Welcome to Pubcon Vegas 2010! This is the tenth anniversary of Pubcon — Congrats, Brett Tabke! We kicked off the conference this morning with a keynote by David Pogue of the New York Times. David’s presentation was focused on “disruptive online tech” and was forward looking into the technology space, discussing three major technologies.
David started by focusing on app phones and discussed all of their ingredients, like touch screens, antennas, etc. that make them more powerful than laptops. He mentioned the Dragon Dictation app for iPhone, a voice transcription app which transcribes your words to text — very cool and easy. It can even transcribe children’s voices. He also featured the Ocarina iPhone app that mimics playing a flute on your iPhone and even gave us a demonstration with his iPhone. In the first seven months, Ocarina sold 1.5M copies at $1/download, making a music teacher an instant millionaire. The creator of Ocarina created another app called T-Pain that makes your voice sound like hip hop music. Check out this funny video David shared of the app being used on President Obama’s voice:
David felt the next big wave for app phones is augmented reality. David showed an app that showed the London Underground system that shows the train lines beneath you. He also showed TwittAround, which was a bit scary — if you point it at a building, it will show you who is tweeting from that building and what they are saying. YIKES!!
He also felt that free phone calls are coming in the future. There’s already a huge decline in landline phone service over the past three years.
The next big trend David expects is for wireless to be everywhere. He mentioned the mifi personal hotspot (using mine now!), and it gives you wifi everywhere. Imagine if you used an iPhone touch with a mifi — cheaper calls! It also becomes a bottomless memory card by using the Eye-fi memory card with a mifi to automatically download your pictures from your camera to your server or home computer because you’re basically always online!
David said the third big trend is web 2.0, where the audience provides the material, such as with Facebook. The trend with Facebook growth shows that they will likely have one billion users by 12/11. Wow. David joked that he felt it was ironic that the king of social networking, Mark Zuckerberg, is essentially socially inept! Facebook’s value right now is upwards of $15 billion.
David also touched on the popularity of Craigslist, which has reduced the classified ads section of newspapers. Newspapers used to make 50% of their revenue from classifieds. Now it’s nearly nothing.
The guys that created YouTube sold it to Google one year later for $1.7 billion. Holy cow!
He also mentioned domystuff.com. You list your grunt work you need done, and people bid on who can do it for you for the least money! Oh, I am totally signing up! Prosper.com allows you to review business plans of others and make micro-loans to business start ups (similar to Kiva for other countries). GoLoco.com is a carpooling database. E-petitions.com lets anyone start a petition about anything in the UK. WhoIsSick.com shows where the sickness outbreaks area. Ew.
What does this all mean?
Nothing Dies – It Splinters
First, nothing dies in consumer tech… it just splinters off. And the next generation has an expectation that everything has to be real time. David did a national campaign last year called “Take Back the Beep”. He doesn’t like the time that the message from the carriers add to the voicemail, such as “To page this person, press…”. Carriers make money off of this time, because you have to wait to leave a message, leading to more airtime costs. Within six weeks, AT&T reduced their message by half. That saves the average person 92 minutes per year
Privacy Doesn’t Matter and Ego is Big
Facebook and Twitter prove this point. And there are different audiences on different media — the average age of Twitter users, for instance, is 35.
The Next Generation…
doesn’t do voicemail, email, have a home phone, read a newspaper, watch TV on TV, and do multiple things at the same time. David focused on the fact that we need to teach permanence of the online world. Chats, Facebook and other things live forever online. We also need to teach credibility.
Each new online development is a huge time and money drain, and they’re coming thicker and faster. Nobody can adopt them all.
He closed with a live rendition of this song (previously recorded here) — AWESOME.