide you as you embark on your digital transformation and business model reconstruction:
Soft skills are fundamental to professional success.
Businesses ought to formulate a clear and adaptable AI strategy before implementation.
Companies must prepare for the challenges posed by Generative AI and be ready to address them.
The collaboration between corporations and startups supersedes traditional mergers and acquisitions.
For more in-depth information, reach out to our specialists. They can provide additional details about our experience at Web Summit and share insights on trends that can contribute to your successful digital transformation.