We had a fantastic day at yesterday’s Dublin Web Summit. Firstly, a big thanks to Paddy Cosgrave and his team for what is fast-becoming a truly extraordinary tech event. It was my first visit to the Summit and I’m hoping I’ll be able to get back again next year. If I have one regret from yesterday it’s missing out on the chance to join a pub crawl with Bono! It’s not everyday you can say that but there’s always next year… (see @MikeButcher with the man himself!).
For me, the biggest takeaway from yesterday’s summit was the sense that everyone attending had something to gain from the experience. As an entrepreneur I had the opportunity to be inspired by the experiences of others - good and bad. For the many start-ups and early-stage founders in attendance, they had the opportunity to talk with and learn from those who had seen and done it all before. And if I was one of those early-stage start-ups or entrepreneurs today, reflecting on all that was said yesterday, I would look to one very simple fact to guide me. It’s no longer good enough to be the best start-up in Belfast or Dublin, to make it in the current market, you have to be truly world-class. The talent (and stories of success) on stage yesterday make that plainly obvious.
Some of the speakers really got me thinking (I’ve obviously been hiding out in Belfast for too long and need to get back to New York and Silicon Valley!). I loved the concept of MVP (“Minimum Viable Product”) introduced by Eamon Leonard of Orchestra. One of the biggest religious wars in Wombat was between certain factions in “Engineering” who would resist releasing a product to the beta customer until it was perfect, with feed handlers and middleware this is impossible, and meant nothing ever got released. The pragmatists (which included myself, Ron Verstappen and any engineer who ever worked on-site) would always argue that the developer should release it into the customer’s dev environment the moment an end-to-end framework was in place and test it there, iterating with the customer until the product was complete. If only we had the concept of MVP back then!
Finally, I delivered my own presentation (see below for the slides and video) on the main stage yesterday morning. I was asked to discuss the topic of entrepreneurship and what I believe to be the 7 core principles (or pillars) found in any truly successful entrepreneur. These are personal beliefs acquired over the years and I hope they’ll spark some debate! Let me know your thoughts.