My take-aways from DLD Conference

In Startup Learnings by Sébastien FluryLeave a Comment

The serie “Does Switzerland exist on European tech startup scene?” is now over. I was waiting for 2 additional posts, but that didn’t work for my fellow foreign bloggers. Anyway, being a bit short on time, you’ll find here next week some of my thoughts about how we could transform the startup landscape in Switzerland.

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you some of my notes taken during DLD Conference last month in Münich (which I was lucky enough to be invited to – but that’s another story).

One of the highlights was the closing talk by Peter Thiel, cofounder of PayPal and first investor in Facebook, among other ones. Here are some tweetable content from his talk!

  1. Most ideas that people don’t agree with… are simply wrong!
  2. An engineer is the closest thing to a magician that exists in the real world.
  3. People need to know WHY they are learning WHAT they are learning.
  4. Originality is extremely hard & rare. When you find it, it’s extremely valuable.
  5. What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
  6. Most interesting businesses have the synthesis between the digital and the real world.
  7. The great internet successes have never been purely virtual. They all had a strong connection to the physical world.
  8. I believe that for an entrepreneur, the correct place to look to invest is still the computer area.

On the culture of celebrity investments in Silicon Valley:

  1. “You’re asking me to write a check? F# off. Talent never pays.” by Guy Oseary
  2. “90% of celebrities don’t really understand the digital startup business.” by Guy Oseary

About e-commerce, digital marketing, technology etc.

  1. “Luxury fashion market is the best business to be in for shareholders, the panel says. Bigger than telco.”
  2. “The fastest growing e-commerce verticals in Europe between 2011-2016 are Footware, Clothing, Beauty.”
  3. “Tablet commerce is a gold mine. Not only bigger average basket sizes, but 15x the conversion rates of mobile phones.”
  4. “We even called it a ‘PageView’ because the mentality came from the Newspapers.” by Yahoo COO Henrique De Castro on the Web Circa 2000
  5. “Journalists USED to be the authority. Now its social media, Google Page Rank, Yelp do.”
  6. “Welcome contacts, don’t target them. Rethink the way you plan digital marketing.”
  7. “Digital Marketing is the blood in the life system internet.” Michael Rubenstein
  8. “It’s not the platform that matters… It’s the content.”
  9. “More and more technology has to map to the human experience” by Dave Morin
  10. “Someday people will “rent out” spare capacity of your own brain cycles to others.” by Max Levchin

Some keynotes and panels were about big data (you know, what you can do with the billion of information you’re gathering with web and mobile services).

  1. “It’s useless to have data if you don’t know how to use it for.” by Stephanie Hospital
  2. “The company who stores Data has to be completely neutral for people to trust it.” by Florian Heinemann
  3. “Put the Human back in the equation” by DJ Patil
  4. “The Internet is our Gutenberg press in every pocket.” by Jeff Jarvis
  5. “The average person today is exposed to more info in a day than someone was exposed to in an entire lifetime in the 1500’s”.
  6. “Technology is crucial but content remains key.”
  7. “Our future whereabouts are super-predictable; nobody is less than 80% predictable. No, not you.” says Albert-Laszlo

About education and governments:

  1. “I don’t think we want every member of government on twitter, that would be incredibly boring” the official state dept position
  2. ” would install government leaders who understand science.” by Peter Thiel
  3. “Educational institutions are five years behind what people need in the workplace” by Zachary Sims

And some others unclassified sayings:

  1. “Do good but don’t tell about it”, typical protestant belief. WRONG! You don’t get collaboration if you don’t shout it! says Hubert Burda
  2. “People without strong social connections are 3X-10X more likely to develop fatal diseases!” by Dr. Dean Ornish
  3. “Great designers connect things that aren’t obvious, at first. And then great design, afterwards, looks obvious.”
  4. “Whatever you do – don’t call it the „2.0 Version“ of something that already exists.” says Zachary Sims
  5. “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu” says John Hering, in relation to working with partners


But the best talk from the whole conference in my opinion was definitely the one given by the “rockstar” Ben Horowitz. Ben is partner of one of the biggest Venture Capital firm in California, Andreessen Horowitz. Give a look on his blog, you’ll learn many things!

“The difference between a hallucination and a vision? Other people can see a vision.”

“We are looking for really bad ideas (at least at their time)” (regarding Microsoft, PayPal, Google, twitter or Instagram – that many people predicted as really bad ideas)

Here are 3 screenshots of his amazing presentation…




It’s amazing how the best investment successes they had was with projects which looks simply insane. Or too risky. That’s a key take-away for investors I think. If you try to avoid any risk, you will maybe never face any big success. What do you think?