5 things I learned attending C2 Spark in Milan

c2_logoA few weeks ago I had the privilege to attend C2 Spark conference in Milan. It is a “business conference somewhere between genius and insanity by Sid Lee, Cirque du Soleil, Fast Company and Microsoft” and try to mix Commerce and Creativity. It started in Montreal a few years ago and this was the first time in Europe (Zurich and Milan).

Talks were awesome and people were awesome too. Is quite strange for me meet non tech people and I really enjoy the day. I learned a lot of things attending the conference. Here the most fascinating ones.

Technology will change everything, again.

David Rose, scientist at MIT Media Lab and author of “Enchanted Objects” talks about the way we imagined the future. Internet of Things will be a huge opportunity and a lot of products are already here. Here is the “periodic table” of the Enchanted Objects who David shown us.

enchanted_objects_poster

Microsoft has enough money to reboot its business

Ten year ago Microsoft make a lot of billions on Windows and Office. Now Windows and Office worth nothing and Microsoft is trying to reboot its business with cloud (Windows Azure), mobile (Nokia and Surface) and wearable (Microsoft Band). Carlo Purassanta, CEO of Microsoft Italia, was clear: Microsoft is changing. He first ran for the conference wearing a Microsoft Band.

carlo_purassanta

Non tech people are awesome

I never had great respect for the non-technical people. “I can change the world, they can’t“, a lot of modesty and respect. I grow up inside a really close environment made by nerds and geeks and I always thought non-technical people have nothing to give me. I was wrong. I was absolutely wrong. At the event people came from different fields: diplomacy, medicine, sales, biology, advertising, marketing, law and more. Each of them has enriched me in some way. Non tech people are awesome 🙂

non-tech-people

Creativity could be an analytical process

Sid Lee, creativity firm behind C2 Spark describes the process behind its most successful advertising campaigns. A lot of myths about creativity are just myths and, with the right process, anyone could express his creativity.

creativity_process

Jump on table to move them is definitely cool

Time between talks and workshops where staff move tables is usually boring. At C2 Spark tables were moved by a parkour crew jumping and dancing around the room. It was absolutely useless by definitely cool! 😀

c2_parkour-2 c2_parkour-4 c2_parkour-1 c2_parkour-3

[UPDATE 2014-12-27 21:10 CET]

Seems a lot of people at Microsoft liked my article 🙂 Carlo Purassanta (CEO at Microsoft Italy), Carlo Rinaldi (Digital Marketing Group Leader at Microsoft Italia) and Chiara Mizzi (CMO at Microsoft Italia) shared it:

How it Works: Datalytics

I few days ago I have been at Codemotion in Milan and I had the opportunity to discover some insights about technologies used by two of our main competitor in Italy: BlogMeter and Datalytics. It’s quite interesting because, also if technical challenges are almost the same, each company use a differente approach with a different stack.

datalytics_logo

Datalytics a is relatively new company founded 4 months ago. They had a desk at Codemotion to show theirs products and recruit new people. I chatted with Marco Caruso, the CTO (who probably didn’t know who I am, sorry Marco, I just wanted to avoid hostility 😉 ), about technologies they use and developer profile they were looking for. Requires skills was:

Their tech team is composed by 4 developers (including the CTO) and main products are: Datalytics Monitoring™ (a sort of statistical dashboard that shows buzz stats in real time) and Datalytics Engage™ (a real time analytics dashboard for live events). I have no technical insights about how they systems works but I can guess some details inferring them from the buzz words they use.

Supported sources are Twitter, Facebook (only public data), Instagram, Youtube, Vine (logos are on their website) and probably Pinterest.

They use DataSift as data source in addition to standard APIs. I suppose their processing pipeline uses Storm to manage streaming input, maybe with an importing layer before. Data is crunched using Hadoop and Java and results are stored on MongoDB (Massimo Brignoli, Italian MongoDB evangelist, advertise their company during his presentation so I suppose they largely use it).

Node.js should be used for frontend. Is fast enough for near real time application (also using websockets) and play really well both with Angular.js and MongoDB (the MEAN stack). D3.js is obviously the only choice for complex dynamic charts.

I’m not so happy when I discover a new competitor in our market segment. Competition gets harder and this is not fun. Anyway guys at Datalytics seems smart (and nice) and compete with them would be a pleasure and will push me to do my best.

Now I’m curios to know if Datalytics is monitoring buzz on the web around its company name. I’m going to tweet about this article using #Datalytics hashtag. If you find this article please tweet me “Yes, we found it bwahaha” 😛

[UPDATE 2014-12-27 21:18 CET]

@DatalyticsIT favorite my tweet on December 1st. This probably means they found my article but the didn’t read it! 😀

How to stay updated about data science and big-data

data_science

During the last year I refined my RSS collection about big-data, data science and analytics. I usually check it everyday in order to discover a ton of new cool technologies and have fun. Here is the updated list.

Bloggers

News about emerging technologies, scalability and data

Data companies, social networks and search engines

Companies supporting e distributing big-data processing products

Recently I discovered the awesome data science list that contains a list of interesting blogger I haven’t time to check yet. You can surely find something more in it. I’ll try to publish an update when I’ll check it.

[UPDATE 2014-09-22 11:35]

Thanks to @onurakpolat for correcting my link to awesome data science list. Previous link was to his fork, the original repo is https://github.com/okulbilisim/awesome-datascience by @okulbilisim

Give a presentation using Leap Motion

leap_motion_logoA couple of days ago I was working on a presentation about Datasift UX to give to my colleagues the day after. While I was trying the presentation I notice the Leap Motion (a friendly loan from @luka_bernardi) on my desk. Is it the Leap Motion ready to use in this scenario?

leap_motion_macbook

On the Airspace store I found two interesting applications: Presentable and PRSNTA, both free.

Presentable

“Get your presentation superpowers”

presentable_screenshot

It seems a flexible product. You can import PDF data (exporting it from Apple Keynote or Microsoft Powerpoint or whatever), create slides from any web page and use video (also from Youtube). Leap Motion gives you some special ability: scroll web pages by hovering hand up or down, go to next page by drawing a clockwise circle in the air and using a pencil (or something similar) you can access a “Virtual Laser Pointer“.

I just need to change page during my presentation so I trained myself to go ahead and back drawing a clockwise circle in the air. After a couple of minutes of training I feel like an idiot. Almost half of my circle in the air wasn’t accepted by the system and when anything doesn’t work you immediately seems like an idiot. So I tried PRSNTA.

PRSNTA

“Show your presentations in a completely new way”

prsnta_screenshot

It isn’t different than Presentable but functionalities are easier: it only support images and PDFs. Also gesture are easier: move your hand from right to left to go ahead and from left to right to go back. You had some special gestures to change slide using different effects and some others to highlight, use a virtual pointer and display messages.

Training was a bit better but still a pain. After a dozen of slide change the app doesn’t respond anymore and to change slide you need to wait for about 15 seconds felling like an idiot.

The day after with natural light and more training, things go better but I decided to not give the presentation using Leap Motion. The WOW effect doesn’t worth the feel-like-an-idiot risk.

Leap Motion is an awesome product but applications are still young and users aren’t ready to exploit a completely new way to interact with their system. Device and application need to be improved and mind of users have to be trained too.