Friday Briefing: Dublin Tech Summit Special – Toy Stories, Sex Tech, Love Bots…


Friday is tech day, posse. Just like yesterday and tomorrow. This week we were live at the Dublin Tech Summit. Dublin used to be home to 1,000 bands. Now it’s home to 1,000 tech startups, and all of the big ones. We’ve curated some key themes from the conference here.

Robots Taking Jobs? It Started 200 Years Ago

When we think of tech and automation displacing jobs, we think of Tesla factories powered by robots. And we’re right. But this has been a trend since the industrial revolution. More tech means more and different jobs right? Ask the horses who said that about cars in 1900. A data-backed terror-ride from Moshe Vardi on how automation has been hollowing out jobs for 200 years, and we’re at a tipping point. You need to see this guy.

The Business of Storytelling: Start up Stories from Pixar

We humans like to think that one area the bots can’t beat us in is storytelling. Sure, AI has written screenplays. Spoiler: they’re not very good. Pixar “Story Veteran” Matthew Luhn has already told you some stories: Toy Story, Cars, Finding Nemo…. Now he helps startups and big brands tell their story. He talked about the elements they all should have, including: You have to hook in 8 seconds. Be unusual, unexpected, create conflict. Be authentic, vulnerable and honest – don’t try to be clever. All stories are about transformation. We identify with the characters, and we change with them. There you go – put that in your pitch deck and watch the VCs well up like Woody. And to boot, we heard from Jimmy Chamberlin, drummer with Smashing Pumpkins, who knows at least as much about VCs, tech and storytelling as he does about the intro to 1979.

Mr Toy Story on Storytelling:


There’s no Algorithm for Hard Work: Gary Vaynerchuk on Social Media Marketing

Gary Vaynerchuk is as close as you get to a Social Media Celebrity at the Tech Summit. He’s a serial entrepreneur and, as he would probably say himself, kills it on most social media networks. He shared insights on how to grow your presence on social. There’s no shortcut, there’s no AI. There is just hard work, trying everything and finding where your audience engage with you best.  He reminded us that people thought Twitter and Snapchat were really dumb ideas, once. More from Gary here:


Sex Tech: The Next Big Tech Play, and it’s not what you think

What’s Sex Tech? It isn’t porn. If anything, it’s the opposite. Cindy Gallop coined the term. Look it up, hear her talk and realise that this may be the biggest untapped opportunity for tech. It addresses something we don’t discuss in polite society. As Peter Thiel said, the things we don’t talk about are the biggest opportunities for disruption.  

Cindy Gallop talks sex tech:


twilioShall I Compare Thee to a Restful API? Bots Write your Valentine’s Card

It being a tech special, we can’t close without a reference to a bot and an API. We heard from James Parton from Twilio on the power of APIs. Call your Uber driver in-app to check on ETA? Twilio’s API connects you. But for Valentine’s day, they developed a slightly more romantic use case: Help Me Shakespeare. Write a poem. Text it to the bot. Using IBM’s Watson AI, it’ll analyse your romantic endeavours and give some pointers, and write something better based on the works of said Mr S. Just don’t tell your loved ones. Our your Uber Driver. Which may be the same person, we know.

Thanks Dublin Tech Summit for a great set of sessions in lovely Dublin. If you want to stay up to date on these topics and more, get daily briefings here on:

Future Tech
Digital Disruption
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