NET PROPHET 2013 – my thoughts

May 30, 2013

Net Prophet, Cape Town

Yeah, yeah I know – Cape Town’s 2013 Net Prophet event was 7 days ago already – ancient history on the interwebs. So if you’re wanting cutting-edge (kneejerk?) as-it-happens tweets then this article isn’t for you.  Personally I still like things to bounce around and digest in my mind for more insightful opinions to emerge.

2013 was my first Net Prophet event and I will be back. With Cape Town’s exploding Silicon Cape tech start-up scene you could easily attend 2 or 3 meet-ups a week, but this one is definitely a premier event. As to the talks, some were spectacular, and one or two very mediocre. I’m not going to dis the mediocre ones, just talk about the ones I thought were winners.

For sheer “Big Picture” insight, my prize would definitley go to the very 1st speaker of the day Erik Jan Bijvank. Erik spoke about the 5 human senses and how the one that is so often overlooked and that we have integrated into our technology least is Touch. Sight (jpgs) and Sound (mp3) were digitized yonkers ago, but touch is still proving very elusive. Yet for us humans Touch is huge. Just look at Steve Job’s invention of the TouchScreen to see how disruptive touch can be. And, if you think about it, that’s only the very first baby step in haptic technology. Its got a long way to go – the screens we touch are still smooth and cold. Touch is a topic I have written about before, and, inspired by Bijvank, will be writing about again soon.

The next winners in my view were a combination of two talks – the 10 minute pitch by former comedian (now marketing strategist) Don Packett, who shook us all up and told us how pathetic the average internet marketing firms USP’s  – Unique Selling Points -are (everybody spewing out the same old drivel, just repacked in fancy sounding ways).

This was a powerful point and dovetailed perfectly with my favourite talk of the day, by Loop musician Dave Ferguson. More of a show than a talk Dave did have a few words to say on the future of marketing and his message was this:


Yes the most unique selling point every person can ever have is themselves. Its the single thing nobody else can copy. And Dave was not just saying it, he was doing it as he was saying it. Kudos to Dave Ferguson (and his music rocked too)!



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