Saturday 20 January 2018

Dublin Web Summit has highs and lows

IF you asked most people attending the Dublin Web Summit (DWS) to sum up the event in one word, it would probably be "incredible". Or maybe it would be "amazing". Or "phenomenal", "unbelievable" -- or any other superlative you can think of.

The DWS has undoubtedly been a success, and the optimism at the event was palpable. The RDS was a recession-free zone for the two days the event was on, and we couldn't help but notice the symbolism of hordes of young and dynamic people entering the event opposite the headquarters of now crippled Allied Irish Bank.

Having said that though, if it is possible to be overly optimistic, the Dublin Web Summit definitely was just that.

Technology people in general talk in superlatives. A position with a tech company isn't a "good job", it is "an incredible opportunity". A start-up company doesn't have a cool new product, it has a product that will "change the way we live our lives".

The harsh reality, however, is that of the 200 or so start-ups that were exhibiting at the summit over the past two days, only a very small percentage of them will ultimately be successful and, of those, only a tiny number of them will become the enormously successful company we often hear about.

Optimism is fantastic, and we fully welcome it, but at the end of the Dublin Web Summit, Ireland was still a bailed-out nation, and our rate of unemployment was still close to 15pc. We are still a long way from recovery.

Irish Independent

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