The eclectic line-up at the Advantage conference in Malta included a rockstar and a world record-breaking Olympic athlete.
The sun blazed at the Malta Hilton, a welcome break from the UK rainstorms, while Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson (centre right) told delegates about piloting a customised B757 on world tours – no post-gig Jack Daniels for Bruce.
The rocker-turned-pilot-turned-businessman has recently sold a $500 million airship project to the US military, yet still has an individual philosophy: “99 per cent of our lives is rubbish,” he told delegates. “The key to creativity is making that 1 per cent precious.”
Meanwhile, legendary 200/400m sprinter Michael Johnson (top right) received a standing ovation when he entered the auditorium. He talked about his dramatic career, which included four Olympic gold medals and nine World Championships, plus a 400m world record that’s lasted 13 years. He inspired the audience saying how he overcame injuries and setbacks by focusing 100 per cent on the factors he could influence, and ignoring those things that were out of his control.
“I craft my dreams into ambitions, refine my ambitions into goals and turn my goals into plans,” said Johnson. On a less cerebral note, he also said he gained motivation from not liking Carl Lewis.
Another winner was futurologist Magnus Lindkvist(bottom right), who had the conference laughing and talking about his memorable pronouncements. He talked about the “positive unexpected,” asking: “What will be the next green pig?” – referring to the phenomenal success of the Angry Birds app game, downloaded 800 million times.
In social media, he cited the “Gaga unit” – comparing a brand’s social media reach with that of Lady Gaga’s Twitter feed. Easyjet boasts 0.019 Gaga units. However, the Cats that look like Hitler website beats Easyjet with a 0.031 rating.
More Lindkvist gems:
- Punk capitalism: he cited a young woman who wanted to create a silent alarm clock. With a zero capital start up, she’s now selling her Mutewatch around the world.
- Technology needs to become boring before it can change things – ie cheap and ubiquitous.
- The tangible benefits of travel: In Manchester’s Midland hotel in 1906, a Mr Rolls bumped into Mr Royce and struck up a conversation…
- Recycle failures: the song Torn was tried and recycled four times before becoming a global hit for Natalie Imbruglia. “We’ve tried that before” is the most idiotic phrase in business, said Lindkvist.
Business stories from the Advantage Conference 2012:
Gamification is the way forward for travel policy
Prepare for 'business as usual' during Olympics
Advantage census: Air sales rising but more crisis planning needed