P2 - Dublin Tech Summit, Manufacturing Hub, and Kerno

Kerno @ Sublin Tech Summit, Adventures in Ireland, Podcast w/ James Joy

This week has been interesting… I flew into Dublin, Ireland for a conference - Dublin Tech Summit 2024. Here’s an overview of the conference, my general impressions, the key takeaways, etc. While in Dublin, I’ve also shot a live episode of a Manufacturing Hub podcast and met people interested in what we’re building at Kerno.

Dublin Tech Summit

You can take a look at the official website here - https://dublintechsummit.tech/

Dublin Tech Summit is a yearly conference that takes place, as the name suggests, in Dublin, Ireland. It brings a variety of attendees who are primarily interested in technological innovation from startups and larger players. Dublin (and Ireland) is a big hub for tech companies due to the tax laws for corporations. In short, there’s a big push for companies to establish their headquarters in the country for tax reasons.

As we drove from the airport to the AirBnB, I immediately noticed the large buildings with familiar names - HubSpot, Facebook, Alphabet, IBM, etc. Dublin isn’t just for the small players; it’s a massive hub that’s been expanding along side San Francisco.

Based on what the Uber driver mentioned to me, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. As you can imagine, the inflow of techies without a plan to scale up the infrastructure and housing has led to an inflation in pricing for the locals. If you aren’t working in tech, it has become difficult to make ends meet, just like in some other parts of Europe.

Kerno booth at Dublin Tech Summit

First Impressions of the Conference

We’re a small startup; our goal at the conference was to connect with VCs, fellow founders, and potential clients, and to spend time as a team discussing some of our strategies/approaches. We’ve recently brought on board a senior data scientist with a tremendous background to help us understand the data we’re collecting, and to find patterns that would be useful in solving end-user problems.

The conference brought in a mixed batch of individuals and companies - some were high-tech, some were in consulting / services, and others in B2C technologies. It was interesting to see what other companies were doing and how they were “working” the conference.

My experience

Kerno is a highly technical product. Our ideal customer profile (ICP) is a software engineer with a few years of experience. Our ideal buyer / champion is someone who leads / supervises teams of developers. Therefore, we don’t expect to be able to find a fit for our product with everyone who walks by. This was both good and bad; our booth featured a slogan of “Helping Developers Navigate Production Complexity” which disqualified those who aren’t in software development.

The takeaway for me was that although we had some interesting conversations at Dublin Tech Summit, a conference that is focused on software would be much more relevant for what we’re building.

Manufacturing Hub

While in Dublin, Dave and I continued to have our regular program on the Manufacturing Hub. Last Wednesday we had a great guest - James Joy. (GitHub profile - https://github.com/joyja) James is an exceptional individual and the type of person I’d always look up to. He has made the transition from software development into OT, and has contributed extensively to multiple open-source projects (found on his GitHub). We had a great conversation with James, discussed his background, talked about the various technologies in software (I still need to research the storage solution he had mentioned for K8S), and we discussed the current state of the manufacturing / industrial automation industry.

Next Episodes

Dave & I have been traveling quite a bit. Between Hannover Messe, Automate, and Dublin Tech Summit, we’ve had some other commitments outside of the podcast that took priority. That being said, expect for us to pick up the cadence both on the live episodes and the episodes released on the podcasting platforms.

In the month of June, we’re focused on IIoT and we’re kicking off the theme on Monday June 10th with the CTO of Vention. They’ve designed their own control system and I believe that the episode should be extremely interesting. If you’re interested to listening in, make sure to tune in on LinkedIn or YouTube. Otherwise, you can also listen via the platforms by searching “Manufacturing Hub.”

Hanging out in Dublin and Ireland

One of the reasons why I flew into Dublin was to spend time with the Kerno team. The reality of a startup, especially one that is operating on a fairly remote basis, is that meeting in person to align the strategy of various roles is a great opportunity. The unfortunate reality is that we need to make these in-person meetings happen strategically. In other words, we combined the conference, which allowed us to land some leads with spending time together.

We’ve reflected on the goals and objectives we’ve set out as a company. We still have a lot to do, and although we’re grateful for the journey, we can’t move “the foot” off the pedal.

The Conclusion

As i flew from Dublin > Washington DC > Montreal, I’ve taken the time to reflect on the “state of things.” In short, I’m happy with how things stand, but I’ve got to make some changes over the next months / years. I’ve been juggling a lot of initiatives, some of which have been covered above. I believe that there’s an opportunity for me to “make things better” and free up some of my time.

Entrepreneurship is hard. Decisions need to be made on every corner and you’re fighting for success despite the small failures along the way.