Jamie cooking up pictures at LeWeb London

Picture from LeWeb London by Jamie Oliver on Instagram

Kevin Systrom, co-founder and CEO of Instagram and Jamie Oliver, cook, telivision personality and avid social media user took the stage together this morning. And the whole story of the way in which they know each other started when Kevin found a sneaky way of putting the Instagram app on Jamie Oliver’s phone about a year ago. And the next day he started to use it in his daily life.

Through the pictures he shares, Jamie sees that some things work better than others and some work more easy than others. And that is the way in which he uses it. He shares from his passion and then it is good to see when the things work and when they don’t. He took a picture of him being eaten by zombies one day, and that definitely didn’t work, so he immediately took it off. That is the reason why he likes Instagram. Like he says, when you have a 6 year old nephew who is using it and a dad who is in his sixties and he is using it, then you know it is good.
For Jamie the success of pictures can be seen in the comments and the likes. Apparently nobody in his audience seems to be interested in LeWeb as that only 400 people liked it in 20 minutes. He uses Instagram as a vehicle to share his story and to share moments in his live. And the good part is that he can use it to update his twitter and his Facebook.

A while ago Jamie had to do a speech at Harvard and he just posted a written message on Instagram and he got lots of response. He did the same with a job opening he had and he looks at the 10 hours after it was posted. And he got 300 applications.
The good thing is that it takes him about 15 minutes a day to scan all his responses. So, that is not that bad. His attitude on it is that we are all novices at this stuff and what really seems to work is emotion and recipes. The recipes obviously are due to the audience that follows Jamie. And lots of people are getting his recipes for free. Just before coming on stage, he talked to a women doing makeup and she never bought a book, but she got the recipes from the internet for free. He laughs about it. “It is not good news as I am about publishing, but we need to find out how that works.”

Right now they have a team of 40 people who run JamieOliver.com. And he is an avid user of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Obviously if you have lots of followers and lots of people commenting, you always have jerks there. The good thing about Facebook is that you can just get rid of the comments that are just crap, not true etc. A form of curation is possible. At Twitter this is not possible. And there is a trouble in that, because people will say stuff that isn’t true and other people will pick up on it and quote it as the truth at some later point. And then you will need to get into defending that.

Another reason why Jamie loves Instagram is that when people express themselves through pictures, they share more beautiful things. And when people share in words, it will usually be less beautiful. It can get ugly.

A great example of what online did for Jamie Oliver is that at some point, the FDA in the USA allowed food that was supposed to be processed into dog food, to re-enter the food industry and to be processed for consumers as long as it has 25% of something in there. Obviously that makes it very low quality. So Jamie started to run stories about it online, and the attitude of the American people changed. That had an impact that was so big that in the end, McDonalds pulled out and after they went, everyone else stepped out as well. Jamie has an attitude towards sharing things. If you give the public good information, they usually make good decisions. And this shows.

Jamie really things the future is digital. “I really, really do.” A great example is the way in which the Food Revolution went from a small office to all over the planet just through digital. We have been talking about the fact that TV is going to be changing a lot in the future and then nothing happened. But his idea is that a lot will change in that respect in the coming three years.

When Loïc asked Jamie what his advice was for the entrepreneurs in the audience, Jamie laughs. He points to the popular page at Instagram. “If you want to be successful, just look at the popular page. It is boobs, pretty girls and dogs. So if you want to be big, do something about boobs, pretty girls and dogs.” But then he goes on saying that it is more important to do genuine sharing. It has to be genuine. That means it is about sharing your passion. For him personally, he does not give a success story on how he set up his business. “Genuinely, everything I do is purely driven by creative ideas. If they are good enough they will be successful and it will make money, if they aren’t, they don’t.” He does note the difference between San Francisco and London where when you walk into a coffee bar in SF, you will always hear new ideas buzzing around you. It is a melting pot of ideas. and that is just not as present in London.

Signing off, Jamie shares that if you want to talk to him, you are much more likely to get in touch with him through Instagram than through any other medium. “And thanks for invading LeWeb with an army of French. But for heavens sake, please make the croissants a bit better next time.”

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