Dublin Web Summit - Day 3

Davin O'Dwyer and Ciara O'Brien join us with last-day updates from hi-tech extravaganza

Davin O'Dwyer, Ciara O'Brien Thu, Nov 5
 
LIVE: Dublin Web Summit - Day 3

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  • 08:03
    The Irish Times Davin O’Dwyer: Welcome to our coverage of day three of the Web Summit - the last in Ireland for the foreseeable future.

    At 10.45am on the Centre Stage will see former Apple chief executive John Sculley and former Apple chief designer Robert Brunner discuss their careers and post-Cupertino exploits - Sculley is portrayed by Jeff Daniels in the new Steve Jobs film, and is a total gentleman.

    Today also sees the Music, Money and Fashion Summits take place, with some juicy looking talks across those stages.

    In the obligatory “What’s he doing here?” slot on Centre Stage, Dan Brown will be talking about…writing bestselling books, I guess, at 2pm.

    I’m really looking forward to Benedict Evans give his “Mobile is Eating the World” presentation on 2.20pm on the Marketing Stage, which has already become a definitive text on the importance of mobile.

    And Ed Catmull of Pixar fame will finish things off on the Centre Stage at 4pm. Will there be tears as the Web Summit and Dublin go their separate ways? Stay tuned to find out…
  • 08:41
  • 08:48
  • 08:49
    The Irish Times That Darragh Doyle tweet from last night shows the impact the Night Summit is having on parts of Dublin city centre...
  • 09:35
    Well this is fun - Paddy Cosgrave introduces his new Portuguese friends to the Web Summit, promising great infrastructure and sunshine in Lisbon, among other things!
    Well this is fun - Paddy Cosgrave introduces his new Portuguese friends to the Web Summit, promising great infrastructure and sunshine in Lisbon, among other things!
  • 09:42
    The Irish Times Davin O'Dwyer: In what functioned as a hand-off of sorts, Paddy Cosgrave gets day three of the Web Summit underway with a sizeable Portuguese delegation taking the stage ahead of the move to Lisbon in 2016.
    The delegation included deputy prime minister Paulo Portas, who bigged up Lisbon as an up-and-coming start-up and innovation centre.

    "Lisbon has been described as the next Silicon Valley," said Portas with more than a hint of pride. He promised great infrastructure and facilities, great nightlife and even sunshine in November, which drew whoops from the audience. It is grey and drizzly in Dublin.

    He also acknowledged the role of Dublin in helping the Web Summit grow, but suggested that "Lisbon will help the Web Summit grow more internationally."

    The high-profile appearance suggests the Web Summit team is on rather better terms with government departments in Lisbon than in Dublin.
  • 09:50
    Sky chief executive Jeremy Darroch is giving a rather soporific talk on the future of TV and cord cutters. It's not Netflix, is basically the message...
    Sky chief executive Jeremy Darroch is giving a rather soporific talk on the future of TV and cord cutters. It's not Netflix, is basically the message...
  • 10:04
    Satire in the Digital Age - good chat with Michael McAvoy of the Onion and David Schneider, a recognisable UK comedy actor who runs a kind of viral joke service. 
Interesting to see how the Onion keeps its relevance in an era when Twitter allows for instant satire from everyone on the platform. 'We might not be the first with a joke, but we work hard to have the best joke,' says McAvoy.
    Satire in the Digital Age - good chat with Michael McAvoy of the Onion and David Schneider, a recognisable UK comedy actor who runs a kind of viral joke service. Interesting to see how the Onion keeps its relevance in an era when Twitter allows for instant satire from everyone on the platform. 'We might not be the first with a joke, but we work hard to have the best joke,' says McAvoy.
  • 10:15
    Paddy Cosgrave introduces Margaret Jeffers of Good Food Ireland and the Food Summit producers on to the stage for a moment in the spotlight. No mention of the so-called 'Foodgate' so far.
    Paddy Cosgrave introduces Margaret Jeffers of Good Food Ireland and the Food Summit producers on to the stage for a moment in the spotlight. No mention of the so-called 'Foodgate' so far.
  • 10:26
    Phil Libin of Evernote - a regular guest at Web Summit over the years - gets some Centre Stage time to talk about his productivity app and moving into the investment space.
    Phil Libin of Evernote - a regular guest at Web Summit over the years - gets some Centre Stage time to talk about his productivity app and moving into the investment space.
  • 10:56
    The Irish Times Pamela Newenham is on the hunt for the coolest start-ups at Web Summit. French start-up Wezzoo’s connected umbrella, named Oombrella, has taken her fancy. The umbrella is connected to an app on your smartphone, and the app alerts you if it is going to rain in your area that day, reminding you to bring your umbrella with you. Furthermore, if you accidentally leave your umbrella behind in a shop, restaurant or your workplace, your phone will begin buzzing with a message from the umbrella asking you not to forget it, and giving its GPS location.
  • 11:08
    The Irish Times On the Music stage, Spotify’s Matthew Ogle is dispelling a few streaming myths. He started with a statement: music discovery is not optional, and the search box is no longer enough.
    That means those personalised playlists that your streaming service is - or at least, should be - delivering to you are an important thing.
    The idea that people who want music discovery will seek it out is the first myth he takes down. Spotify’s Discover Weekly feature, where it compiles a list of songs personalised to your tastes and displays them alongside your other playlists, generated more than one billion plays in the first 10 weeks. The same can’t be said of its”Browse” screen, which allows you to go search for music yourself. That particular feature, he says, does ok but doesn’t set the world on fire. So you have to make it easy for people - bring music discovery to them.
    He also dismisses the idea that only music nerds care about discovery. The proof? Spotify’s new signups are using the music discovery feature about 80 per cent as much as committed fans of the service.
    The other myth is a two-parter: that discovery would be solved if the services had more data about what users are listening to and what they like; and that humans will trump algorithms every time. Ogle says that you need the human touch, but it’s impossible for Spotify to hire enough editors to create individual playlists regularly for its 75 million users. What’s the answer? Create an algorithm that thinks like a human, and feed it all the playlists - all two billion of them - that have been created on Spotify since the service started. So the next time Spotify suggests that one-hit wonder it’s because someone, somewhere once added them to a playlist, and the algorithm has looked at your habits and thinks it’s a good fit. So think on.
  • 11:23
    Former Apple chief executive John Sculley and former Apple and Beats designer Robert Brunner discuss the value of design, particularly at the lower end of the hardware market.
    Former Apple chief executive John Sculley and former Apple and Beats designer Robert Brunner discuss the value of design, particularly at the lower end of the hardware market.
  • 11:23
    Former Apple chief executive John Sculley and former Apple and Beats designer Robert Brunner discuss the value of design, particularly at the lower end of the hardware market.
    Former Apple chief executive John Sculley and former Apple and Beats designer Robert Brunner discuss the value of design, particularly at the lower end of the hardware market.
  • 11:27
    The Irish Times Marie Boran: Boobs! Now that I have your attention what I really want to talk about is ...boobs! Yes, there's a startup for that.
    The Digital Bra is a London-based company making custom-fitting bras based on 3D imaging technology. Founder Judy van Niekerk says they're in early stages and hoping to raise funding for the robotic/manufacturing side of things.
    The Digital Bra differs from traditional bras because it fits based on over 120+ measurements rather than the standard three. Good thing too because apparently 85 percent of women wear bras that don't fit properly and are uncomfortable. "It's about time bras came into the 21st century," she says. I also bumped into a startup that gives away free stuff for hugs. Hugsapp.co is already in over 10 countries and is a social enterprise offering massages (not that kind) and other wellbeing treatments in exchange for a hug. They seemed busy talking to potential investors so I didn't get my free foot massage.
  • 11:34
    Biggest queue of the Web Summit is for today's Fashion Stage - right now, Simon Chambers of Storm Management and beauty blogger Estee Lalonde discuss how social media has changed the fashion business.
    Biggest queue of the Web Summit is for today's Fashion Stage - right now, Simon Chambers of Storm Management and beauty blogger Estee Lalonde discuss how social media has changed the fashion business.
  • 11:58
    The Irish Times Davin O'Dwyer: Great talk in the Machine Tent by Aaron Grant, the cofounder of Thalmic Labs, on the next decade of human-computer interaction - some fascinating insights into how advancing technology will reduce the need for explicit interactions.

    He showed off the Myo gesture control arm band, which reads muscle activity in the arm to control a range of devices.

    Voice control and gestures will entirely change the form factors of our computing devices - wearables have been a recurring theme at this year's Web Summit, but Grant is really expanding on how transformative they might be.
  • 12:02
    The Irish Times Marie Boran: Founder of MyFitnessPal Mike Leigh is providing some solid insights on weight loss based on data gathered from the app's users.
    MyFitnesspal is pretty popular: it is the number one health and fitness app in the US and in the top 5 in 75 countries worldwide. Based on the data of over 100 million users, they found that those who cook for themselves are 40 per cent more likely to lose weight than takeaway lovers.
    It was also found that 88 percent of those who log diet and exercise for over seven days lose weight. It's not all plain sailing though: they tried to introduce a feature to grade food according to healthiness where chocolate cake gets an 'F' and broccoli gets an 'A'. Users hated it because it made them feel bad. Can we get an 'A' for effort if we open the app and merely contemplate exercise?
  • 12:08
    Even at an event as futuristic as the Web Summit, Movember shows no signs of growing old
    Even at an event as futuristic as the Web Summit, Movember shows no signs of growing old
  • 12:37
    Conference elitism, in one handy graphic - the complex hierarchy designating who is allowed walk where is baffling for the security staff, never mind those of us with wristbands.
    Conference elitism, in one handy graphic - the complex hierarchy designating who is allowed walk where is baffling for the security staff, never mind those of us with wristbands.
  • 13:02
    The Irish Times There are few empty seats at the Web Summit centre stage as the PITCH takes place. The second last startup to pitch is Aussie company BugWolf who tell the audience about the huge cost of software bugs, something they aim to help companies cut down on.
    They’re followed up by Irish startup Bizimply who deliver the final pitch. Twelve months ago employee scheduling app Bizimply had a mere three employees themselves including founder Mikey Gannon.
    Now they can boast 13 staff, bases in 11 countries and quite literally have rock star investors including Bono. “We want to be the platform that big companies like Intel run on,” said Gannon.
    The winner will be announced at 3:55pm.
  • 13:03
    The Irish Times Marie Boran: There are few empty seats at the Web Summit centre stage as the PITCH takes place. The second last startup to pitch is Aussie company BugWolf who tell the audience about the huge cost of software bugs, something they aim to help companies cut down on. They’re followed up by Irish startup Bizimply who deliver the final pitch. Twelve months ago employee scheduling app Bizimply had a mere three employees themselves including founder Mikey Gannon. Now they can boast 13 staff, bases in 11 countries and quite literally have rock star investors including Bono. “We want to be the platform that big companies like Intel run on,” said Gannon. The winner will be announced at 3:55pm.
  • 13:20
    Sebastian from hotel recommendation engine Nekst is bringing some of Bavaria to the Web Summit - how about Web Summit Munich in 2019?
    Sebastian from hotel recommendation engine Nekst is bringing some of Bavaria to the Web Summit - how about Web Summit Munich in 2019?
  • 13:26
    The guys from Ekko.Space are giving it a hard sell in the Builders space. That megaphone needs work though
    The guys from Ekko.Space are giving it a hard sell in the Builders space. That megaphone needs work though
  • 13:39
    The Society Stage on its own would be one of the best small conferences in the country - but it could really do with a bigger space, it's been packed since the start. Big part of that is the much deeper level of the discourse thanks to the longer time slots. Another part is the quality of the speakers - right now, there's a great talk about the challenges of social innovation.
    The Society Stage on its own would be one of the best small conferences in the country - but it could really do with a bigger space, it's been packed since the start. Big part of that is the much deeper level of the discourse thanks to the longer time slots. Another part is the quality of the speakers - right now, there's a great talk about the challenges of social innovation.
  • 13:52
    If you're a big firm exhibiting at Web Summit 2015, you better have a VR experience or you're toast. What that says about the actual reality here I'm not sure...
    If you're a big firm exhibiting at Web Summit 2015, you better have a VR experience or you're toast. What that says about the actual reality here I'm not sure...
  • 14:01
    The Irish Times Davin O'Dwyer: The state of blurbs on the start-up booths is bewildering - I read and write about technology every day, and I can barely understand half of them. There's lots of 'clouds', lots of 'disruption', and lots of 'SaaS-based services'. My favourite so far, for the audacity of its ambiguity, goes like this: 'We are pivoting our platform from ecomm to marketplace'. That was it, as concise and elusive as well-crafted haiku.
  • 14:55
    Listen up Volkswagen - Karbe is selling a device that promises to dramatically improve fuel efficiency in vehicles. My knowledge of how combustion engines works is a little vague, but Aaron & Adriana promise that it is backed by all sorts of patents. And they have found the Web Summit to be a great experience, meeting lots of investors and mentors.
    Listen up Volkswagen - Karbe is selling a device that promises to dramatically improve fuel efficiency in vehicles. My knowledge of how combustion engines works is a little vague, but Aaron & Adriana promise that it is backed by all sorts of patents. And they have found the Web Summit to be a great experience, meeting lots of investors and mentors.
  • 15:18
    Benedict Evans just delivered his famous 'Mobile is Eating the World' presentation on the Marketing Stage to an appreciative audience. More insight per second than any other talk at the Web Summit, guaranteed
    Benedict Evans just delivered his famous 'Mobile is Eating the World' presentation on the Marketing Stage to an appreciative audience. More insight per second than any other talk at the Web Summit, guaranteed
  • 15:24
    The Irish Times Ciara O'Brien: Dan Brown has been holding a press conference in the media village ahead of his stage talk on will science kill god.
    "It's a topic that is absolutely fascinating to me because I really do believe that technology is going to affect our spirituality as much as religious leaders and religious texts in the coming decades. I think the changes will be enormous."

  • 15:25
    The Irish Times He fielded questions on his next book (it's coming, and it will be here in less than five years), he finds the Bible fascinating, even if he doesn't agree with some of it, and he may even set a book in Ireland.
  • 15:27
    The Irish Times In the meantime, he'll be hanging around Ireland for a few days: a bit of sightseeing, and more conference work.
  • 15:44
    It's the Rio & Drico show - renowned tech entrepreneurs Rio Ferdinand and Brian O'Driscoll discuss retirement, punditry and Silicon Valley. Probably. Drico has already admitted that 'Since I retired, the team has excelled. I'm the guy who held them back for 20 years!'
    It's the Rio & Drico show - renowned tech entrepreneurs Rio Ferdinand and Brian O'Driscoll discuss retirement, punditry and Silicon Valley. Probably. Drico has already admitted that 'Since I retired, the team has excelled. I'm the guy who held them back for 20 years!'
  • 15:57
    The Irish Times Davin O'Dwyer: Rio Ferdinand has just been asked if he ever looks at Ryan Giggs on the bench as a coach at Manchester United - 'Not at the moment, no!' he says in his trademark deadpan delivery. Brian O'Driscoll says that the notion of coaching doesn't appeal to him at the moment - 'I wanted my weekend back' he says. Both agreed that the risk of going on social media after a few drinks was too great - 'Oh no, I've been hacked again!' joked O'Driscoll. 'Hacked at 4.30 in the morning!'
  • 16:10
    The Irish Times The winners of the Web Summit Pitch competition have been announced, with ConnectAir and Bizimply taking the top gongs - the prize is courtesy of Audi, who are flying the winners to Barcelona to get driven in what sounds like an autonomous racing car.
  • 16:15
    The Irish Times Davin O'Dwyer: On the Centre Stage, Paddy Cosgrave is delivering a harsh critique about the state of the nation - but this time it's not about traffic or hotels, but about our Catholic-centric education system. As part of the Walk4Eva endeavour, the Web Summit team is marching to the Taoiseach's Department to protest against the bias against non-Catholic children at 6pm this evening. Fine cause, not sure about the wisdom of organising a showdown in Merrion Square.
  • 16:18
    The Irish Times In his closing remarks, Cosgrave says he hope the door will remain open to the Web Summit at some point returning to Dublin in the future. 'We're leaving, but we hope to come back in the future'
  • 16:20
    Pixar founder Ed Catmull is on stage - how much joy has this guy been responsible for?
    Pixar founder Ed Catmull is on stage - how much joy has this guy been responsible for?
  • 16:37
    The Irish Times Davin O'Dwyer: Catmull has a reputation as one of the great thinkers on leadership and creativity, and you can understand why from this talk. "When things are going right, there's laughter in the room," he says. So he makes sure the atmosphere among Pixar teams is upbeat, and identifies problems as soon as the laughter goes. Embracing technology is a key factor in Pixar's success, he says: "There's a yin-yang dynamic between the artist and the technology," he says. Disney's decline coincided with a complacency about new technology. Catmull discusses how he and top Pixar executives managed to turn around Disney after the House of Mouse acquired Pixar - a kind of reverse takeover.
  • 16:39
    The Irish Times Marie Boran: As the Web Summit talks wind down across all stages it's a good time to take a stroll through amongst the startup stalls.
    This is a reminder of why the Web Summit started in the first place: entrepreneurs with big dreams and novel ideas. If you walk briskly past the confusion of augmented, connected, smart cloud hybrid apps, there are some gems. As I passed one stall I heard strains of Metallica's Nothing Else Matters or rather what Metallica would sound like if they took some Ambien. This was from German startup Snu:mee who have developed a baby monitor/lullaby gadget/regular MP3 player. I asked if they had anything harder so they put on some Rammstein (they are German after all) while explaining that the Snu:mee is controlled by the parents via a smartphone app and comes loaded with really unique lullabies; these are rock and pop songs converted painstakingly into lullaby format by co-founder and CEO Sven Martin. Is there anything that can't be converted into a lullaby? Rap music, says Martin. Snu:mee is already on the market and has won two consumer awards. Rock on.

  • 16:42
    Snu:mee, a baby monitor/lullaby gadget/regular MP3 player developed by a German start-up
    Snu:mee, a baby monitor/lullaby gadget/regular MP3 player developed by a German start-up
  • 17:12
    The Irish Times Davin O'Dwyer: In slightly abrupt fashion, Ed Catmull's talk wraps up, his best line being "Old farts come from young farts - a driving factor in my life."

    And that's the end of Web Summit 2015, cherry pickers shifting into position to take down the signs and stages. No sign of shipping containers marked Lisbon, but presumably they'll be put to good use.

    Cosgrave's closing remarks could be seen as a final, belated attempt to undo some of the damage caused by the battle they picked with the Government. "Ireland will always be in our hearts, I love this city, our headquarters are here," he said. "Web Summit couldn't have happened without all the support from so many people in the city...We're leaving, but we're very hopeful that the door will remain open, and I hope that some day we return."

    Perhaps the city and the summit just need a break from each other for a while, and maybe with a bit of time they can rekindle something special, let tempers cool and give it another go.

    Until then, that's a wrap from our rolling live coverage - be sure to check out our reports online and in print. Thanks for reading.