Navigating the Waves of Innovation:
Insights from SLUSH 2023

Posted: 06/12/2023

Tamsin Raine shares a reflection on the SLUSH conference, which she won a ticket to as part of winning Bootcamp 2023.

As a proud representative of Jersey businesses, I recently had the incredible opportunity to attend SLUSH, sponsored by Digital Jersey after winning the Business Bootcamp earlier this year. This gathering of global leaders in tech not only provided valuable insights but reignited the excitement for leveraging technology in ocean conservation and storytelling efforts.


Finding Focus Amidst the Tech Buzz

The conference spanned a diverse range of AI topics, from the power of visuals with Victor Riparbelli of Synthesia to the inspiring journey of Sabba Keynejad, Founder of VEED. Sabba emphasized the importance of intentional resource allocation, defining company values, and the blend of visuals in communication—where 80% of video often beats 10% reading.


The Values Behind Innovation

Chairman of Ferrari John Elkann, represented by a clear set of values, stressed the crucial role values play in decision-making. The idea that it’s not an “either-or” scenario but defining the “and” resonated strongly—cultivating a culture ingrained in financial discipline, patience, and drive.


Diversity in Tech Leadership

Gillian Tans led a crucial discussion on the challenges of implementing diversity and inclusion in tech companies. The consensus: Culture is paramount, and cultivating a unified team is essential. Q Hamirani from Paper also emphasized that people are the key to success, regardless of how groundbreaking your invention might be.


Insights into Distributed Teams

In a rapidly evolving world, where geographical boundaries become less relevant, Marcelo Lebre, Co-Founder of Remote, shared profound insights into managing distributed teams. His perspective on navigating the new normal of remote work was a beacon for businesses embracing the global paradigm shift. Lebre emphasized the importance of establishing strong foundations for remote teams. From effective communication tools to well-defined workflows, these foundations lay the groundwork for seamless collaboration irrespective of physical locations.  

Maintaining a shared culture in a remote environment emerged as a key theme. Lebre stressed that a unified company culture is not confined by office walls but is nurtured through shared values, goals, and rituals. In a distributed setting, fostering a sense of belonging becomes pivotal for team cohesion.


Climate Change and Tech’s Role

At the climate summit, luminaries such as Lumbolia and Nico Rosberg passionately underscored the pivotal role of technology in combating climate change—a challenge that stands as one of the paramount issues of our generation. Amongst the 2 day event there were emerging cleantech startups that stole the show with actionable solutions to real-world problems. These startups aren’t merely ideating; they’re actively contributing to a greener future. Special mention goes to initiatives like StreamOcean, which stood out for amplifying the voice of the ocean—an echo that resonates profoundly with the ethos of Ocean Culture Life (OCL). 


Amidst a myriad of discussions, one session ended on a motivational note, urging everyone to consider how their work could contribute to a sustainable future. Juha Paanamen’s reminder—whatever you’re building comes from your passion—served as a rallying cry for infusing environmental consciousness into every tech endeavor.


Wisdom on Product Validation

Tuomas Artman shared his success story with Linear, emphasizing the importance of building what you need and staying motivated. Artman’s journey with Linear began by identifying a genuine need within his work. The first step in product validation is recognising a gap in existing solutions or a pain point that your product can address effectively. It’s not just about creating something new; it’s about solving a real problem.


User feedback is the lifeblood of product validation. Actively seek input from potential users throughout the development process. Whether through beta testing, surveys, or direct engagement, understanding how users interact with and perceive your product provides critical insights for refinement. Artman highlighted the importance of iterating based on real data. Once your product is in the hands of users, gather and analyze data meticulously. Track user behaviors, preferences, and pain points. 


Amidst the complexity of features and functionalities, always keep your core value proposition in focus. Understand what makes your product unique and valuable. This clarity not only guides your development efforts but also helps in communicating your product’s essence to potential users.


Beyond validating the product itself, validate its market fit. Ensure there is a demand for your solution in the market you’re targeting. Analyze market trends, competition, and user behaviors to affirm that your product aligns strategically with the needs of your target audience.


In the challenging journey of product validation, Tuomas Artman’s emphasis on staying motivated through purpose is crucial. Connect with the larger mission behind your product. Understand how it contributes to positive change or addresses a significant need. This sense of purpose can be a powerful driving force. 


Networking Waves

Amidst thousands of attendees, networking was a highlight. Connecting with like-minded individuals such as PlasticFisher and GreenWorms showcased the power of collaboration in the tech space.


In conclusion, SLUSH 2023 was a journey through the currents of innovation, where technology meets purpose. These insights will undoubtedly shape the future endeavours of Ocean Culture Life, as we build the new home for our global community, contributing to the ongoing mission of giving a voice to the ocean.

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