My Web Summit
I was fortunate enough to attend the Dublin Web Summit for the first time last Thursday so thought I would share my experiences now that the topical dust has settled.
I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting. I guess I was hoping to be inspired, see what’s happening in the marketplace, and see if there are any products which would make my working life easier. Perhaps even to spark up some conversations that might lead to new partnerships.
Did the Web Summit live up to expectations?
It was like a festival of ideas. When you first walk through the doors, you’re hit with an avalanche of stands, people, logos and devices, with a healthy smattering of queues for anyone brave enough to sell coffees to attendees. Busy would be an understatement.
It seemed fitting that the Irish weather played its drizzly hand on the Web Summit’s final day, as we can’t have people going back home talking about Ireland’s lovely temperature in the late teens in November. Heaven forbid.
Data, start-ups and venture capitalists
By all accounts the weather didn’t deter the Venture Capitalists this year. Apparently these folk don’t wear lanyards, they have expensive watches, and smell like money. They are similar to mystery shoppers though, anyone who comes to your stand could be a wealthy VC eyeing you up for their next investment. Legendary stories are still awash like the $26m investment in Uber in Bruxelles pub and a hacker going into business with the hackee to form a company that’s taken on over $30m in funding.
As my colleague and I navigated our way through the small county that is the RDS, it struck me what an enormous achievement this must have been for the organisers to have pulled off, particularly when you consider it started from nothing 6 years ago. Scalable, repeatable business and all that, nice to see Ci practicing what they’ve allowed others to preach.
So what worked?
What sets the Web Summit apart from all the other events I’ve ever been to?
- Great, inspiring speakers: in particular I loved Cristian van Tienhoven from Amazon Payments talk, and his real life showcasing of cutting the customer shopping cart journey from 3 minutes to 30 seconds. I found the talk by Zeta Interactive fascinating – not just big data, instant data.
- Passion: admittedly some of the concepts of the startups are plain old weird, but yet you find yourself getting sucked into the passion that the founders describe their products.
- Great companies: The Web Summit is a who’s who of heavy hitters like Amazon, Facebook, IBM, Tinder and Instagram.
- Change the Ratio Campaign: Paddy Cosgrave and co have issued 10,000 free tickets to female entrepreneurs to attend next year’s Web Summit on https://websummit.net/change
- The venue: There is a certain sense of Irish pride in having our own venue a stone’s throw from the city centre hosting some of the greatest tech minds, concepts and companies on the planet.
- Irish startups: Loved laundr.ie and wish them luck – because life’s too short to do your own laundry. And Food Cloud were awesome.
Will we be at Web Summit Lisbon 2016? Here’s hoping.
By next year Siri will speak Portuguese for us, Uber will arrange ride-shares and plane charters, and we’ll use Twitter to pay for our tickets.