Some guys make a difference. Paddy Cosgrave is one of those guys.
The Web Summit is the largest startup & entrepreneurship conference in the world. In it, you'll find 40 thousand individuals who are going to change our lives in the next 10 years. Not the ones who do it today. You won't find the prime-ministers or the CEOs of oil companies. You'll find Tesla's Elon Musk and Instagram's, Tinder and Twitter's CEOs.
Paddy's merit is in being the head of the team who puts the Web Summit together.
In our favor, Paddy's one of those Irish guys who does not hesitate in moving a giant out of his own country to find a better suitable place for it. And he found that place in Portugal. So he moved the Web Summit to Lisbon against the will of his fellow countrymen, showing the courage only great men do.
The Web Summit's value lies not in showing that Lisbon is better than other cities. It's not. (We have better climate though!).
The Web Summit's true value lies in the raw diamond we can harvest.
For all those who are in the startup business: Being at the Web Summit is quite the same as being in a playground. At the same time, and for four days, it's the same as being at the center of the universe.
San Francisco is the tech capital of the world, as London, Frankfurt and Hong Kong are for finance and Boston or Nashville are for health, or Detroit and Munich are for the auto industry. Lisbon will be the capital of it all during the Web Summit.
And how do startups, journalists, and everyone interested take the best out of this event? Signing up seems the logical step.
And definitely not like Barcelona does when it hosts the Mobile World Congress. The Mobile World Congress is the largest mobile event. It is used by the Hotel industry to make the profit it didn't make during the the rest of the year. Hotel rooms that usually go for 100 euros, cost 500 during the event. If this happens in Lisbon, we are missing an opportunity.
Startups, journalists and all the interested people can enjoy the Web Summit by mingling. Being portuguese, kind and interesting.
A few days ago, in an informal talk with Portuguese entrepreneurs, Paddy was saying: "you've got the head start. Use it!". Adding, "gather at Hotel Bars and share thoughts and ideas about your companies".
If we give the event attenders a pleasant Lisbon experience, they'll stay long enough to listen to our ideas.
If we don't let unscrupulous cab drivers and thirsty for profit hotel managers stain our image, the portuguese startups will have their shot. This year. And the next. And in the one that follows.
The Web Summit symbolizes the best we have to show. Together.