9 things we learned at #TNWEUROPE2016

Life is about moments.

1 Stansted Airport is not the super easy quick airport it used to be. I’m sad about this as I served on its Consultative Committee between 2011-13 while it was part of BAA and this was not the airport that was planned then.
2 Traffic jams are bearable if your taxi is a Tesla. Schiphol airport’s state-of-the-art taxi fleet is comprised of 167 Tesla Model S cars in a bid to reduce its carbon footprint.











3 As Amsterdam’s the Start up capital of Europe, there were hipsters everywhere… Not for them the traditional burger van, or even an airstream (though there was one of those.) Oh no – the coffee cart was a wicker hamper-be-decked vintage Mini.Very cool.



4 In the communications workshop which was ably lead in a remarkably steam-punk style building by Stephan Fountain from PR CO, we learned the key to great PR is “finding your why. People don’t buy what you do – they buy why you do it. (For more on this and if you have a quick 18 mins to spare (it’s well worth it) watch Simon Sinek’s Start with Why Ted talk.
Once you know why your business does what it does – its higher purpose – then you can build your story on this.

5. Moving picture files are NOT a fad.
Adam Leibsohn of Giphy answered the question we all want the answer to –

it’s pronounced gif not jif.

He spoke about how the whole range of human emotion can be summed up in 5 second videos and more interestingly, how language has evolved from words back to to pictures.



6. Aparna Chennapragada, director of Product at Google explained how artificial intelligence can be amazing. And her rules apply to services as well as product. When designing anything new, you need to balance the wow moments (where your product delights) with the occasional what the hell moments (where expectations aren’t met)
AI can be amazing – and anything that machines find easy and people find hard should be outsourced in this way. BUT you need to make sure the good massively outweighs the bad.

7. Julie Zhou from Facebook talked about the aha moment. If you set out to solve a problem with a clear idea of how a solution is going to work out, when you hit setbacks (and you will) you’re more likely to be demoralised.

Teams that fall in love with a problem and have conviction that what they’re trying to achieve is meaningful are much more likely to continue to find a successful solution.

8 The catalyst for my trip was  funny, energetic and inspirational Gary Vaynerchuk from Vaynermedia The fast talkin’, fast movin’, hustlin’ entrepreneur speaks the truth when he says that patience is all and if you want the results, you gotta put in the hard work – and that means no complaining.

“We need to recalibrate our definition of success”

9. Buzzfeed’s Matt Stopera talked about how his stolen iPhone which ended up in provincial China taught him the importance of not judging a book by its cover. Or in this case, a country and its people by what your country’s media says

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