Get out and push

Web2Ireland, PaddysValley, OpenCoffee, BarCamp Ireland, PodCamp, TechLudd, Ireland Inc., Startup Ireland, whatevernext? Too many yet not enough. All great ideas and all will make Ireland better. But…

Despite all the groups and all their aspirations it’s the same ding dong at the end of the day: There are a core number of people that shut up and do and far too many that talk and do no more and then bitch and whine when they don’t like what they are being spoonfed. Look at the overlap with all of these groups above. No, not with those that attend their events but those that do any kind of work organising them or even help out in a small way. The numbers are tiny. They barely increase year on year. I said the same about the same old faces at BarCamps. It’s time to get out and push.

I’ve put my time into the BarCamps and the PaddysValleys, broke my arse for Paddy’s Valley (at a time when I never realised it but I was seriously ill) and so now my lot is done. I’m retired until such a time as all the talkers start becoming doers. No I won’t join your group as it means me getting fed up with inaction and doing the heavy lifting, no I won’t spend hours on conference calls giving up my time for the benefit of others who don’t have time to organise their own stuff. Get out and push.

I think it’s time that people gave back without having to be asked. I’m also starting to think that those that do the work til now maybe have to start being more strict with their generosity because it seems the Joe Drumgooles, the Conor O’Neills, the Fergus Burns’, the Ken McGuires, the Keith Bohannas, the Paul Walshs, the Elly Parkers, the James Corbetts etc. are spoiling people here by always coming forward and are almost expected to do all the work. However I also think anyone that stands up and wants to do something either via an existing group or a new one should be encouraged and let them talk less and do something. So yeah, get out and push and maybe let the others rest for a while.

And how do you get out and push?
You can start in the morning by signing up to the next BarCamp to give a talk or to volunteer a worthwhile chunk of your time to the organisation of it. You can start your own BarCamp anywhere. You can do it without demoing your product or talking up your companies services. Maybe take the ShareIT idea I started and do one for your local area. Why not contact your local Enterprise Board and offer to give a free talk at one of their events? Why not actually use an OpenCoffee event (Which you can start locally) to give a quick tutorial on something. Or the list at the start of the post has groups that all need volunteers and people that do. Join one and get out and push. Don’t have the time, neither do any of the people I mentioned but they make time. Get out and push.

13 Responses to “Get out and push”

  1. Grannymar says:

    Well said young man!

    Look after yourself and stay well.

  2. Anton says:

    Well said Damien! I agree absolutely…

  3. Niall Larkin says:

    Of course, Mulley is spot on gently drawing our attention back to what is actually important to the community: individual input.

    I have to say I remain in awe of the BarCamp blueprint (a blueprint that I think underlies all the other groups listed anyway).

    After “Robert’s Rules of Order” I can’t imagine a more significant advance in nurturing groups and protecting them from their own worst enemy: themselves.

    To start or participate or attend a barcamp or barcamp-style event, nobody needs anybody’s imprimatur. This keeps is healthy and fresh. And the “Rule of 2 feet” means you don’t have to endure anything you don’t like. Which means everyone gets what they want. And if they don’t, they have only themselves to blame.

    There’s a whole lot of wisdom packed into those 2 principles alone.

    Perhaps we should be careful of diluting them.

    I wonder should we be wary of running barcamp-like events under alternative banners? Should we have to have some great reasons why we should run events under alternative banners when the principles of barcamp and the name barcamp can easily accommodate those events in the first place?

  4. Too right Damien – in my ‘9 to 5’, I have expanded the Leitrim ICT Network (over 30 members now) into the Leitrim Business Network (exploiting the power of LinkedIn and Leitrim’s Diaspora). I am encouraging all Leitrim businesses to join and engage with our vibrant ICT companies.

    See As part of the innovation evenings I run, the next one (inspired by your good self) is titled (Online) Networking to Develop Business.

    It’s not exactly a CAMP but I do hope to get one going. Problem is, the INNOVATE project is over on March 31st.

    Anywho, I would be more than happy to offer some time toward helping with other groups and camps etc.

  5. Gordon says:

    I agree. I’ve mentioned before that I think the Open Coffee’s in Cork need a topic or focus for each meeting. The OC website should be used to suggest and vote on the next topic otherwise we’re a bunch of people hanging around chatting which is better suited to a pub.

    In this regard, I think an Open Coffee document collaboration is a useful project. To gather together document templates such as business plans that we will all need at some stage.

    More details are here on the site :

  6. Ta for the mention Damien. I do barcamp’s because I enjoy it and any incidental things because the passion carries me there:-). Not everyone will get turned on by being involved at organisation level – however as you say everyone can be an attendee and most can be speakers – at barcamps and in other places.

    Everyone has something they can share – whether it be experience, skill set or sectoral knowledge.

    Glad you are pulling back – your health all important and focusing your energy and skills will help you in 2008 🙂


  7. I think all organisational dynamics involve behavioral elements of the Pareto Principle. So you have 100 people in the venue, 20 will contribute, 80 will hang out. You have 100 blog visitors, 90 will read, 10 may comment. Ireland’s small size means you’re playing for small numbers and in the unconference field, you hope to attract 100 when you open doors to non-paying crowds. I think it’s important to cut the cloth to measure. Deconflict the unconference events so you don’t have more than one running a month. Keep the local OpenCoffees lively by spreading them out to no more frequently than once a fortnight.

    There are noteworthy organisational dynamics at work behind the success of Cork’s OpenCoffee and several unique factors that made Kilkenny’s Podcamp a breath of fresh air. I believe that Gordon’s call for a collaborative document would help spotlight success factors so potential organisers know leading indicators of success or failure. Let’s get that collaborative documentation out into the public spotlight. At Tipperary Institute, we will help foster the collaboration with some fresh faces and clever audio bridges.

  8. Gordon says:

    Thanks Bernie. The open documents have attracted about 13 users so far. Conor has kindly added an NDA that people can edit and use.

    If anyone has any documents they’d like to contribute, please do.

  9. steve white says:

    you are creating your own problem by hyping things up too much, if you say all these orgs have the same people then that might be the prob less orgs, or don’t expect so much from them, look at you event you organised that few turned up to, at any point are you going to take into consideration that it was your fault for thinking there was demand thats not there. Sure you gotta promote your thing but don’t create flops while doing it.

  10. Definitely want to do my bit this year, Damien. I’m seriously pepped.

    That said, this still stands!

  11. […] are tonnes of people who could give great talks and maybe they need a little encouragement? CreativeCamp is the place for shy people and will be very welcome. It would be a shame to see the […]

  12. […] I’m also reminded of Damien’s ‘Get Out And Push’ post. There are a lot of good business heads about. People that have built successful businesses […]

  13. […] I can understand how he’s tired after four years in exactly the same way I understood Mulley’s Get out and push post/challenge but, fuck it, what […]