Web Summit 2014 [DAY 3]
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been away getting married in Boston and honeymooning in Tulum, so Deirdre Savage from digital marketing agency, Big Bang filled in for me at this year’s Web Summit and wrote the following summary.
Over the last two days one thing was firmly established: Google do the best coffee at the Web Summit. Conveniently located right next to the pitching stage we didn’t even have to miss out on any of the action during our half hour wait.
First up was a company I had come across a few months ago while wandering around the rabbit-hole of the internet. Spritz has developed an app to help people not only read faster but be able to do so on any size screen down to a smart watch. The introductory video gives users a taste of what is possible with this app.
Given the people who were present and the amount of revolutionary products that were lying around the place the fact that this app had people exclaiming is a good indication of how successful it is going to be. It is currently available for android and iOS.
Adrian Grenier, Josh Elman and David Tisch judge the Pitches
On the centre stage later that evening a very select few of those pitching on the small stages were challenged to convince a much larger crowd of the usefulness of their idea. There was no evident over-arching theme coming through from all the competitors; everything from security with (Track and Stop) to hearing aids (MiMi) to powerful 3D printers (re3d) were represented.
The three influential investors shared some of their pet hates with the audience. After listening to many a pitch over the weekend they knew exactly what the crowd were lacking. There is no excuse for being underprepared and it is important not to treat an investor like a bank. This is a long-term relationship in its infancy. It is important to nurture a certain level of trust and respect.
Those in the final were well prepared, but there could only be two winners. After much deliberation the winner of the alpha category was BaseStone Construction, a cloud collaboration software used by construction companies, and Beta was taken by Codacy, an automated code checking app.
Music and Digital
For the final day, everything seemed to turn to music. The Sports Summit transformed into the Music Summit and the other stages seemed mildly preoccupied with the idea of music in the modern age.
Adrian Grenier, Jimmy Chamberlin and Chris Kaskie discussed the differences between the music business now and in the 90s.
The overarching idea that came out of the end of this discussion was the need to bring music back to a more cohesive centre. We are all swimming in data and for the younger generation there is no longer the option to align with a specific sub-culture. There is so much available that those who are interested end up drowning.
So, while those at the Marketing Summit are talking of the importance of personalisation those on the main stages are lamenting the fact that the youth of today are finding it near impossible to identify themselves through an abundance of choice.
Simmonscourt was at capacity for the final talk of the Web Summit. To close out the evening, and keep with the overall theme of the day, Bono, Dana Vrunetti, Eric Wahlforss and David Carr took to the stage to discuss the ever-changing business model if music. The digital era has removed the middle- man from the music business and replaced him with either collaborative or restrictive streaming software, like Sound Cloud or Spotify.
Sound Cloud is hailed as being better for creativity in the music industry as it does not restrict access and is very open about its finances. But from a cultural point of view we need a business model which can be emulated across several channels to cater to different audiences. The tech is ever-changing and all four of these men agreed that changes in the near future will result in a change in the way we find and listen to music.
The end of Day 3 is a surreal experience. After all the buzz and excitement, most people are heading to the airport and a couple are heading into the final night of the Night Summit. Connections were made, ideas shared and futures set. Despite the WiFi issues and the over-priced pints, we are looking forward to next year.