Empowering people through information and connectivity

Day Three at MediaCom's Silicon Valley Summit was all about helping to make things better for people. From leveraging connections to get better jobs at LinkedIn to organising the world's information to make it more accessible at Google, the technology companies of tomorrow are trying to simplify the world for users and help solve key problems.

The value of Big Data comes from being able to see things that were previously hidden


LinkedIn believe that success lies within all of us and that the key to success are the relationships all around us. They want to “create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce”. LinkedIn allow users to build their personal brand – not just the brand of their companies – which empowers them in the employment marketplace.

The rate of change for skills will change every job in the world into a technology job


We were treated to an inspiring talk from Allen Blue, VP of Product Management and Co-Founder of LinkedIn. Allen talked about the areas of Silicon Valley that are currently exciting him, which are those smaller companies around the edges of the big giants. The smaller companies are starting to do very interesting things, especially with Big Data. Allen explained, “We don’t have the tools yet to take advantage of big data,” but this is an area of immense innovation so one to watch. He also touched on Artificial Intelligence and its future, where the potential to bring wide-scale diagnostics to everyone via their camera phone will be life changing. AI will also change the job market making manufacturing jobs virtually obsolete in the next 10 years which will mean a huge sea change for 11.5% of the population.

The beauty of digital is you can fail cheaply


Google’s mission statement is “organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. While this is still very much the focus for them, they are also diversifying into developing areas such as robotics and biotech to improve everyday life for people. The Google X department are inventing all manners of innovative products designed to empower consumers through connectivity. The most notable of current projects is Project Loon where Google are bringing internet to remote parts of the world inaccessible to standard network connectivity.

No single network has the reach of YouTube in the 18-49 demographic


Omid Kordestani, Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer of Google, spoke to Stephen Allan, MediaCom’s Worldwide Chairman and CEO, about his path to Google and how he continues to drive the business forward. He discussed his journey from Iran where he was born to California via England and how a narrow miss into the world of banking led him specifically to Silicon Valley where he felt something new and exciting was starting to happen. He was working for Netscape when he met Larry and Sergei and knew in his heart that they were working on something truly special. Omid’s statement, “Make the small decisions with your head and the big decisions with your heart,” had a particular resonance with our audience and is a reminder to us all to follow your passion and do what you love.

The Mad Men days are over; decisions need to be based on data, not hunches and guesswork


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