First RockPaperStartups conference which is happening in Rijeka was opened by our Chief Editor Ivan Brezak Brkan who welcomed everybody and thanked all the generous sponsors like Vipnet, Evernote, BlackBerry, Domain.Me and city of Rijeka for working together with the organizers and ultimately making this conference come true. He talked about the program and speakers such as Daniel Burka, Carlos Eduardo Espinal and Robin Wauters who will present over the next two days.
Mladen Pejkovic, CEO of Vipnet shared with the audience that Vipnet was just a startup 15 years ago but after a lot of hard work and people saying “you are crazy” they reached their goal to become an important player in Croatia’s mobile industry. If you really believe it and put some hard work to it, you will make it possible.
If you create something out of noting, you will roll the pendulum of all the good things that can follow. People have the tendency to chase their dreams and work hard on making them come true.
Mayor of Rijeka, Vojko Obersnel and emissary of Croatia’s president Ivo Josipović also welcomed everybody who showed up in Rijeka and came to RockPaperStartups. He told the audience that the Rijeka has a great history when it comes to industry and that he is very excited that this conference is taking place in this city.
Take the initiative, it’s the key
Daniel Burka, designer partner at Google Ventures and former designer of Mozzila Firefox and Digg was first speaker at RockPaperStartups. For the past 15 years, he has been doing important design work for startups and now he can use all of that knowledge when it comes to helping young startups. He told the audience that the key is to take the initiative – he grew in a small province in Canada but that didn’t stopped him from exploring design and web.
When he was a teenager in the late 90’s, he and his friends founded a company which categorized museum pieces and published then on the web. Pretty soon, he and his friends got the hang of some really advance web skills which got them noticed. All of this led to a blog post aimed at Phoenix, a browser which later on became the Firefox.
He and his friends got the deal with Mozilla and after some hard work and lot’s of brand and design change, the Mozzila was topping millions of downloads per version. After several years of working for them, Daniel received a call from Kevin Rose, moved to California and spent the next five years working as a creative director at Digg.
Burka also stated that mobile is happening now, and that designers are the ones who have to adapt really quickly. As a good example, he used Rdio, a music stream service, which is beautifully designed and feels native on the web.
Designers, learn how to create good web apps that feel native. This is the trend and we’re going to see more of it in the future.
Daniel finished up his lecture by saying that “the” thing that motivates him to get up in the morning is an opportunity to create solutions for problems. Go forth, and build he added.