The newest event to hit the Dublin tech scene opened this week: the Dublin Tech Summit. We headed down to the Convention Centre to check out what all the fuss was about.

Dublin Tech Summit

On arrival at the Dublin Tech Summit we were greeted by RoboThespian; a UK-designed full-sized, humanoid-acting robot who sings songs, recites poetry and even does impressions of other robots. The exhibition hall was filled with start-ups and corporates who were all really eager to chat and for you to play with their virtual reality toys. Beyond the robots, VR headsets and aspiring start-ups, the DTS also had a kick-ass line-up of speakers. Here are some of the learnings we took:

Don’t jump the gun when seeking investment

Some of the best advice at the Dublin Tech Summit for anyone starting their own business came from Jimmy Chamberlin, drummer of The Smashing Pumpkins. He revealed that the band worked for two and a half years to independently raise the $20,000 they needed to hire now-idolised producer Butch Vig to record their first album. This allowed the band to record without any record label input. Gish went on to become one of the best albums of 1991 and subsequently the band self-funded all of their future endeavours. The key message from Chamberlin to anyone starting out is to have confidence in your business before handing over your creative integrity to investors.

You now have 8 seconds to grab my attention

Dublin Tech SummitTwitter’s former Head of EMEA Mobile, Ross Sheil, gave us the lowdown on what to expect in digital marketing trends this year. According to Sheil, the average attention span now lasts about eight seconds, meaning the parameters are tight to grab someone’s attention. What makes things trickier is that we will now see a trend of excessive demand with limited supply. This is because the majority of advertising is based across so few platforms: AdWords, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. Businesses should spend 2017 bringing their products to less saturated advertising markets – stop thinking EMEA and start thinking APAC (Asia Pacific), BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China), ANZ (Australia New Zealand) and SEA (South East Asia).

WeChat (and China) is changing the internet

Dublin Tech SummitChina often gets accused of producing knock-off imitations of our best-loved technology. Bessie Lee, CEO of withinlink says that now is the time for us to be learning from China in her talk: “From Copied In China To Created In China”. Showing us this video from The New York Times, Lee highlighted the rise in WeChat. It’s a super-app used throughout China, which basically rolls Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Foursquare, Slack, Twitter, Gmail etc. into one app. Of course this raises questions about security, privacy and how much of our data third parties or even governments can access. However, by streamlining all of these products into one, you can organise a date, book a table, read the menu, order your meal, review, post and split the bill, without ever leaving the app – pretty nifty!

 

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