I was at the Dublin Tech Summit a little while back. Two days in the convention centre, 4 or 5 themed stages and a hundred or so start-ups pitching their ideas. At this point I should say that it was similar but “different” than the Web Summit, but actually, for me the attendee, I thought it was a fair deal better.
A few highlights from the event:
Gary Vee (Vaynerchuk) — Don’t be copying me!
If you have never heard of him, he is a loud American who likes to curse a lot on stage. Wikipedia describes him as a “recognized internet personality”. His own website states that he runs one of the world’s hottest digital agencies. During the mid-naughties, he was the first to sell wine over the internet. The naysayers thought he was bonkers, as he turned the family run liquor store into a $60M online business. He then went on to angel invest in just about every hot new start-up you have heard of and presumably a few flunks along the way that you didn’t hear about. However, I am not here to blow Gary Vee’s trumpet, I am here to tell you why I thought he was hot.
There was a few threads to his main stage address; finding arbitrage in new social platforms, testing everything at least once and about how hard he works etc. But then he got meaningful with us impressionable attendees. His argument went along the lines; that if you want to win then you have to tell your own story. You can’t just copy Zuckerberg or Sandberg’s 10 daily habits or secret life hacks and expect the same results. It is up to you to forge your own story. Shape it, mould it, fluff it up, but it has to be yours. He left us with a sweet little anecdote about chatting to the 21 year old who has read too many blogs and decides he will become a life coach — “Go £ucking live your life for the next 25 years, do something yourself, then come back to me and tell me that you have life advice to offer to others”.
Ben Jones — Don’t get crushed by years of education!
You have never heard of him? No neither had I. But he gave a very impassioned presentation on the importance of thinking like a kid. He kicked things off with the whole big hullaballuu of machines taking all of our jobs. His hypothesis went something like this:Yes, if you simply do the routine, programmed tasks, then naturally, if and when it is economically worthwhile, the machines will replace you.
However, it is the problem solvers, the creators and the social animals that the machines can never replace. You have to allow yourself to forget some of the the rote learning and institutional education that you had to endure. Instead, think like a child and not only will you survive but you might well flourish. “Augmented Creativity” is the new ultimate intelligence. It is time that we all got back to being a little bit more naive, a little bit more honest, a little naughtier and to make sure that we have plenty of laughter along the way.
Cindy Gallop — The next trillion dollar industry for Dublin is…..
Yes this is where the money is to be made and the jobs are recession proof. Gallop was quite clear about her objectives, she wants to do good and to make a shitload of money along the way. She argued, that largely because of the fact that we simply don’t talk about sex, such a huge industry is controlled by a handful of bad or at least shady guys. And the number one problem is the “guys” bit. She believes that it is time that women get involved in shaping how this industry should be. It is time to start making it good, making it educational and making it fun. It might be part of her world tour act, but she was fairly convincing that Dublin is the city that has all the attributes to be the global sextech hub. The name of her site / movement — makelovenotporn (nsfw) fairly accurately sums what she is all about.
Even the RTE enjoyed what she had to say:
The mascot George, he was something like the mascot or figurehead of the summit. I thought that he was a bit of a throwback to movies from the 80’s. But I am good sport, so I went to have a chat with him. His eyes follow the speaker, and he “answers” the questions that you ask him. Very similar to Alexa. The “intelligent personal assistant” currently being flogged by Amazon. But a few caveats regarding Alexa for the buyer beware:
If you have children:
They are of course going to get pally with Alexa, firstly to answer their homework questions, and who knows where from there. .
If you are planning your next grisly murder:
Police in Arkansas believe Alexa is a key witness to a domestic homicide and want to know what she heard. Even though Alexa was “asleep” at the time, she was witness to murder in a private living room. Prosecutors are demanding any recordings taken from that time that might be of use.
If you don’t want a new doll’s house:
While covering the story of how a toddler managed to order a doll’s house from Alexa, a TV anchorman accidentally caused chaos throughout San Diego. His reporting live on television unwittingly woke a bunch of individual Alexas throughout the city causing the purchase of thousands more of that exact same doll house. Amazon apologised, sincerely.
Keep it digital,
p.s. If you are female and want to make money while doing good, (and have a #sextech idea), get in touch with Cindy, she is serious about helping you out and making Dublin the hub.
p.p.s. (To cover myself) They are not exact quotes from the speakers above, simply a summary or a synopsis of what I remember them to have had said.