How to create a phenomenal lie millions of people would buy into and build your own success on bullsh*t? Or turn a tech startup from a small country into a multi-billion dollar business? Making impossible ideas a reality is no biggie for IT Arena 2019 keynote speakers – an extraordinary prankster Oobah Butler and Romanian entrepreneur Daniel Dines.
Tricking TripAdvisor, Paris Fashion Week and BBCOobah Butler has hacked the system multiple times and become the world’s most famous prankster in less than three years. He pulled a con on TripAdvisor, Paris Fashion Week, broke dumb British laws in public, found an army of lookalikes, launched an app where everyone can order a better version of themselves and wrote a bestselling book “How to Bullsh*t Your Way to Number 1: An Unorthodox Guide To 21st Century”. Three of his videos have gone absolutely viral, counting over 160 million views to-date. His tricks made headlines in the international media – Forbes, The Guardian, NRP, BBC, The Washington Post, etc., and his creativity was highly praised by multiple awards – Webbys 2019 award for ‘Video: Weird’; Content Creator of the Year at the Online Media Awards, Video Project of the Year at the British Media Awards and Best Content Idea – Digital 2018 at the British Society of Magazine Editors Talent Awards. Japanese TV did an hour-long documentary about Oobah. His work provoked a discussion on fake news in Singaporean parliament and was later used as an example to enforce new laws. Back in 2017, Oobah registered a non-existing restaurant on TripAdvisor. For seven months, his family and friends had been writing positive, intriguing, and most importantly fake reviews. As a result – a fictional restaurant in his garden shed, now known as The Shed at Dulwich became TripAdvisor’s top-rated restaurant in London.
Having always been fascinated by knock-off brands, Oobah decided to sneak into Paris Fashion Week as Georgio Peviani, a high-end jeans designer. The Georgio Peviani jeans do exist, but the man himself is completely made up. Butler launched a website, made a lookbook, printed out business cards and pretending to be a fashion designer tricked his way to the top of Paris Fashion Week. In one of the interviews, Butler said, “Georgio Peviani is doing everything that successful fashion designer needs to do apart from existing. I wanted to help him fulfill his potential.”
Both The Shed and Georgio Peviani made Oobah famous practically overnight – media representatives from all over the world started to line up for an opportunity to interview him. After a while, Oobah noticed that journalists always ask the same questions, and came up with a new idea – he decided to send out stand-ins to represent him on TV, radio and in public. “People put forward totally fake versions of themselves online nowadays, don’t they? You have a sexy you on Instagram, you have a funny you on Twitter, so why can’t I do that in real life?,” explains Butler. The stunt turned out to be successful – neither Bulgarian TV, BBC Radio 1 or Australian morning show, which Oobah had visited before, noticed the hoax. Inspired by the idea that anyone should be able to have a better version of themselves, Oobah launched an app – oobah.com, where one can order a lookalike for any special occasion.
At IT Arena 2019, on September 28, Oobah Butler will speak on creativity in the internet era, creating viral content and proving to millions of people that any idea can be successful, even if it’s fake.
7 billion dollar unicorn to make your workday shorterDaniel started his career at Microsoft, where he designed and developed one of their major products, the SQL Server Agent. The story of the first Romanian unicorn goes back to 2005 when the group of engineers developed and patented the new technology of access and configuration of user data. Up until 2011, Daniel with the team was providing automation libraries based on that technology for IBM, Google, Siemens, and Microsoft software. In 2012, the first MVP of RPA (Robotic Process Automation) – UiPath Desktop Automation appeared.
Back in 2015, UiPath employed only 10 people, who worked from a small Bucharest apartment. But in a short span of a year, UiPath grew to 100 employees with $5 million annual revenue. In 2017, the company increased by 5 times – with 500 employees all over the world and $50 million annual revenue. 2019 has been by far the most fruitful year for the startup. UiPath became a unicorn, acquired a Ukrainian startup StepShot, is now evaluated at about $7 billion. The company has more than 3,000 employees globally, including an office in Lviv, Ukraine.“We are way ahead of Facebook in how our own people speak about our culture,” said Daniel Dines in an interview for Forbes. Daniel claims that the secret behind the rapid growth of his company is a unique culture, based on humbleness. “Be humble, be bold, be fast, be in balance” – these are the UiPath culture imperatives. On September 27, IT Arena attendees will be able to find out how such simple principles helped Daniel Dines to take over automation market.
RPA – is a technology that allows automating employee routines. How does it work: robotic software records an employee’s workflow and chooses repetitive tasks which can be automated. For example, if an employee pays a certain bill every month, the robotic software will do the task for them. This technology will help to drastically shorten work hours and optimize the resources of companies.
In Ukraine, Daniel became famous after his company acquired startup from Lviv – StepShot. StepShot is a Ukrainian company that specializes in automated process documentation. UiPath representatives say that taking over StepShot will help to expand the capacity of their solution. StepShot team will remain working on automation software in Lviv as UiPath. Oleksandr Reminnyi, Founder of StepShot is also on IT Arena 2019 speaker lineup. Oleksandr will share the story of his startup and talk on the specifics of product development in Ukraine at the event’s Startup Track.