Web Summit

November 9, 2015
FacebookTwitter

Oh my, that was a controversial couple of days.

In case you were sitting under a rock for the last couple of week, the Web Summit took place in Dublin last week amid much fanfare and criticism. In all honesty, I enjoyed every minute of it – but it wasn’t without its shortcomings.

22810651131_d6edf97e72_b

The content on offer was incredible. All of it. This is where the summit shines, and where it has always impressed. There were appearances from the founders of Tinder, Instagram, and Pixar to name just a few digital powerhouses. Exhibit stands from juggernauts like Facebook profiled the social network’s efforts to deliver wifi to developing nations. They really should have been brought in to fix the wifi problem at the RDS – even with a third party providing the wifi this year, it was often slower than dial up of yesteryear. Bill Ford (yes, Ford) shared some words about the intersection between the automotive and technology industry. Audi showed off their self driving car. I tried out the Oculus Rift a couple of times – it is incredible. Virtual reality is here to stay – it is not just for video games. There was a child sized robot called Pepper that understands and responds to human emotions. This was absolutely a conference showcasing the future of the technology world, and it delivered; all in all there was a great atmosphere and buzz, because this felt like a place where people who are focused on succeeding are meeting other people who are doing exactly that.

22405610888_19fe10d9db_k

I’m at the top table, on the right behind the camera man. Staring at my phone. Typical.

22184638713_392707cdc1_b

22132260733_d4d275228e_k

Unfortunately, the event felt marred by the toddler tirade that was taking place all over the media between Web Summit and the Irish Government. Email threads being released publicly. The Sharon Ní Bheoláin interview with Daire Hickey. Paddy Cosgrave pulling out of a scheduled TV appearance with the state broadcaster last minute. The mention that “hush money” should be returned to the government. It all felt just a bit handbags at dawn. The media room was littered with talks about it like school children gossiping about a fight that just took place out in the school yard – “Did you hear Paddy’s rant this morning?”, “Did you see that interview?” – it overshadowed things a bit.

The event is over now though. It was a success once again. It is moving to Lisbon for the next three years. Paddy and the gang hope to come back – and I think we should welcome them when they do. After all, they won’t have these sheep over in Lisbon:

22119029084_6d309d1f6e_k

Hopefully some of the great start-ups that got the chance to exhibit were able to build some useful contacts. One in particular caught my eye – The Bikebox Club. Think subscription box service, but for cyclists. It’s run by some great Cork lads, and it is definitely worth checking out.

One fantastic cause that Paddy was championing at the Summit was a campaign to close the gender divide in the technology world. This divide was obvious even from the attendees present, and male speakers dominated the stages because, well, they dominate the technology sector. To help address this, the Web Summit and its associated conferences around the world are offering 10,000 free tickets to women in technology – if you’re interested you can find out more here.

22151615684_1146e730bf_k

That’s enough rambling for now – I’ll be back next week to tell you a bit about a great cause that I’m working with over the next couple of months. It’s going to be exciting – stay tuned!

Tomás

 

Comment

You Might Also Like

  • November Round Up. Big December News. - TOM SAUCE November 29, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    […] covered things in a lot more detail over on my Web Summit post, but I’m still in awe from it. It was so cool to be surrounded by so many forward thinkers […]

  • November Round Up. Big December News. - TOM SAUCE November 29, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    […] covered things in a lot more detail over on my Web Summit post, but I’m still in awe from it. It was so cool to be surrounded by so many forward thinkers […]

  • - THE TOM SAUCE INSTAGRAM -

    Read previous post:
    Autumn

    Just a quick check in.

    Close