There was never enough time in two days to explore Europe’s largest technology conference, the Dublin Web Summit. Start-ups, multinationals and thought leaders congregated at conference stages and pitching and exhibition arenas to network and discuss the opportunity the web holds for the future. There was a strong sense of community throughout the two days as industry veterans shared their experience with innovators and entrepreneurs setting off on their first ventures. We picked up on some consistent messages throughout the fireside chats and thought-provoking presentations.
Innovators and entrepreneurs in technology face challenges in sharing their vision and making their ventures a reality. The risks of failure, with its tangible and emotional consequences, were recognised by those who have faced and overcome these challenges. The closing session of the keynote reflected this notion where Elon Musk, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and investor Shervin Pishevar told stories of how they pushed against their own resistance to achieve their personal visions.
It is not sufficient to put effort into transforming an idea into a reality, but to also reflect upon mistakes and missed opportunities in order to learn and develop. Gary Vaynerchuk, known for his enterprising personality and exploits in social media, believes that we should “live practically enough in the world and then test ideas. Shervin Pishevar believes that we should view failure as an option and look up to those who fail but keep moving forward.
Tony Fadell of Nest demonstrated the value of breadth of experience in design and business with his clear understanding of the opportunity in reinventing unloved home products. Though Nest is currently tapping into the ¾ billion unit smoke detector market, Fadell has a greater vision where connected devices can be integrated into smart energy grids and infrastructure to face the challenges facing the world.
The web began as connected computers that progressed to network people. Today the web is being realised by artefacts as much as connectivity. It is evolving beyond websites, apps and portals towards facilitating an intelligent ecosystem that will impact the environment and lives of people across the globe.