Last week took place one of the most anticipated events of the year in the business world: The Web Summit 2021, which took place in Lisbon, Portugal. At Discoverfy we didn’t want to miss it and that’s why we sent our UX/UI Designer, Juliana Roseiro, to live the experience first hand.

All the presentations that were given were very interesting. So we have made a selection of the best ones —according to our criteria— to synthesize the content of this article as much as possible.

Let’s take a look at the key points of each of these presentations. Here we go!

Artificial Intelligence gains momentum at the Web Summit

Artificial Intelligence was one of the most repeated themes throughout the week in the different presentations. The truth is that all of them were very interesting, but we’re just going to summarize three of them.

Linda Leopold from H&M

Linda Leopold at the web summit
Linda Leopold at the Web Summit 2021

The Head of Responsible AI & Data at H&M gave a presentation at their booth that was more intimate than the typical lecture. There, she exposed the need to have ethical Artificial Intelligence for the industry.

According to her, trust is the foundation of any relationship. That’s why she believes that having a policy of transparency with customer data is necessary. This point aligned with the company’s values made the Artificial Intelligence team set two main goals over the past three years:

  • Use Artificial Intelligence to do good.
  • Use Artificial Intelligence to prevent unintended harm.

Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? They are pursuing the development of these goals through a robust process of evaluation. But also with training, and putting a lot of effort into raising awareness of the issue.

To conclude, Leopold shared one of the exercises they apply to achieve a sustainable and conscientious AI team: An AI ethics discussion group where all AI-related workers are involved not to contribute to a solution, but simply to make everyone aware of the issue

Katia Walsh of Levi Strauss & Co

The Chief IA and Strategy Officer at Levi’s mentions that AI is helping customers in retail and fashion a lot. Thanks to AI, shoppers can always find what they are looking for, creating personal and unique experiences. 

Also, she refers to the 160 years of history that Levi’s has. Within all those years, the company has always been at the service of the consumer. She also adds to this point that Artificial Intelligence combined with customer data creates the experience, delight, and personalization that is key to having a satisfied consumer. 

Likewise, Katia states that the fashion world is not doing the planet any good. So Levi’s is using AI and Machine Learning to understand real demand in order to reduce waste.

According to Walsh, AI will be the savior of the fashion world. She further comments that this technology is succeeding in changing an industry that has been unchanged for decades. But now everything is digital when a few years ago analog dominated the industry. 

To end her speech, Katia Walsh mentions the trending topic of the last weeks: the Metaverse. She affirms that with the introduction of this new world, it will be possible to create new trends with objects that are not even from our physical world.

Antonio Rocha, CoFounder of Smartex.ai

To conclude the topic of Artificial Intelligence, we would like to mention the startup Smartex.ai —winner of the Web Summit 2021 Startup of the Year award—. Smartex.ai uses AI to solve some of the most important problems in the textile industry. But in specific, the overproduction of textile waste and improve the traceability of the supply chain.

Product at the center: Another highlight of the Web Summit.

Many companies tend to put the focus on customers, making all their strategies customer-centric. Some speakers questioned this type of strategy —not because they are wrong, but because depending on your business model they may not be the best option— and introduced product-centric strategies.

James Gross, Founder of Variance

James Gross, CEO and CoFounder of Variance, was one of those who spoke about the relevance of putting the product at the center of all strategies, including sales. 

What he called PLG -Product-Led Growth- combined with CRM provides real product usage data. This improves customer touchpoints and keeps customers for life. 

Gross also mentions that product data applied to sales create: less friction, easy implementation, spectacular free trial experiences, and usage orientation. In addition, the sales team can have the product in mind and start thinking about Product Qualified Leads —a strategy that aims to target customers who are a perfect fit for the product—. As opposed to traditional Marketing Qualified Leads that aim to sell more. 

Top 5 psychological tricks to sell more in your business

After all, product reviews help improve team confidence and give real product feedback, optimizing company alignment. 

A final thought

To end today’s article, we want to do it with a reflection from Sebastien Kopp from Veja. He talks about the need to be on the field to get inspiration. But also to be paying attention to the world in order to create a product that excites people.

Finally, he ends by saying that we have to build brands and companies where we would like to work. Thus, we would be contributing to the well-being of the planet.

We hope this post has helped and inspired you! 

See you in the next post 🙂

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