Dublin Tech Summit in Six



1. Behind Jen’s behind

Yes a huge contributing factor to her social media following and lucrative career is her iconic derrière, but this feature alone wasn’t enough to build her hugely successful business. Beyond just a beautiful bum there exists a highly intelligent, ridiculously sweet 23year old lady. Jen reaches out to almost all of her individual followers, taking the time and effort to connect, understand and interact with them on a personal level. This is one of the fundamental components of any business vying to stay ahead of the competition in today’s product and service industry as the customer is becoming more and more centric and a co-producer of the overall experience. According to Harvard Business School Professor and scholar Michael Porter , to create a sustainable strategic position requires trade-offs, and this is exactly what Jen has done. At her Building an Online Fitness Empire session, Jen explained that her huge social media following is due to her commitment to sticking to her passion and building a brand that represents who she is and what she is about. She is very cautious about which brands she chooses to post for. Jen hasn’t succumb to the enticing pursuit of money, instead she makes trade-offs and has declined many million dollar deals in order to earn, retain and further build her customer base whom she would lose if she was the person who just”Posts to post”. It really was an absolute pleasure to meet this beautiful woman.

P.S. Jen’s sister Steph Selter, is the genius behind Jen’s photos, they’re one of the best sister acts out there!!




2. China is Relocating

Where? China is moving from ‘Copied in China’ and embarking on a permanent residence in ‘Created In China’. Bessie Lee, CEO of WPP China, explained how China since 2006 began to shift from simply copying western ideas, producing products in bulk, catering for high demands and thus making easy money, towards becoming a country driven by innovation. The main driving or pushing forces of this paradigm shift were due to three main changes in society, first was the change in the one child policy, second was the huge investment by the central government in China’s railway infrastructure and third was the introduction of new wealth. Four case examples of the innovation originating in China are Xioami Mobile, Gululu, Kuaizi technology and WeChat. If you have 5:45 minutes, see why WeChat is considered to be a Swiss army knife that does everything for you.


3. Angel’s Do Exist

Dublin Tech Summit’s CEO Noelle O’Reilly cannot be praised high enough for the entire event which was a resounding success. My favourite part has got to be the fact that no matter how young or old, what nationality you are, whether male/female or even robot there was something for everyone to enjoy at the international tech conference! One of my favourite talks of the conference was delivered by a real life Angel (Investor) Miss Colette Ballou, CEO of Ballou PR, who shared 5 tips on how to be a successful investor. Keeping with the theme, my next favourite talk was delivered by Anne Ravanona, founder & CEO of Global Invest Her. Anne gave quite the entertaining presentation which focused on giving tips to help women get investor ready in order to get funded faster, it included a couple of power poses, and more importantly some powerful insights into how we can go about changing the unconscious bias against women entrepreneurs. Inspired by Anne’s words and under her guidance myself, Leslie  Maliepaard and Catharine Thomas Banks, (all complete strangers who happened to be talking to Anne at the same time) decided to actively get involved in this movement to get more women into VC in Ireland and beyond, we formed Femme VC there and then!


4. RoboThespian

Upon arrival at the Convention Centre on Wednesday the 15th every attendee was greeted by a very welcoming, life-sized, humanoid robot! Yes you did read that correctly. Intrigued I walked up to the robot and as I ventured closer I heard a ‘hello there, how are you?’, a question posed directly towards me. At first I was a little hesitant but then the voice again spoke, this time speaking even more obviously towards me saying ‘yes you the lovely lady in the green pants’! Astonished and fascinated I approached the robot and began to ask it questions, initially it felt a bit strange talking to a robot but after awhile you could have put a blindfold on me and I would have sworn I was talking to an actual human being, he introduced himself as ‘George’ and he even tried to learn a cúpla focail as gaeilge!


5. Be a Unicorn in a field of Horses

Ben Jones delivered a very thought provoking speech in a playful manner by including many anecdotes to convey the message that the new world is about augmented creativity. He believes that the ultimate intelligence is creativity, and that unfortunately going through the education system puts a halt to our levels of creativity. His solution and advice to combat this problem? Learn to become kids again and incorporate the following elements. Naivety, need to think like a child and design the most naive solution because the best ideas are often found by stupidity, by trying something new, by accident or by putting ourselves in a weird place. Make the invisible…Visible. To explain this Jones showed a picture of an egg he fried for his daughter, Freya who asked, “where have the tigers gone?”, on further questioning and examining of the egg Jones saw something he had completely missed but his daughter had spotted.

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Honesty, for this Jones simply had a slide saying “Daddy, your breathe stinks” and what did he do? Immediately brushed his teeth! A simple and straight to the point example showing that honesty and telling the horrible truth allows you to innovate and change course when things need to be improved in order to strive for success. Safety, which is lending an unequivocal ear and properly listening, this is conducive to allowing naivety and the silly ideas to come out. It is also a share of voice, an equal chance to give an opinion or share an idea. Belief, in order to really do well and out perform others you need to believe that you can. Laughter, drives unbelievable levels of success and creativity, there is also a level of safety attached to laughter. It is a key to connecting with people of all walks of life, it’s as an infectious act, universally recognised across all languages. Be Naughty with invisible friends, following the rulebooks may get you some places, but ripping up the rulebook is going to get you to the top principal and get you noticed.


6. Gary Vaynerchuk

Finally, what better way to sum up the Dublin Tech Summit than with a short synopsis on the guy who filled the PRISM to capacity! He is every bit as vocal and energised as he comes across on all forms of social media if not even more so. He manages to catch the audience’s attention and have them hanging on his every word, whether they agree or not with what he has to say. His words and his physical actions on stage make you feel like you are watching a theatrical performance. To build on the message majority of the speakers throughout the two days were reiterating in their own way, Gary made it very clear that you need to believe in yourself, once you do and you are passionate about something you are already ahead of the competition. Gary explained his Cloud and Dirt business philosophy which he lives by, he explained many people think and operate in between the two, what happens to those? They either become successful to a certain extent and then plateau, or they become too involved in the huge ideals (clouds) and neglect the skills (dirt). Instead Gary believes you need a healthy combination of both the clouds: a high end thought or belief, and the dirt: the bottom end skills that allows you to become an expert and accomplish what is encompassed in the clouds.


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