Fears of fog causing flight disruption. Our plane was delayed by 2 hours but luckily we had lounge access so had free food and drinks while we waited. Finally we got on the plane unfortunately having to deal with a screaming baby in the row in front. I left my headphones in my luggage in the overhead luggage compartment. #fail!!!

Day one of the Web Summit was met with a little bit of chaos and excitement. Luckily we managed to register at the airport the night before and we made it to the Centre Stage just on time for Paddy Cosgrave to officially open the Web Summit. The stage is awesome, completely on brand but with changing colours on these illuminated “water crates”

The Web Summit with over 40,000 attendees was feeling the pressure due to poor WIFI and connectivity issues. It caused a few issues on our end as well as we wanted to stay on top of a few project related activities.

Some key highlights from Our first talk was by Stewart Butterfield, the co-founder of Slack and Flickr. It was interesting hearing of the journey of building up 2 large businesses from the ground up, the selling of Flickr for 25 million dollars and the constant fear of failure through company growth and letting employees down that have bought into the ideas and success strategy of the business. Our next talk was by Michael Dell who started the Dell business from his dorm room with nothing but $1000 to get off the ground. He discussed their recent acquisition of EMC and inheriting over 40 billion dollars of debt but why it makes sense.

All in all the Web Summit is a fantastic event for anyone who wants to get inspired, there are so many other start up businesses here and it is amazing to be rubbing shoulders with some of the best in the industry. It is really useful for a young business like us to gain valuable insights and learn from some of the industry leading experts. It is also refreshing to hear similar stories of others building businesses from the ground up. We are going to be taking away some great thoughts and ideas as to how we approach our business moving forward. Over the course of the next year we will be making a number of changes to the way we work and our approach.

Some highlighted quotes from the week:


“We’ll pay you up to €15,000 if you find vulnerabilities in our software. We encourage you to try.”

– Mikko Hyppönen of F-Secure sets our Centre Stage audience a challenge.


“Old farts come from young farts.”

– Pixar Founder and President Ed Catmull on the circle of life.


“It’s irresponsible to put pictures of your kids online.”

– Privacy expert and Co-Founder of Wickr Nico Sell. This one generated a fair bit of debate over on our Facebook page.


“I was hacked. I was hacked at 4.30 in the morning.”

– Brian O’Driscoll on how he’s explained drunken tweets in the past.


“My modelling only takes up two months a year. My real passion is philanthropy.”

– Natalia Vodianova, international supermodel and Founder of philanthropic startup Elbi on where her heart lies.


“Classrooms are broken. Kids don’t learn the best by reading books.”

– Oculus VR Founder Palmer Luckey on our education systems.


“I’ve seen all of these false starts .What has happened with Palmer Luckey and Oculus Rift and Facebook buying them is sort of the democratisation of virtual reality. Now you have tens of thousands of people looking at virtual reality and thinking about how it can be used. I think that’s a wonderful thing.”

– Jacquelyn Ford Morie on the dawn of the ‘second wave of virtual reality’.


“There’s something about the human mind that craves order and craves answers. The human mind craves the knowledge that it’s not all random.”

– Author Dan Brown tells us why our churches are still filled on Sunday mornings.


“David Bowie said: ‘If you feel comfortable or safe, then move on.’ This comfort is the antithesis of creativity.”

– Dazed’s Jefferson Hack doesn’t like comfort. Neither does Ziggy.


“It’s really interesting to look back on my videos when I was 19 to what I am now because I feel like I’ve really grown up on YouTube.”

– YouTuber Estee Lalonde on a life spent online.


“We hire people to think.”

– If you’re looking for a job at Qualtrics, be prepared to use your head said Co-Founder and CEO Ryan Smith.


“We should have given Steve (Jobs) more latitude.”

– Former Apple CEO John Sculley opens up on his former colleague.


“The future of healthcare will be a digital, virtual, home-based subscription model.”

– PokitDok CEO Lisa Maki looks into the future of health.


“What we wanted to do was make children feel like they could be themselves.”

Chloe and Caitlin spoke at our free Schools Night. They’ve developed an app – BullyBug – that will help tackle bullying in schools.


“At the moment I’m in terrible condition. November is pretty much the one time you can have a burger; have a beer.”

– Good thing Chris Froome isn’t defending his Tour de France title for some time.