Time to fuel up: key take-aways from Medialaan’s Fuel event

On Thursday April 19, Medialaan hosted the second edition of FUEL, an event with the ambitious promise to put you years ahead. We are fans of the first hour since we attended the opening edition last year, making us hungry for this year’s edition.
Giving the stage to twelve inspirational speakers, FUEL actually dares to take on the challenge of translating all the new buzzwords such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual and Augmented Reality, etc. into business meaning. Here are our personal take-aways from this inspiring day…

A compass for relevance

The first speaker always gets the pleasure of waking up the audience. And no better person to do so than Dietmar Dahmen. He literally made the point that we should break out of our comfort zone by actually using a chainsaw to cut a chair in two on stage. Dietmar’s motivational/ inspirational speech did not only warm up the audience, it also provided a compass for the rest of the day. He stated that all new technology, all new applications will only be relevant as long as they provide something that your customers want.
And on his compass, the customer wants 4 things:

  • SIMPLICITY: new technology should make things easier for the customers. The challenge is to take the work out of the hands of the consumer and work harder yourself, by striving for the ultimate, and that’s not 3 clicks, not 2 clicks, not even 1 click. The ultimate simplicity is automation, which means 0 clicks.
  • SPEED: it’s an open door to state that consumers want things faster. But don’t think that you or your employees can do things fast. Machines will, though.
  • CONNECTIVITY: if content is king, connectivity is ‘King Kong’. Platforms like Facebook, Amazon and Google bring consumers together in the fastest way possible. So where do you win? By adding experience to these platforms.
  • INDIVIDUALITY: stop thinking in segments; all consumers want different things at different times, depending on different moods. We should strive for more personalization if we want to fulfill the needs of the customer of tomorrow.


The rest of the day brought us numerous new-tech examples: UJO music connects musicians directly with their public on the Blockchain, the BBC creates 50,.000 versions of a film by intelligently picking the one that best fits you, and Jasna Rok sees a future in fashion with clothes that make your mood visible.

They all have their own story, they all are very inspiring. However, they all get you thinking: what can we do with this?
Peter Hinssen closed the day by connecting the dots. And he spoke the exact words that I wanted to hear: “It’s okay if I don’t know what I am doing (DKWID), or should be doing, with all this new technology.” Actually, the most successful people in this era don’t know what they’re doing. They simply try things. So, with trial being key, where should we start? Well, let’s not be cocky, you cannot do it alone. Our opening speaker, Dietmar, already revealed the answer right at the start of the day: HIRE! Hire those next-generation superheroes to complete and complement your superhero team. They might also not know what they’re doing, but they already know more than you.
Eager for more? Check out the future of market research! Together with Heineken we explored the opportunities online chat and chatbots can offer to qualitive research. Discover the learnings in the full ‘We have seen the future’ bookzine!

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