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Tech Talk and Sangria at Web Summit 2023

by Lucian Corduneanu6 months ago 4 min read

Our Co-Founder, Lucian Corduneanu, recently went to one of the biggest tech events in the whole world, where he discovered lots of new insights, people, and inspiration to use in the year to come. Web Summit 2023 was a blast-off into the world of innovation, and Lucian, one of the driving forces behind Sensidev, strapped in for the ride. Imagine a playground of ideas, a festival of connections, and more gadgets than in a Bond film – that was Lucian’s journey at this massive tech gathering.

This year, Web Summit lit up with business discussions buzzing hotter than the latest AI algorithms. Lucian set his sights on connecting, finding inspo, and maybe sneaking in a short video or two for his new pet project – our own TikTok account for Zeamă de Developer .

Check out the Web Summit 2023 experience through the eyes of a seasoned developer, full-time entrepreneur, and newbie podcast host (all in one):

What are your key highlights from Web Summit 2023?

It was the first time I attended such a big tech conference, and I was truly impressed with the amount of people, stages, booths and good vibes everywhere.

I really enjoyed the multicultural aspect of the conference and met people from around the world. My objective was to connect, have fun, get inspired and… maybe also boost my motivation a bit. And I am happy that I could reach my objectives in full and a little bit extra.

As for the highlights, I have quite a few:

💡 I enjoyed listening to Meredith Whittaker, President of Signal app, on the challenges of regulating AI and possible risk scenarios. She explained how difficult it is to make sure Signal is operating as a regular messaging app, but without collecting any data of its users.

💡 I spoke with around 100 people about various topics, from mental health, sustainability, and video content creation. Between these conversations, I also had a lot of fun asking random people to try to pronounce our Romanian podcast name: Zeamă de Developer .

💡 I partied with locals at Night Summit (the after-hours event of Web Summit), dancing to live Portuguese music.

Lucian Cordunenu photo with locals at Night Summit

💡 I recharged my work batteries with some remote work near the ocean. And I was impressed with the amount and quality of vegan restaurants.

remote work near the ocean

Which were your favorite talks and what takeaways did you get from them?

My favourite talk was actually from Lisbon's Mayor, Carlos Moedas . With my somehow low expectations formed in Romania around politically placed mayors, I was impressed to see a true technocrat, with an amazing vibe and good energy on stage. He is very proud of Lisbon and how their actions and dreams come true. They manage to facilitate and support tech startups so that they are now enjoying a great tech community and a significant number of successful companies born right there in Lisbon.

Did you gain a new perspective on business in tech?

Web Summit was like a symphony of startups jamming with AI. It's not just startups, though; companies like Sensidev will may be diving into the AI sea for faster, slicker MVPs. Think fast cars but for software development!

I discovered a lot of new interesting startups like Dream Kid , which manages to create AI-generated stories to help children go through their medical journey.

Also, it seems to me that every time OpenAI releases a feature bundle, thousands of startups go out of business. A lot of startups integrate AI LLM APIs to solve different problems. It feels that a lot of startups throw AI into any problem and hope for the best.

On the other hand, I feel like the AI trend is going to affect how software houses, like Sensidev, that offers custom software development, will operate and build MVPs in the near future. While building an MVP (Minimal Viable Product) for a tech startup is all about fast time-to-market and tight budget, adding AI to the mix could potentially help engineers build faster and better. Hence, be more competitive in the market and acquire more of it. We already use the latest AI tools available to enhance engineering work, but it is important to stay up to date since the progress of AI is exponential and potentially dangerous!

What’s your main takeaway from a business perspective? What conversations startled a new way of thinking in terms of business?

After a couple of frustrating days with 0 quality business discussions, I asked myself: “Would you buy custom software services from a software house you just heard of?” - My answer: “Of course, no!”.

Since this was our first time at such a big tech conference, we had some expectations to actually meet some potential customers for Sensidev. However, selling B2B custom software development to strangers at a big tech conference is close to impossible, unless you take the time to understand people’s problems, be empathetic, form a human relationship, and work on genuinely building trust.

Only after all this, which could span over a couple of months and multiple in-person encounters, could you have a real chance of selling your services. My hunch is that people base their business or purchasing decisions more on emotional factors. Trust and familiarity play a key factor in decision-making.

There were plenty of other software houses out there with one goal: To be creative and sell custom software development. They called themselves funny names like Squad as a Service and Software Factory. I’m happy to see all this because that means there is a healthy market offer for increasing demand for quality software.

How did you engage with the audience?

I typically engaged them directly in the hallways, or at their booths. Everybody was friendly, kind and open to discussion. It was the perfect place to meet new people from all over the world and see how they think and what their motivation is.

What is the value that Web Summit brings to you?

Experience. I enjoyed the time spent in Lisbon, and for me, it was all about connecting with people and making new friends. I’m happy to print this experience in my head. Furthermore, I feel even closer to my business partner and friend, Ionuț. Of course, 2L of the best Organic Sangria in town helps people open up and speak about their dreams, fears and struggles.

Did you spot any emerging technology trends at the event?

AI. AI. AI - LLM. The ability to use and integrate with ever-growing LLM systems is key to automating most of the repetitive tasks where there is text input. At Sensidev, we already help an e-commerce company to digitize their legal department using LLM and other AI systems to automate their processes. More on this later in a dedicated blog post.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Be there, Be genuine, Be real, Have fun. Life is short. In the end, the amount and quality of your experiences matter more than anything else. At least for me. Yeah, getting super philosophical in the end. But hey, this is how I feel now. Cheers!

Ending on a happy note from Web Summit 2023

As the cosmic dust settles from Web Summit 2023's aftermath, Sensidev is gearing up to transform these insights into groundbreaking innovations.

Do you want to chat with us for your future project or simply have a virtual Sangria with Lucian? Don’t hesitate to contact us anytime 👉🏻

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