Tel Aviv – a place where ideas are born and start-ups built – is also home to DLD. Due to Corona restrictions and the renewed lockdown in Israel, DLD Tel Aviv will host its first digital-only conference this week.
The second day of DLD17 was packed with highlights, including Satya Nadella (Microsoft), Tom Enders (Airbus), Carsten Spohr (Lufthansa) and a conversation between Mathias Döpfner (Axel Springer) and Paul-Bernhard Kallen (Hubert Burda Media). In the first presentation of the day, Scott Galloway (L2 ThinkTank) predicted which companies will be the big winners and losers in 2017.
“Winners and losers of 2017”
Galloway named Instagram among this year’s big winners, saying that the social media platform will continue to grow in the coming months. Although 70% of all Instagram pictures are already sponsored, astonishingly, user engagement with these pictures continues to increase.
According to Galloway, Snapchat will be the biggest loser. He said that while the social media platform may be very popular at present, it is one of the most overrated tech companies.
“Everyone should be able to take part in technological progress”, declared Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to the large DLD audience. He explained that political responsibility is very important to Microsoft. “Technology is mainstream. So the rules that apply to other mainstream industries should also be applied to technology companies” – particularly given the increasing speed with which IT technology spreads throughout the world. He said that “democratising” progress is essential here too.
Artificial intelligence and the resulting growth should also be democratised. “Everyone should benefit from it, not just the big players in the IT industry.”
Döpfner meets Kallen
Two greats of the German media landscape – Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer, and Paul-Bernhard Kallen, CEO of Hubert Burda Media – met to discuss “The Future of Publishing Houses”. What role does technology play in a modern media company? And how are social media platforms like Facebook responsible for the dissemination of fake news? Click here to watch the fascinating discussion in the archive.
The electric Airbus is coming
While Klaus Fröhlich (BMW Group) announced on day 1 that driverless cars will arrive in the next four years, Tom Enders (Airbus Group) and Bertrand Piccard (Solar Impulse) focused on the future of air travel.
Enders commented: “We are the world’s largest helicopter manufacturer. This year, a demo vehicle will be put into operation in Silicon Valley that can be used for transport without a pilot. We are also working with Siemens to research hybrid and electric drives – and have invested hundreds of billions. And I say that in 15 years, we will have an aircraft for 90–100 passengers that flies with an electric drive.”
“Aircraft computers are 20 years old, but they work”
Carsten Spohr (Lufthansa) and Megan Murphy (Bloomberg Businessweek) took to the DLD stage to discuss the future of digital flying. Spohr explained that the changes brought about by digitalisation are taking place more slowly in civil aviation than in other industries. And he did not seem unhappy that aircraft manufacturers are a little behind the hype: “The computers in our aircraft are 20 years old – but they work.”
“Cyclists don’t always follow the rules”
“In the future, we’ll never wonder whether to have that second glass of wine when dining out: the robot will simply drive us home”, said Peter Schwarzenbauer (BMW Group) in conversation with Henry Blodget (Business Insider). He stated that it will take longer before cars drive themselves on roads. In contrast to systems, road users such as cyclists and pedestrians don’t always follow the rules.
“Facebookisation of the internet”
Do Google, Facebook and co. limit the freedom of the internet? This was the question addressed by the panel featuring Mitchell Baker (Mozilla) and Ingo Rübe (CTO of Burda Magazine Holding). Rübe had a very clear opinion on the subject: “Many people today confuse the internet with Facebook. But if this were the only way to reach people, it would jeopardise our business model, which requires us to reach our audience directly via an open internet. After all, we don’t just want to create content for Facebook.”
Towards the end of day 2, Stefan Winners (Member of the Executive Board – Digital at Hubert Burda Media) spoke with experienced investors such as Oliver Samwer (Internet Rocket AG), Martin Weiss (Burda Principal Investments), Deborah Mei (Raine Group) and Patrick Healy, who runs the investment company Hellman & Friedman. One of Healy’s riskiest and most lucrative investments was buying Scout24 for around one billion dollars. 18 months later, the company was listed on the stock exchange and brought in 3.5 billion dollars. While Oliver Samwer advised investors to put their money into fintech, Martin Weiss (Burda Principal Investments) recommended investing only in areas you understand: consumer start-ups are of particular interest to Hubert Burda Media.
Important year for Europe
DLD17 also welcomed some prominent politicians. Dominik Wichmann could not have asked for a better discussion partner than EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger in “Between Bits & Budgets: State of the EU”. Wichmann took the opportunity to confront Oettinger with Donald Trump’s latest remarks, including his description of NATO as “obsolete”.
The EU Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources responded calmly to the prospect of a future with Trump, but explained that this year will bring many important elections shaped by political uncertainties.