Was it really just a little idle chatter to a small group of people that went out of control? Was it to spin up some controversy for the event that spectacularly backfired?
Was it a reflection of his actual political views? Or perhaps his future political ambitions?
Could it — some wags have implied — have been related to Cosgrave’s planning of an upcoming tech conference in Qatar?
Whichever of these it was (or wasn’t), it’s clear that Web Summit now stands in a different place.
Now under new leadership, the event may be tempted to eschew controversy in favour of more vanilla topics to suit corporate sponsors. That might be better for its bank account, but it would definitely move it even further from the edgier aspects of startup culture.