I think I understand why Facebook, Google, Microsoft and other big players picked Dublin. I’ve been to Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Budapest and none of them come close to Dublin. They’re all great cities with history and places to see, but what is impressive about Dublin are its people. Proud, funny, open-minded, hard-working Irish people.
The Web Summit was the first international IT conference I attended. Not only that, but we actually had a booth on the first day. Needless to say that reading about it is not the same as being there. FwdMarket raised more interest than we expected given the current (Alpha) stage of our platform. People that came by responded very well and gave us valuable feedback.
Also, we learned how important it is that you pay attention when filling in the description of your product. It needs to attract people in just a few words. That’s all you get, 2-3 seconds of their attention, nothing more. You’ll see in the video below that I also need to work on my interviewee speech
The first day was only about FwdMarket, but the other two days we spent between workshops and the main stage. Google had a bunch of interesting presentations that we attended about UX, Google Cloud, Scalability, Mobile, Hiring and more. It’s never been more clear to me that they play this game at a totally different level than what I’ve seen in Cluj-Napoca. Being a product-driven company comes with its perks. The kind of talent they attract is hard to match.
But there is plenty to learn and apply. Around25 is not going to switch over from outsourcing to product oriented over night, but the process is underway. Next year we are going to focus a lot on technically challenging projects, open source and startups. It’s gonna drain a lot of energy but on the long run it will give us the edge over local competition.
Like I said, Irish people are proud. For me it was impressive that each day Good Food Ireland was able to feed 20.000 people with food made exclusively in Ireland. Think about it this way, the yogurt was hand made and packed by farmers in the morning, the ice cream was made using fresh milk, the beef was supplied daily by farmers in the west and north of the country. These people worked their assess off and staid up nights so that we could eat the most bio, traditional, home made, Irish food possible.
Plus, for those who know me, I’m a foodie. My personal opinion is that the food rocked! What we need are some Irish consultants to get the Romanian agriculture and food industry going. Asap!
The Web Summit is very well organised. Volunteers are everywhere, large companies offer free beverages, food is take care of while mobile apps, hashtags and emails keep attendees in the loop. If you have a booth for one of the three days make sure you bring as much as you can with you. Whatever promo giveaways you have, tablets/phones to walk around and demo your product, lots of energy and business cards. Make sure you follow the guidelines that the organisers post on the website.
I’m back home after 12 hours of airplane and car. We are going to pursue FwdMarket and other ideas we have for startups. There is a lot out there for passionate people that are willing to put in the time & effort.