“The future is now” was the motto of this year’s Porsche Latin America PSM (Press, Sales and Marketing) Conference. Instead of just glancing at the future developments of our industry from afar, from our regional Miami office or one of our markets where we usually convene for this annual meeting, we decided to go to the epicentre of our present and future technologies – Silicon Valley. Well, we actually stayed in San Francisco and went on two excursions to have an inside into industry leaders like LinkedIn and Google, as well as getting to know start-up developers at BootUp Ventures. Back at our conference room in San Francisco we then applied those learnings and insights to our daily business and our very own challenges.

Silicon Valley certainly is a vibrant place, full of international prodigies looking for business opportunities, for success, for fame, for richness. A modern version of the gold diggers that set out to the far West, today’s entrepreneurs from all around the world look at Silicon Valley to fulfil their own American Dream. This now famous and renowned high-tech hub in the Southern region of the San Francisco Bay Area was originally known for and named after the large number of silicon chip innovators and manufacturers based there. And while it now is home to around 40 businesses in the Fortune 1000 and accounts for one third of the venture capital investment in the U.S., the genius IT geeks do not lie around on campus all day, or play beach volleyball, or snooze in the meditation rooms. This romanticised image of Silicon Valley does not reflect the very serious business made in the offices of Google and Co. Business that is having a much larger influence on our lives than we know, and whose influence is getting larger by the minute.

The smartphone was only introduced 10 years ago, but in this brief period of time it has evolved to be a true extension of ourselves. Without it we feel “naked” or as if a part of our body were missing. A culturally somehow sad, yet seemingly unavoidable and irreversible development. In average we unlock our phones 150 times per day to spend just a couple of minutes with some of our apps each time. We do everything on our electronic devices, mostly on our smartphones – not that it makes a huge difference, since all devices are linked with each other through the cloud and our several accounts. Through all those accounts on our computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, smart watches, and even in our cars we are not only completely traceable, but virtually transparent to the owner of these data. We mostly value the comforts of modern technology more than our online privacy. A nightmare for the fight for data protection, an open playground for online marketing.

We are no longer targeted with the shotgun of marketing tools, but through the pipe of a sniper rifle. I know, a politically incorrect analogy for a pacifist like me, but you get the message… This has already been the present for some time, smart companies making use of these data, other companies falling behind with old-school business methods. And the future will change even more. “Mobile first” has already gotten an old motto for companies trying to translate their products, websites, and sales and marketing efforts into the world of mobile-friendliness and the new expectations of their mobile customers. “AI first” is the new motto of our friends in Silicon Valley. Artificial Intelligence – a world that led to many armageddon scenarios in cinematographic utopias like The Matrix or Terminator, only to name the two most popular ones. The machines, algorithms that don’t age, never get sick, never even sleep, but don’t stop to learn seem a little bit scary, indeed. Yet we already profit from their wisdom in form of apps on our phones if we try to translate from language to another, or if we want to get from A to B. And this is just the beginning.

The future has always been delightfully frightening, but never as much as now. The evolutionary steps get bigger and bigger, and in much smaller intervals. Keep up, or be left behind. We went to Silicon Valley to learn about the future and went back with thousands of ideas for the present. An exciting and inspiring experience and a PSM Conference packed with information, but also with a lot of fun and enjoyment of this great team representing Porsche in the different markets of Latin America and the Caribbean. Exciting times lie ahead. And we intend to keep up!

The Porsche Latin America PSM Conference was more than just a regular conference, it was an amazing and eye-opening experience, not least thanks to the insights to LinkedIn(thanks to Ana Moises), BootUP Ventures and the Silicon Valley Innovation Center (thanks to Andy Zhulenev and his colleagues), and, last but for sure not least, Google(thanks to Dr. Johannes Graßmann, Michael Complojer and Aprajita Jain).

First appeared in Porsche Latin America linkedin.

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