THINGS I LEARNED IN THE VALLEY

In May of 2015 I was invited to give the keynote on the second day of the country's largest Tech conference LOGIN (to put things into perspective though: they only have 3M citizens). Just like always, I started my talk with an energizer to get the crowd to be present and to prime them on the topic of my speech ("Things I learned in the Valley").

I told them the beginning of the story (YouTube team released a dedicated video app for iOS) and the end of the story (5-10% of the videos were uploaded upside down). In groups of two, they had to discuss the middle part of the story, the "why did it happen?" Over the course of a minute, I gave them three clues – yet no one got the solution. We then solved it together.

I got everyone (about 2,000 people) to stand up again, turn on recording mode and to hold up their phones. I then asked everyone who was holding his phone in the right hand to sit down. What we were left with were 5-10% of left-handed users who flipped their phones and therefore caused the videos to be uploaded upside-down. Our almost exclusively right-handed developer team was subject to the phenomenon of "unconscious bias" and didn't design for left-handed users.

The rest of the talk was primarily focused on some of the lessons I learned in Silicon Valley, from disruption to empathetic-driven leadership and from new competitive dynamics to how to build a great company culture. In return for my appearance, I asked for a donation to my most recent fundraiser and I was extremely delighted that LOGIN had donated $3,000. 

You can read various reviews and articles on VZ, 15 min, and Lrytas – well, only if you speak Lithuanian.