Snapshot of the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit 2011 #DILS11

The Discovery Invest Leadership Summit happened this Wednesday and caused a lot of conversation both online, and among attendees at the Sandton Convention Centre (Johannesburg). Being my first one, I had really high expectations, and they raised the bar from the moment I arrived.

Without going into too much detail about all the talks, the speakers who stood out for me were Dan Ariely and Chris Anderson. It is not the things I hear or see for the first time that make sense, it’s realizing I’ve overlooked them in all of their simplicity.


Note from Chris Anderson’s talk


He spoke about concepts from his book ‘FREE – The Future Of A Radical Price’. Here are some highlights:

  • Zero as a price, is not a price, yet drives economic behaviour.
  •  The internet created the new form of FREE, which is really free.
  • Things are too cheap to meter when you can treat them as though they were free.
  • “In a competitive market, price falls to the marginal cost.” – Joseph Bertrand 1883.
  •  This era is the end of physical media, as all media goes digital, it is moving to a marginal cost of zero.
  • Younger people have more time than money, older people more money than time. As a result young people can consume free, yet problematic media that has formatting issues, with advertising. But the older audience would rather pay for a better service.
  • We created the internet, with our content, our ideas and our time.

In closing: As you offer your service or product for ‘free’, what will you sell that people will need to use with your product?

Dan Ariely

His talk was about irrational behaviour, its importance in our business and personal lives. Here are some key points:

  • “As decisions get bigger, we don’t know what to do and leave it to someone else to make that decision for us.” He was referring to how we make choices and decisions when using online platforms and deciding on courses of action.
  • We need to evaluate things in relative terms, rather than absolute terms.
  • “How is it possible that people working in a particular field are always wrong based on their intuition and legacy?” Because things have always been done a certain way, we continue to do them that way without questioning.
  • Opportunities exist for us to constantly improve ourselves.  How often does intuition fail us? It is time we tried something else, doubt your intuition and try something else.

Without taking away from all the other speakers, these are some of the many highlights from the conference. For snippets of all the other talks, have a look at the conference blog here.


Image by PopTech on Flickr