Missed Web Summit? Here’s what happened

This week over 42,000 people attended business and technology people from around the world attended the three-day technology event, which took place in the RDS in Dublin.










If you missed the event, don’t worry.

Here’s what we learnt.

Startups are working harder than ever before

During his presentation on the first day of Web Summit, Sage CEO Stephen Kelly explained to Web Summit attendees that one-fifth of small and medium business owners work more than 70 hours a week entrepreneurs today work.

He also pointed out that 70 percent of startup entrepreneurs have used their life savings or remortgaged their house to grow their business. Stephen also explained what it takes to grow a business today.

After his talk, Stephen Kelly and the other members of the Sage executive team met with and mentored dozens of growing businesses as part of Sage Mentor Hours.


Those who met with Stephen and the Sage team also received a free three-month subscription for Sage One (which you can still get!).


Even social media rockstars learn from their mistakes

On the final day of Web Summit, former England international Rio Ferdinand and former Irish rugby international Brian O’Driscoll offered advice for business people who want to build their brands on social media. Rio explained he understood social media could be a business from the start, even while his peers questioned what he was doing. He told attendees his social media presence enables him to build a direct relationship with his fans.

The footballer went on to explain his social media followers were surprised to find out he doesn’t travel with a security guard and that he often travels to events on the same trains and planes that they use.

Meanwhile, Brian O’Driscoll explained even he sometimes says the wrong thing on social media and joked that it’s never a good idea to post an update at four in the morning after enjoying a drink.

The retired rugby player told Web Summit attendees he writes all his social media updates, and he concentrates on adding value with his content rather than contributing to the noise online.


Hackers can help businesses grow faster

Nico Sell, founder of the secure messaging service Wickr, gave an intriguing talk about security and privacy online at the centre stage of Web Summit. She argued we’ve yet to find a balance between privacy and freedom of expression online. Sell also explained her company regularly hires, works with and offers rewards to hackers. Her team does this because hackers help Wickr create a more secure product and fix problems faster. 

Resources are even more important than talent for growing businesses

Ryan Smith, Co-founder and CEO of the online survey and insight platform Qualtrics, talked about the rapid growth of his company since it was founded in 2002 in Utah in the United States.

He told Web Summit attendees he set up an office in Dublin after attending Web Summit several years ago and deciding he liked the city.

When asked about making the right hires, Smith pointed out that no one business has an exclusive over smart or talented people. He added that having the resources and investment to grow as a business is even more important than having the right talent or skill.

It pays to keep innovating

Corrine Vigreux, the co-founder and MD of the navigation and GPS company TomTom, gave a fascinating talk at the Startup Summit where she described the rapid growth of TomTom since it was founded in Denmark in 1991. At a packed event, Vigreux talked about the various products her company has created over the years and described its plans to break into new and undiscovered product categories. She pointed out that today’s startups will only go the distance if they keen innovating, doing things and taking risks.



Want more?

We gathered together some of the information shared about Web Summit for you.

You can also pursue the ten best tweets from Web Summit and read what Sage CEO Stephen Kelly said about the event in his post: Entrepreneurs – you deserve better. And you can help us build the future.

If you found this post useful, don’t forget to share.Web Summit Stats Infographic


  • Cammila Yochabell

    woow! Fantastic!