Web summit: how my startup that doesn’t exist was selected for ALPHA

This happened in 2016 but I never published it, so, here it goes.

Amando Abreu


Photo by WeSetupYourWebViewApp on Unsplash

I like to test things around me until they break, and figure out why they broke, and fix them. On a rainy day in Düsseldorf, when working for trivago, I started to see a lot of ads for web summit, the venue had changed to Lisbon, and, having lived in Lisbon a few years prior, I was extra curious to check it out better this year.

Out of curiosity, I signed up with my startup, a tinder for people looking for furniture, eg: “I am a man seeking a couch” and one could swipe right and left to find a match, and I decided to name it tinditure.io <- the .io domain means I’m a real startup.

The domain was never registered, and there was absolutely nothing on that page since the DNS couldn’t resolve a domain that doesn’t exist. Would they vet anything? Would they compare my idea/market/niche/app to others and make a decision, or are they simply looking at selling as many 1 metre booths as physically possible? Those were my hypothesis, and I was hopeful that my absolutely nothing wouldn’t be selected.

The first email included some expected scarcity and social proof selling tactics, these would make the next email seem amazing.

… A few days later

After a phone call with a sales clerk and being asked a bazillion questions(as a an early-stage startup person, I like to speak about myself), my idea was selected for Alpha! Amazing, this is what I call an MVP, domain isn’t even registered yet, nothing exists, and I’m already selected for web summit, what. a. day. #hustle

I proceed to get emails and phone calls every single day prompting me to buy the tickets until I make it clear that I won’t be joining.

But, this all happened in 2016, it’s different now.(I know this because in 2018 I applied again with the same idea, but the questions this time were more practical and about what was actually done). I guess that now they get enough actually real applicants, but…