This week Sthlm tech fest opened their doors for investors, startups, designers, developers, journalists and anyone interested in the future of tech. Sweden’s Prince Daniel attends the event every year. The focus was on the growing startup scen in Stockholm and the fact that in the past 3 years, the number of startup investments in Stockholm has grown from 3 per month to 33 per month. It’s one of the fastest growing markets in the world today, and especially in tech, where Stockholm has the highest number of listed tech companies in the world.
Ericsson and Telia held the keynote speeches and they both spoke a lot about 5G, IoT (Internet of Things), how cloud services can help create sustainable solutions and that digital will effect everyone and every business. Business models will have to be adapted to the digital age and develop if they want to stay relevant and competitive. They also said that the future of tech is not tech, it’s about connections and collaboration. Businesses need to partner with their costumers and use digital ways of getting closer to them, and listen to their needs.
A lot of these solutions will focus on open source collaborations. Open source is the best way to grow and succeed with your services, specially if you are a tech company that specializes in software or online services. To let the end user develop the product will give you more and better information than if you do it in-house. You will get solutions that the end user actually wants, instead of something you think they need.
The best interface is no interface at all
IoT and smart devices make it possible to take away interfaces all together. Services like IFTTT (If this then that) lets the device trigger actions itself and the user doesn’t need to do anything at all. This kind of intelligence is revolutionising the industry and together with remote controlling, tactile innovation, AI and much more, this is definitely the biggest revolution we have seen in decades.
A big subject at Sthlm tech fest was fintech, and the future of banks and bank services. The open source theme reappeared and speakers from Swedbank, Nordnet, Klarna, iSettle and others, all agreed that this will play a huge role in the near future.
There are also a lot of startups in this field using the cloud and different cloud services to create their own solutions and alternatives to using big, traditional banks. This is very interesting for the costumers, and there is a generational change coming where millennials are looking for services and companies that share their values, or tailor solutions based on their personal need, and who can adapt fast to changes in the industry, which is harder for the traditional banks.
The future of design
The segment future of design hosted some big and successful names this year. Starting off was Evan Sharp, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at Pinterest, then we heard from Merci Grace, Head of Growth/Product on Slack and finally Lisa Lindström, CEO for Doberman Group. Although the segment was a little bit of a disappointment regarding the future, the speaker all talked about the importance of creating solutions and design based on human needs and to communicate passion and love to surpass being good and become truly memorable.
Artificial intelligence & VR
At the forefront of digital innovation and development stands AI (Artificial intelligence), VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality). It’s now called the fourth evolution that starts in the digital era we are in now, and looks to a future that is not that far away. Jonathan Oliver, Global Head of Innovation at Microsoft, said that AI is not gonna be here in the future, it’s just gonna be here and effect us all at once, without us noticing that it has arrived. He talked not about creating intelligence, which already exists, but EQ, emotional intelligence. Once we figure that out, AI is going to control our lives.
He finished his talk by commenting on this, somewhat scary, future: “Don’t worry to much, but think about it!”
Sthlm tech fest is a great initiative and platform for the tech industry. It creates possibilities for not only inspiration and investments, but for tech companies to get an indication of if what they’re doing is relevant, innovative and if it truly has a market. For us it was great to get more confirmation of the importance of what we are doing. We are giving companies who run the risk of falling behind in their industry a chance to keep up and flourish in the digital age we are in.
We help companies become more digital in the age of the digital revolution, which is what every company has to do to stay relevant and competitive.