Posts Tagged ‘conference’

Dublin Web Summit – More Please

conor 31st of October 2010 by conor

Friday was my first Dublin Web Summit and it far exceeded my expectations in every way. Paddy Cosgrove pulled off a jaw-droppingly impressive feat over the three days and I can’t congratulate him enough.

I won’t go into enormous detail on the Summit, I really wanted to highlight a few key takeaways and offer one strong criticism.

The quality of the speakers that I saw was pretty amazing. The Irish were just as impressive as their US and UK counterparts and the strong sense of community was palpable everywhere. I think we have struggled to create a tech community here and it has been quite fractured and cliquish. Paddy has managed to overcome this and get everyone together, talking, networking and buzzing.

I loved the focus a lot of speakers put on failure. The response to failure in Ireland still remains very much “oh him, he’s just a chancer, his last business went bust”. These words usually coming out of the mouths of people who has never taken a risk in their lives. So it was a joy to see everyone from Jonathan Siegel to Jeff Clavier to Niklas Zennstrom talk about failing and failing again and getting up and falling down and trying again. That message more than any has to be broadcast and baked into the DNA of this country. There are no get-rich-quick schemes, there is just hard work and perseverance and doing your best to help others in the same boat as you.

Like everyone else in the room, I absolutely loved the gaming panel on Friday. It wasn’t just the humour and smart-arsery, it was the acknowledgement, finally, that gaming is a massive success story for Ireland. Why we have had such a problem admitting this I don’t know. Perhaps Plants vs Zombies doesn’t impress Government departments as much as Microsoft Office. Whatever it is, the ideas presented for growing this sector made absolute sense to me.

And now for the criticism. I have a huge problem with the Playas vs Plebs thing that happened with the two separate conferences. In all the years I’ve been to tech conferences I’ve never encountered anything like it. I still don’t understand why it was necessary. Marissa Meyer doesn’t skip TechCrunch Disrupt because some nobody can walk up to her and have a chat. Jack Dorsey doesn’t skip Le Web because a Paddy can go up to him to shoot the breeze. So why a separate invite-only conference in Ireland? Were they afraid the players wouldn’t come unless it was “exclusive”? As for the “Davos for Geeks” line, c’mon, get real. Bitter much, of course I am :-)

A merged single summit could easily be another Le Web. The reason I go to that conference every year is because it is “flat”. From pre-launch startups to billionaires, journalists and bloggers, all of them mixing, chatting and networking. Every cup of coffee an opportunity. Of course there are private dinners and private parties but the daytime is for everyone. We need more events like this in Europe and I think Dublin Web Summit could be one of the best. But it has to be one summit.

Two more very positive notes:

First, big props to Atomico. Those guys spent the entire day meeting startups and listening to their pitches. I popped up to say hello and they were deeply apologetic. The booklet we all received made it look like you could drop in unannounced. In fact it had to be pre-booked. But rather than send us all packing, they are doing follow-ups with anyone who didn’t get a face to face meeting. My kinda guys!

Finally, congrats to DataHug. I didn’t see their pitch but even a second-hand description of what they do was enough to tell me they are on to a winner. If it works well, they will be snapped up in less than 24 months.

SOHO Solo Conference

conor 13th of February 2009 by conor

Film producer and entrepreneur Lord Puttnam will deliver the keynote address at the SOHO Solo conference called “Reinventing Oneself in these Challenging Times” in Kinsale next Friday, 20th February 2009.

The half-day conference is aimed primarily at small business owners, entrepreneurs and those with a budding business idea. It takes places at the Kinsale Yacht Club between 10am and 2pm and is an absolute bargain to attend at only €25 including lunch.

Lord Puttnam will be joined by a wide range of speakers covering topics like transitioning one business into another, the importance of making and retaining connections and identifying your businesses strengths.

Other speakers include:

More details including how to register over on the blog.

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”.

Drupal Conference on Saturday

conor 13th of November 2008 by conor

Stella Power just let us know that Drupal Ireland is organising a day long conference on the open source Drupal CMS. It’s taking place this Saturday (15th November) in DIT, Kevin St, Dublin 2 and will run from 9:30am to 4:30pm.  Registration is free but please sign up here so they can gauge numbers.

In case you’re not already aware, Drupal is a powerful open source content management system which allows users to easily publish, manage and share a wide variety of content on the internet.  There is a great
demand for people who know this software and demand is growing.

Drupal‘s many features and add-ons allow it to be used for a variety of website needs; including for marketing, internal communications, informational websites, and for social networking purposes.

The event is being organised by the Drupal Ireland user group, which is a volunteer membership group.  The group is comprised of developers who use Drupal everyday; who contribute to Drupal core,  documentation and maintain popular modules.  If you’re interested in attending, more information on the sessions and the schedule can be found at

it@cork Annual Conference Announced

conor 7th of October 2008 by conor

The it@cork annual conference has just been announced. Its title is “GREEN IT: Reduce CO2, Raise Profits” and it’s on November 26 in the lovely Radisson SAS Hotel in Cork.

The line-up looks like an excellent mix with the focus being clearly on Green as it relates to IT and Business. I particularly like the profit angle given the turmoil the world is going through right now

The is an Early Bird Discount available – Book on or before October 31 and it’s €250 for members, €350 for non members.

The agenda is as follows:

07.30 – Heads of IT breakfast sponsored by Certification Europe

08.00 – Arrival coffee & registration

08.45 – Welcome from Donal Manning, Chairman, it@cork

08.55 – SETTING THE SCENE – George Lee, Economics Editor, RTE

09.35 – Green IT: Moving Beyond the 2% Solution, Douglas Neal, Research Fellow, Leading Edge Programme

10.05 – SMART2020: ICT and climate change. Opportunities or Threat? Chris Tuppen, Director Sustainable Development, BT

10.35 – Q&A Moderated by Tom Raftery. Lead analyst, energy and sustainability practice, Redmonk

10.50 – Coffee sponsored by Complete Telecom

11 20 – Virtual Worlds: making organizations greener, Pierre-Olivier Carles, Co-Chief Stonfield InWorld

11.40 – Measuring the energy footprint of everything on Earth, Gavin Starks, Director, AMEE

12.00 – The Electric Grid 2.0, Fergus Wheatly, General Manager, Allied Solar Ltd

12.20 – Q&A Moderated by Damien Mulley, Mulley Communications

12.35 – LUNCH sponsored by Lenovo

13.45 – Situation normal, everything must change, Simon Wardley, Independent Consultant

14.35 – The Business Challenges of the Future Low Carbon Economy, Niall Brady, Green Sigma Technical Development Manager, IBM

14. 55 – Green IT @ STRATO, Rene Weinholtz, Executive Director for IT & Innovation, STRATO

15.15 – Q&A Moderated by Dan Barry, Enterprise Ireland

15.30 – Coffee Sponsored by Premiere Global Services

16.00 – Green Computing – A leadership role, Tom Moriarty, EMEA Regulatory and Environmental Manager, DELL

16.30 – Green ICT – How ICT will help deliver ESB’s Sustainability Strategy, Padraig McManus, CEO, ESB

17.00 – Q&A Moderated by Tom Raftery followed by drinks reception sponsored by Smart Telecom

After October 31st, the rate is €300 for members and €400 for non members.

See you there!

Telco 2.0 Roadtrip Dublin

admin 19th of May 2008 by admin

We have a couple of invites left for the experimental Telco 2.0 roadtrip to Dublin, happening on Friday 30th May (yes, Friday-week).

Mail me at sos “at” dial2do “dot” com for an invite. Outline details are here.