Trends & Topics from the 2012 Dealmakers Summit

I spoke at the 2012 DeSilva+Phillips Dealmakers Summit last week. It was a quick presentation at about 10 minutes, but that’s all it takes (less, actually) for anyone to see why Smartling matters for website translation and localization. I spent the rest of the day watching and listening to some great keynotes and company presentations, and two big themes stood out.

Social, Local, Mobile

The big themes of the day were social, local, and mobile (SoLoMo). No surprise there. Now, how companies were using these trends, that is surprising. Like Broadcastr, for example. Here’s a company re-imagining what it means to walk through your own neighborhood, or anyone else’s neighborhood.

Broadcastr hits the big three by turning your smartphone into an interactive map. The app delivers content to you based on your location, and it goes far beyond coupons to nearby restaurants. It delivers stories, travel guides (from partner Fodor’s), images and more.

Other presenters included Small Planet (top iPad developers), LocalResponse (a check-in based local ad platform with a 67% click-through rate), and Snooth (an online wine community).

A common theme to all of these presentations is allowing people to find the content they want, whether it’s a guide to the Empire State Building, an app for Disneyland, a coupon for the store they’re running errands in, or other people who love the same cabernet – it’s all about giving the people what they want. Smartling, of course, helps people find what they want in their native language. If you paired any of these companies with the Smartling translation platform, I think you’d see some amazing things happen.

Building A Valuable Company

The other notes I have are from the earliest presentation of the day, Dan McCarthy’s keynote about building a valuable company. He noted four requirements for building a valuable company:

  • large/strong market opportunity
  • platform-like solutions
  • downside protection from risk
  • viable growth strategy

I think we have our bases covered here at Smartling, especially in terms of participation in a strong market (translation & localization is a $30B+ industry) and a platform solution (hello, Smartling translation management platform).

We’re also disrupting an old and static market with an innovative new solution. The website translation and localization industry works off of a 25-year-old file-based workflow. (Let’s replace your laptop with a 25-year-old computer – I’m sure it will be efficient.) Smartling is disrupting the typical workflow of Excel documents, out-of-context translations, and emptying pockets to afford website localization. Yes, I’d say we’re building ourselves a valuable company, don’t you think?