Notes from LeWeb Conference, London

Notes from LeWeb Conference, London

Today I virtually attended a couple of talks of the LeWeb conference in London. A few brief notes:

Jason Goldberg, Founder & CEO & Bradford Shane Shellhammer, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Fab & Michael Arrington, General Partner, CrunchFund

  • Best selling item on A vibrator. They’ve sold “tens of thousands” of them, especially the colorful ones. “Never thought we’d be an art or jewelry store”
  • What was the pivot you had to take from transitioning from a social network to your current state? It took a while to make the decision, but once we made the decision we turned off the website immediately. On day one of switching to commerce model, sold a ton.
  • Fab UK launching today, with help from Lustre team

Martin Varsavsky, Founder & CEO, Fon

  • “I don’t think that entrepreneurs need to work very hard. Here’s why.” How do I run Fon, and also take a 12 week vacation and work only in the morning? This is how:
    • Don’t watch television – only watch short things that keep your attention.
    • Into practicing sports, but not really into watching sports. If you’re not watching sports and you’re a guy, it’s like having your life free
    • Write a lot, don’t read a lot. Read just a little, and write more.
    • Fly your own plane and have a drive – save lots of time by having a driver. Elitist, but it helps maximize your time. Having a plane also helps even more. [ed – haha, douchebag.]
    • Almost never speak on the phone. Only talk on the phone to people you love, but rarely to get something out of somebody. Use apps and email to get stuff out of people. Phone sucks because it’s the last person you WANT to contact you is the first person who CAN contact you.
    • Don’t drink.
    • Don’t do business meals. Business meals are a waste of time and weird. It’s always awkward – business can be done in 10 minutes, not over a long awkward meeting.
    • Use social media.
    • GET ENOUGH SLEEP [ed – completely agree, sleep extremely important]
    • Go to conferences, but be selective about which ones you go to. Learn how to say no to certain things.
    • Take vacations, enjoy vacations.
    • Delegate intelligently – it’s the only way to buy your own time.

Sebastian Siemiatkowski, Co-Founder & CEO, Klarna & Tim Bradshaw, Digitial Media Correspondent, Financial Times

  • We got the idea of Klarna from a deep look at online payments, and a realization that the whole system has never been solved. Checkout processes online are a pain in the ass. How can we simplify it?
  • Old generation was empty wallet, Klarna is the full wallet.
  • Last year did 6 billion dollars of business, next year much more hopefully.
  • Klarna vertically integrates entire merchant and consumer experience. By doing this, they can control the entire process and give a much better experience in all stages. Klarna is not just a portal like other services.
  • Only need to use name and address to purchase, no further registration necessary. Key is to identify risk in an online environment, that Klarna can do a risk assessment by assessing consumer behavior on a website – they don’t have to look at traditional credit score data. Klarna says they can predict who will pay and who wont.
  • Backed by Sequoia Capital
  • Distinguished from other payment companies because Klarna collects SKU level data on every transaction, so they can give merchants and 3rd parties very very detailed consumer behavior data.
  • Can launch in any EU country because they can “passport” their license.