What I learned at the Web Summit (Day 1)

I already have my million billion-dollar idea which I picked up at the Web Summit today.

It’s sad to think that despite whatever I have achieved in my life to-date, from now on I’ll be know as ‘that guy who invented ‘WHAPANERD’ (c), and my deep meditations on life, my kindness to animals, and my general good humour will be forgotten in light of that massive world-wide success.

It came to me as I was walking through the main hall, constantly bumping into people, who were not looking ahead but down at their phones/tablets/genitals.

I have been in many crowds – the sports crowd, the music crowd, the rioting crowd etc., but have rarely been as annoyed as this trek through nerdom. This is the future, and it consists of bumping into people with glasses.

I was marveling at this collection of people, traveling through the exhibition hall like meteors, destined to bump into one another sooner or later. And then, I have my Mark Zuckerberg moment.

As one delegate rolled along a suitcase (that goes in your hotel, son) and gave my toes a wheelie massage I thought, if this were a computer game, I could release a lot of tension by simply whacking him. Just lift my foot and over the suitcase goes, along with its owner.

Over course, in real life I cannot express my emotions like this. “Excuse me”, I think I foolishly said to my assailant, or possibly the Irish equivalent, “Sorry”.


They had some colorful sheep at the #websummit2015. I’m not sure if it was a metaphor

That’s when WHACKANERD came to me. ‘WHACKANERD’ is a game where you move through a tech conference and can ‘whack’ anyone who doesn’t look up from their phone to see where they’re going. You can also bulldoze past people walking too slow, and trip up people pulling wheelie suitcases.

If you collect 1,000,000,000 points, play consecutively for 300 days and send me most of your credit card numbers, you can have a free sandwich. (Note: Sandwich is not actually free in the Dublin version of the game, but it is in the Lisbon version)

I’m looking forward to the billions of euro and the fame, but I’ll miss, you know, the anonymity, as they all say. People will casually punch me in the arm and shout “WHACKANERD”, but I won’t be one bit impressed with their witticisms or originality. I’ll just smile weakly and nod my head.

Then later, because I live in Ireland, the same person will come back later in the evening and shout in my face “You think you’re a great fella, but just because you invented a shitty game doesn’t mean you can piss all over everyone and treat the rest of us like garbage. I think people like you are as low as the shit I wipe off my shoe”

I will reply calmly, and with great dignity, and tell him that I don’t think I’m great for inventing ‘WHACKANERD’ (and that in fact I have many more, better games in the pipeline) but I do think I deserve credit for the charitable works I have been able to do because of the game’s success. (I won’t say ‘my success, even though I think I’m due all the credit, which everyone knows anyway, because it would seem too vain).

Then I’ll leave in a dignified manner with a side instruction to my bodyguard that all I require for a good evening’s sleep is that particular man’s rectus muscles (both please) and well, we’ll ‘see’ what he thinks then. Ha. Ha.

As I said, I’ve been in many crowds of varying descriptions. One of the nuttiest (I digress) was at a Steve Earle concert in Ottawa, Canada. Steve was deep into heroin at the time and it seemed like most of the audience were suppliers of one type or another. Their clothing indicated a passion for leather and motorbikes, and the gender split was…well, some of them didn’t look completely bestial, and I’m guessing they were women, since I know of only two genders.

Steve was up on stage giving it his highest best, and then, at the end, to show solidarity with a biker who had been ‘wrongfully convicted’ of murder, rape and assault, he got a troupe of Hell’s (or some other shithole, say Kingston, Ontario) Angels to stand and sing with him on the stage about this poor soul. How high can you get? Not as high as Steve Earle, and don’t ever think you can.

Steve is sober now and doing some great work – fair play to him. He’s been in ‘The Wire’ playing a junkie (not a stretch) and has a great book about a junkie, ‘I’ll never get out of this world alive’ and apparently, he’s going to be at the next summit with an app for junkies called ‘MorningFix’.

I’m just kidding about that last part. The app is actually called ‘DailyFix’. Anyway, it’s in development.

And, of course, the E-Skoot was at the Summit. On sale for 55 sandwiches! And that comes with a lot of water baby!

So that’s my news from Day 1 of the Summit. I have my billion dollar idea and you’re still sitting at home wondering how to be a big success in life. Look, I don’t need the money or the fame. You can have WHACKANERD now for five mill and I’ll just row away in my boat like a big old Winklevoss, and that’s the last you’ll hear of me.

It’s the best deal you’re going to get all day.

You can find out more about the E-Skoot or purchase one at www.e-skoot.com

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