Archive for December, 2008

Lovin’ Le Web

conor 11th of December 2008 by conor

Le Web 2008 was less a technology conference and more a business one. After 4 years of excitement, energy and desire to build new things, the focus moved to excitement, energy and desire to build new sustainable businesses.

The conference was merely a reflection of the global mood. 2008 was a year of consolidation needed after years of ideas. The year when open standards stopped being something Marc Canter talked about and were actually implemented by the big guys to help build their businesses.

There is fear and trepidation everywhere but also hope and a will to knuckle-down, get customers, get revenue and then maybe, only maybe, raise funding if needed. My conversations with some VCs were no different than any other year. If you provide a great opportunity to them, they are still interested in investing.

Problems with Wi-Fi, heat and food made people grumpy on day one but the second day was much better. A lot of the doom and gloom seemed to dissipate overnight. Highlights included Marissa Meyer from Google, French Minister for Finance Christine Lagarde and my absolute favourite, Gary Vaynerchuk. A lot of the Euro-mumblers and Euro-wafflers should spend time learning how these people communicate.

We had few game changing apps, market disruptors or “wowsa” moments. The final three in the start-up competition reinforced the view that innovation in tech is possibly being put to one side whilst people focus on business and revenue. Two of the three start-up competition finalists (Zoover, Webnode) were me-too apps but highly successful ones. Having said that, the winner Viewdle, is a pure technology play and is ripe for acquisition due to their amazing video parsing IP.

The theme of lurve at Le Web was groan-worthy but actually worked. It provided the hook for everyone, a way of relating heavy technical topics to the more philosophical ones. That flow from hardcore OAuth to lightweight discussions of brand meant that everyone got something out of the two days.

That mix at Le Web is what makes it very special. The mid-Atlantic, slightly French, slightly American melange works beautifully. It’s an internal tension that causes it to drift from San Francisco to Paris and back. Also, compared to any other tech conference I have attended, the high percentage of women attendees was refreshing.

Like many Irish people working in Tech, I look simultaneously to mainland Europe and the US for inspiration and vision. That is why Le Web, despite all its problems, remains a cannot-miss event. As Hugh MacLeod said in the last few minutes of yesterday, “I come to Le Web to be inspired”.

A Cork Open Coffee on Friday the 19th of December

admin 7th of December 2008 by admin

Last week was the last Open Coffee for Cork for the year. It was assumed that people wouldn’t be free to attend a last Open Coffee on the 19th. This is a poll to see if anyone would be interested in attending. It could be a demo slot for someone if they would like to show off a new or existing app or it could be a social one in Luigi malones.

Will you attend an Open Coffee in Cork on Friday morning, the 19th of December?
( polls)

European Blogging/Journalism Competition

conor 3rd of December 2008 by conor

Ruth Spencer from The European Journalism Centre (EJC) contacted me to let us know about The European Blogging Competition they are launching in Brussels from 25th to 27th of January coming.

The theme is TH!NK ABOUT IT and the focus of the competition is the European Parliament Elections 2009. EJC wants to offer a platform for journalism students, aspiring journalists and bloggers to express their views on European topics as well as to report and cover the elections.

They want to have three bloggers from each country attending the launch event and will cover the travel costs. The timeline is:


  • Launch event: 25 January, 2009 – 27 January, 2009
  • Blogging: 1 February, 2009 – 9 June, 2009
  • Competition results: 12 June, 2009


If this is of interest to you, read all the details and apply at

If you are wondering what this has to do with Web2Ireland, I’d simply say that the direction the EU takes over the next few years, particularly in how it deals with a global recession, will have direct impact on start-ups here.

Map of Web2Ireland Companies

admin 1st of December 2008 by admin

CrunchBase have launched a mashup of their company data To get your company on the map – fill in the address field in CrunchBase.

Note: CrunchBase is a wiki format (anyone can edit). If you know of a company, not marked on the map – you can edit their address yourself.