We need to send our sons and daughters away. All the bleating from Enterprise Ireland and the IDA showing off hipsters in startups in Ireland (that they rarely gave a shit about until it became a marketing hook) is great but where the big time is, is not here. We’re Ireland. We’re not Silicon Valley, we have more landmass than Israel but nothing else compares. Hipster startup kids, you’re just marketing collateral for Enterprise Ireland and the IDA to bring in tax avoidance money and a smattering of jobs. I worry for Pat Phelan as he drives himself to the edge of the burnout cliff and then stamps the dirt down on that edge but Trustev is hitting all the right spots and you’ll notice while it was thought of, formulated and molded in Ireland, to succeed Pat and Chris need to be on planes going out of the country for meetings. It can be anchored here but there isn’t going to be many walk-in customers for Trustev. And that’s where they’re going and that’s why they’re hitting it out of the park every day with awards, media attention and nonstop calls. Well done them.
There isn’t the established wealth and there isn’t the inbound wealth in Ireland to lavish patience on startups. You’ll probably learn more in one day in the startup scene in London, New York and Berlin than in Ireland in six months. Whether a conscious decision or a reactive necessity, Wayra in supporting Pat and Trustev, has helped them to be what appears to be “everywhere, every week”. Wayra is handy in that they have incubation centres in many countries so they have people on site in places you need (and not just ought) to be. A network of global incubation centres, great idea.
For me, in the busy season, I see my house at weekends and when people ask me is all the (internal) travel tiring, I tell them of course it is but I go where the money is. One of the suggestions from the Farmleigh love-ins a few years ago was to take some of the best business graduates and send them into the middle management of various countries in Europe, Africa, Asia. It seems the Government worried about the “optics” of a brain drain. That worked…
Apocrypha about the Collisons unable to set up a company in Ireland or even Father Ted being rejected by RTÉ probably aid in the lie that you could be big in Ireland “if it wasn’t for”, in truth you’ll fail faster and better and succeed in places with more resources and experience. London is better for comedy and TV than Dublin, Silicon Valley is going to be better to work on a startup. How much would it cost to be a mini-model of Silicon Valley in Ireland? Billions? And you’ll still be going to the Valley monthly anyway.
Irish people have a huge sense of longing and want to be back to where they came from. They’ll also help out their brothers and sisters at “home” when they can. Hubspot and the Irish roots connection. EMC. Again, they might be good PR bits but Cork got EMC because of a Cork connection. Ireland would benefit immensely if more Irish people were in companies outside of Ireland, corporate tax dodges or not. English speaking well educated workforce yada yada, yet it’s foreign language jobs the multinationals hire here for more …
Teach our graduates how to work in startups in the States, in London, in Berlin, in Hong Kong and enable them to do that. Throw a rock in Ireland now and you hit an incubation centre, there are companies that play the “incubation centre” shuffle as they hop from incubation centre to centre for 6 years it seems. That suggests there are not enough quality startups out there surely or too many incubation centres?
Want to start a startup in Ireland, have no ties like kids and a mortgage? Leave and fuck those that guilt trip you with “I decided to stay and fight here”, I’m staying because I’m comfortable and lazy, actually.
Anyway, this started as a link to Trustev winning another award and congratulating them. Ooops.