UPGRADE 100 – 6 insights to change your views


UPGRADE 100 - change your life starting now - 6 insight

“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
Remember when this question used to be legit? This is because we used to predict the future based on past experiences.
This is linear thinking.
Due to technology and its evolution at a very high speed, exponential thinking is becoming the new “must have” mindset.

UPGRADE 100 (rebranded from iCEE.fest) brings all the people together that are connected to the digital network, that walk the change and envision the future that is far beyond what we can imagine now.
Why? Because it will unfold around new concepts that not yet exist but can become real the next day.
Furthermore, let us present you some valuable insights from this year’s edition and speakers that stayed with us at the end of the day.

The more emotionally invested you are, the less critical you become. - David JP Philips (professional speaker)

Professional speaker, David, managed to catch the audience’s eyes and focus over an “Angels Cocktail”, by tactically carrying the audience through an emotional carousel. Though we were all aware of the technical process, inevitably your amygdala connects and you feel the reactions in your body.

What does this have to do with technology and the digital era?

The answer is quite obvious. No matter what new tool you use to catch the eyes of your client, it will always be the core story that actually sells your product or service. Preferably, a story infused with serotonin, oxytocin, dopamine or endorphins, our above mentioned “Angels Cocktail”.

Storytelling is the tool similar to LOVE, that induces the same feelings as if you were in love.

So, if you’re reading this, what’s your story? Is it something you would “fall in love” with?

Simple. Surprising. Significant - Ben Kepler (PR Hacking)

How do you make your message viral?

Well, Ben Kepler pointed out in his presentation, with an effervescent conviction, that this is the magic formula: make it simple, surprising but significant.

Always go for targeting emotions that cause immediate reactions. Even more, to emphasize on this matter he made a simple test with a random article title that is most probably was somewhere in our Facebook feed at one point: “Your dog’s breed reveals your romance potential.”

  • Can you understand it in less than 7 seconds?
  • Does it defy your expectations?
  • Does it convey a deeper truth?


Of course, it does. At least for the majority of people.

And that is sufficient to make a story viral. Hence, the context in which we place our product/idea/service is the one with the virality potential. Ideas are just ideas until you bring them closer to your audience in a context that resonates with them.

How do you plan to catch your audience’s attention under 7 seconds?

How do we create content in the controversy era? - Quinn Donato (Coca-Cola)

Consumers would not even be bothered if 75% of the brands now on the market would disappear.

This is a result of the overwhelming avalanche of new products that appear. And many of the newly launched brands don’t even resist the first year on the shelf.

We live in an era where we can hardly tell which news is true or false.

But what we can tell is whether the news is controversial. And this is something that brands need to have in mind when creating content relevant to their audience. Everything around us changes, but what will always remain the same are people’s beliefs and values.

Nevertheless, every piece of content you launch should have these important characteristics: memorable, emotional, remarkable, personal.

Even more, Quinn gave us as an example of a successful campaign. It was launched to mark the referendum for changing the Constitution about how the legal form of a family should be. They paired bottles in different combinations and put them under #samefeeling, showing that for the brand there’s no difference in how the “right” family should look like. The campaign ended up having over 2 million reaches.

Does your content resonate with your audience’s values?

Dear influencer – for how long you think can you keep your job – Olivier Billon (Ykone)

Influencers. They are a controversial topic. However, influencer marketing is big business. As an influencer, your revenue is conditioned by the number of your followers. Hence, the temptation for fake followers is pretty big. So is the case of one of the biggest influencers.
Until… you can fool the whole world, but you won’t Oliver.

The founder of Ykone, a company that facilitates collaborations between luxury & beauty brands and influencers that is working for some of the most prestigious brands in the world, including Dior, Moet & Chandon, Chanel, L’Oreal, Gucci, La Prairie, MAC Cosmetics.

At UPGRADE 100 he presented the technology developed by them, he and his team can easily identify if influencers are faking it.

How does it work? It can identify unusual activity in the growth of an influencer’s fanbase, taking into account the sudden fall and growth of the number of followers and also the country of origin of the new followers.

Why the sudden fall? Because Instagram is deleting the fake account, bread at what is called “click farms”. Why the sudden growth? Because the influencer is compensating with a new buy.
So, here are some tips if you are thinking of getting into the influencer business.

  • Search for talent, not followers.
  •  Be authentic – not real, but transparent.
  • Have an angle that surprises people.


Also, don’t think just human. It might be just a matter of time until the fictional influencers like @lilmiquella or @noonoouri will take over the market.

Are you already considering signing a deal with fictional influencers?

Facebook marketing that blows your mind - Christina Keller – (Facebook)

Christina – director of creative shop, Central Europe at Facebook is creating, together with her team of copywriters, planners and art directors – huge innovative campaigns.

Inclusive fashion show

So is the case of their collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger. Their insight was – fashion shows are so exclusive, let’s get everyone to the show. So, they developed a technology for the interested to be able to watch the shows live. You can watch it with your best friend if you put your phones together, and you can watch it with even more friends, depending on the city of the show (NY, Tokyo, Paris) putting next to each other 3 or 4 phones. Also, with just a touch on your phone, you could buy the clothing that you just saw. A shared real-time experience. Needless to say, it had a huge impact on the revenue of this fashion brand.

Viral campaign

Further, she presented the #Airdrop campaign for Red Bull, that was hailed by some as the “Largest Guerrilla Stunt Ever”. Ballons were dropping huge boxes of energy drink on campuses without any previous announcement. So, if you were a student and you needed some energy for your exams, you might just have been in the lucky university that got the surprise.
The hype was amazing because of a very well-planned campaign, that was cascaded down to every possible marketing channel + the Pitch. Play. Plunge philosophy of Christina and her team.
Are you using your channels to the max?

Are you ready to change everything you have learned about the world so far? – Salim Ismail (Singularity University)

If we were to choose only one speaker from all the 200 (199 + 1 robot) it would be him. Ladies and gentlemen… Salim Ismail – the cherry on all tech cakes.
Since your whole worldview has changed after listening to him it is a near-impossible job to share all his insight. But here are 3 of his ideas from UPGRADE 100:

1. Being anxious about all the bad that technology can bring?
Salim says – chill out. According to leading experts in the fields like sociology, anthropology and behavioral science, the ratio of good to bad is 8000 to 1. Meaning that whenever someone does something bad, not that there are just 2 that do good, but actually 8000. If you were feeling otherwise, it is because of that media that exaggerates negative news to grab your attention.

2. Forget about your diploma, for real.
Since the public sector has a very bad immunity but the academic one even worse – knowledge acquired there will be already obsolete when you would be ready to use it.
Blockchain – which, Salim says will do so much to the world like the internet – will drastically change everything from government to education. The notion that your knowledge has to be approved by some academy is no longer valid. The revolution towards self-regulating environments has already started.

3. Representative democracy is no longer working.
This concept was invented when the information was scarce, and traveling was hard. One designated person from a region had to deliver the information to a central regulating force (the government), representing the will of the people. Now everything is one click away.
Also, when asked about the future of governments, Salim said power is granulating down from a country level to a city level. Until that, small countries should be more optimistic, because they can adapt better.
As he said: “Think about it, the best colleagues you have are the ones who learn the fastest.”

Thank you, Salim, for our new-born existential crisis. 😀

After all this, the question is – what is the next step for you?

Don’t forget – having mind-blowing experiences start with being in the right place. So be with us. Start your journey now, here.

By the way – did you install the best version of yourself already?

Find out more about UPGRADE 100, here.

Techsylvanian gold – 5 ideas to go – DAY 2​

Techsylvania Day 2

Techsylvanian gold – 5 ideas to go - DAY 2

This day was just out of space… X.
Techsylvania – Day 2 really brought some “gold” information. And by that, we mean a larger spectrum of perspectives. Beyond the atmosphere, we dare to say.

1. The trend is deglobalization – Peter Yared (InCountry)

Scaling a business is a really important part of the process when it comes to a globalized world. However, Peter says that globalization is so passe, and we are entering a deglobalized era. He basically states, that with the technological evolution we are now better of if we produce locally. Even if, for now, say 3D printing a piece you need, costs more than to ship it from the other part of the world, soon it will replace it. One of the main reasons is data regulation. Even with highly globalized businesses, like McDonald’s, all data related regulation is local. This is a lot of headache for businesses.
As Peter puts it “It is not as simple as it seems.”

So, Peter, seems like in this emerging data-regulated world is better to go local? Hmmm. Well that’s an interesting shift we’ll think about.

2. The new, the better Silicon Valley? - Peter Vesterbacka (FinEst Bay Area)

First, you have to know that Peter is Finnish. He also illuminated all the Formula 1 lovers, who follow Kimi Raikkonen. Whenever he was asked after winning or coming in second place, how he felt about it, he said OK. Thus, his branding of an ice-cold man. Turns out OK, in Finnish means superrrrr!
Back to the topic – the revolutionary thought of Peter and his team is the power of their imagination. Their project is to build a tunnel between Estonia and Finland with infra and supra-structure. What is crazy about it is that the main purpose is to create “gravity”, a place with great “talent density”. Through the attractiveness of the project the talent will arrive, and everything will bloom. Hence, the best of side-products will emerge: opportunity.

Peter, we were blown away by your ideas and experience.

3. Easy access to data is like accessing trust. - Vlad Trifa (Ambrosus)

Vlad Trifa is a computer scientist, researcher, and entrepreneur with a key role in defining and implementing the application layer of the Internet of Things. Today he talked about the almost natural connection between IoT and Blockchain, insisting that democratic access to a network is fundamental nowadays. And blockchain can assure that democratic transparency.
Though, only this year people started to understand the real value of it, until now being treated a bit superficial. The easiest way to a client’s mind though is through the “traditional” consulting and only after, presenting blockchain as the solution to his need. So, the challenge in the new “love story” between IoT and the new-comer, blockchain, remains working closely with the client to get him involved in the “story”.

Vlad, we trust your opinion!

4. When you have 0 connections, where do you start? – Fang Yuan – Baidu Ventures

To be born in certain places can make the road to success easier. It also depends very much on your connections. However, turns out there is no such thing as 0 connections. But where do you start?
Close friends. They are the closest connection you have. Then, you should identify your “super connectors” – these are also your friends who won’t necessarily help directly, but they know people. As Fang Yuan puts it when it comes to getting in touch “be shameless, but not annoying”.

After them, try and meet people where they are – look for them at any kind of business gathering that could be useful for you. Techsylvania is a good example. Just then, you should search for potential “helpers” on the social network channel. When you do so, make sure you did your research. Don’t waste your time with unresearched e-mails sent out. And finally, the very best advice: look for people who are incentivized to help you.

Great advice, Fang Yuan. It makes a lot of sense.

5. There is actually a race to the moon. And not in a metaphoric way. - Tom Mueller (Co-Founder of SpaceX)

The previous speakers of Tecsylvania – Day 2, pointed to other horizons than we are not used to looking. To the impact of the place where you are born in your success, to shifting from global to local, to give importance to the network either human or virtual and creating an ideal habitat where human potential and not only can flourish.
And then there’s Tom Mueller. Taking all these ideas and launching them literally outer space. With the precision of a well-documented scientist, he talks about inhabiting and terraforming Mars, racing to the Moon for water supplies and colonization. It’s like you’re hearing a story about Columbus and his aspirations back in history, yet it’s a reality that it’s taking place parallel to our much ordinary daily life. 

Space tourism is an option. Although eccentric nowadays, soon to be affordable. After all, according to his presented data, the solar system’s solid surface is about 10 times bigger than the Earth’s. Nevertheless, should we ask ourselves or not the question: do we give up on Earth, “cause it’s finite” and go for the Moon? 

We just don’t slow down because “it’s not in human nature” to do so and sky-rocket to space, as Tom Mueller said?

Grounded or straight from outer space, these 5 ideas from Techsylvania – Day 2 are meant to stick to your mind just like a post-it that reminds you when you get lost in the routine that are bigger things coming your way.

Until next year, AROBS will use wisely the inspiration infused by Techsylvania days.

If you didn’t get the chance to read the summary ideas from Techsylvania – Day 1, you can find them here.

Also, feel like you want a team like AROBS has – be part of it! Check this out!




Techsylvanian gold – 5 ideas – DAY 1

Techsylvania 2019

Techsylvanian gold – 5 ideas to go

What is really important when it comes to a business, is there a pinky promise in the online world, what is your company obsessed about, are painkillers easier to sell than vitamins? – these are just some of the questions that were discussed today, on the first day of Techsylvania, the Conference.

If you didn’t get the chance to attend or just want a refresh, we picked out 5 ideas that worth thinking about.

1. There is no pinky promise when it comes to online privacy – Ricardo Mendez – Samsung NEXT

They say the internet is a place of no law. Actually, no law – yet. Ricardo Mendez talks about how we can establish our identity.
“Identity is the core of our life, and digital identity is an aggregate of what we do online.”
Since this is so important to us, as human beings, we cannot trust companies like Facebook to decide. Also, regulations and fines have 0 effect.
“I wouldn’t really trust Facebook, as long as they are an ad company.”
The best solution yet?

Thanks, Ricardo for the homework!

2. The patient should be in the driver’s seat, not in the backseat – Adrian Peake – Medicover

An open panel, moderated by Don Lothrop of Press One about how technology and healthcare can come together to speed up the revolution towards the benefit of the patients.
Bottom line is:
“We can’t do healthcare in traditional ways anymore. The true disruption will come externally” – meaning technology should take the first step and meet the needs of healthcare.
The future should be simple, making doctor’s appointments online, finding the best doctor through app recommendations, just like we find things on Tripadvisor.

3. Simple things can look important taken out of context – John Biggs – Techcrunch

And here the context is that industry outsiders don’t… understand… tech. In the investors rush for the most profitable ideas they forget to check their facts. Sometimes the big ideas are nothing but words that swallow in a lot of money.
Lesson learned, check the content, not just the context because we all tend to blindly believe the “specialists”.
Great, John – good tip for all of us!

4. Painkillers are easier to sell than vitamins – Adam Jackson – Braintrust

Adam states right at the beginning – venture capitalism isn’t for everyone. But for the ones who do choose this path he has some very pragmatic advice that will also keep your confidence level high.

One of the most important advice concerning the investor – venturer relationship is just that: repeat to yourself often, they need you more than you need them. Also, because there is more venture money in the world than good ventures.

When looking for investors you need to start with their needs. Think about it, since investors base their decisions on pattern-matching (similarity in successful stories) and your idea is too innovative – you won’t get your money. Because they are looking for painkillers that solve an actual problem while vitamins just might prevent something that isn’t there.

Adam – we think we got it – we won’t invest in “vitamins” no more. #deep

5. Find your obsession, have a purpose – Donald DeSantis – VTS – a highlight of day 1 of Techsylvania

A lot of the most successful companies that are out there right now don’t pay the highest salaries. Because in the long run, it is not about the money it is about a sense of purpose – basically, this is what Donald believes in.

In the QUALITY – SPEED – COST trap, companies can only do well on two. So they just end up in a never-ending loop of compromise. Is there a way out of it?
Yes! Break the loop with PURPOSE. And this should become your obsession- the winning card of the hiring process.
The ones that are just as obsessed as you will align with your values.

Donald, it was a pleasure listening to you!

Also, the award for the best question in the Q&A sessions goes to…
What is harder – hiring or firing?

Answer: Firing is the fault of the company. Either a failure of the screening or the failure of coaching the person to reach their potential.

The AROBS team started day 1 at Techsylvania animating the registration with Even Steven in the mix. A Monday that started with good music ended up being pretty inspiring.

See you tomorrow, we got some surprises for you!

Find out more about the event, here.

Seems like we have similar interest, so we’ll get along.

Check out our vacant spots, there might be something just for you, here.

The winners of AROBS X-Man Romania

winners AROBS X-Man Romania

The winners of AROBS X-Man Romania

Who are the winners of AROBS X-Man Romania – 10th-anniversary edition? For us, the winners are each and every one of those who decided that the 1st of June is the day they will discover new limits.

Nevertheless, we have to give the proper credit to the official winners. They made it to the finish line in record time.

Day 1

The first day we assisted the young generation in the competition, who are catching up with their ambition and courage. The children run a distance in the city center and afterward finish with a cycling trial. Even more, the weather gave the OK and the contest ended with happy kids and proud parents. Furthermore, it seems that a new generation of X-men is growing.

Day 2

7 am and the participants are ready to jump in the water already. The live stream shows them getting prepared to begin the competition. They dived early in the morning into the Săldăbagiu de Munte lake to complete the 3,8 km distance of swim, the first part of the triathlon. The second part of AROBS X-Man Romania is the cycling trial of 180 km, for a long distance. The last part of the competition implies a distance of 42 km or 21 km run, depending on the section in which they registered. Those who participate at the half triathlon, complete only half of the distances.

Nevertheless, the entire competition counts many hours spent on the route. The first male finisher on the long-distance triathlon is Vrabii Andrei, representing the Republic of Moldova. But certainly, the women section also had strong competitors. The general category was won by Koter Adel from Romania.

For more details about all the winners of AROBS X-Man Romania on all the categories, take a look here.

A great day

This kind of day starts at 7 am and ends somewhere at 23 pm for participants and even later for the organizers. But above all, is an incredible energy in assisting these strong sportsmen in their journey to the finish line. The lessons are limitless. You learn that whatever limit you think you have, can always be pushed and exceeded.

AROBS congratulates all the participants, winners of AROBS X-Man Romania and not least, the volunteer crew that made the entire day more bearable and fun!

Fly over Cluj with the AROBS paraglider!

arobs techsylvania

Fly over Cluj with the AROBS paraglider!

We know you’re gonna be at Techsylvania for the tech. So, we wanna “break the code” and make a twist! Register to the conference while listening to @EvenStevenOfficial. Feel like dancing already :D? Feel free to do whatever you want, but be prepared to be surprised, because we always have something more down our sleeve!

Right after you enter the premises, come to the AROBS stand for an exciting VR experience and fly over Cluj with the AROBS paraglider! If you stand on your both feet after the flight, you will get an apple. A green apple, an AROBS green apple.

You can find us there on 10th and 11th of June!