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Fluffy Links – Tuesday September 20th 2011

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Mulley Comms wants someone to write about Hard Working Class Heroes for them. Expenses and ticket costs covered.

The Business Post covered the Mulley Comms Teen Smoking Survey recently. Some of the data was unexpected and eye-opening. Reasons for giving up saw cost and health equally matched and what many already know: the anti-smoking ads don’t work.

I’m going way up North in a few weeks to talk Online PR/Crisis Comms.

Cork based FundIt Project – Partly Cloudy are looking for support.

Culture Night in Cork is this Friday. I’m away, of course. Nice lineup of things to do. The Cork Printmakers one looks good.

Still reading the book – Nudge. Interesting bit in it that people will spend sometimes up to twice as much on desirable items because the option to pay with credit card is there.

Concern Worldwide will host the 10th annual NetHope Global Member Summit at Intel’s Innovation Centre in Leixlip from 7-11 November

Been doing the rounds in mainstream news now. Lovely way of lighting up homes in developing countries, for almost nothing using Coke bottles.

via Ebby Giant cows made from recycled car parts.

Midnight City by M83 from their new album

Follow

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Follow. At the Fringe this year, be great to get them down to Cork.

Shane’s parents are deaf. He grew up in a house with doorbell lights and subtitles on the TV. A house where to be heard, you had to be seen. Follow him to a place where languages collide. Where the lights are so bright you can’t see to speak. Where sound is just a feeling and signs are all around. Close your ears, cover your eyes. Come to the Deaf Disco. We’ll see you there

Follow Trailer from José Miguel Jiménez on Vimeo.

Fluffy Links – Thursday September 1st 2011

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

The 2011 Realex Payments Web Awards category list is out. Woo.

New Irish blog on marketing and advertising: Brant.ie

Meanwhile Eoin Kennedy is Going Out West.

Love research and data around cities. The first bunch of paragraphs talk about a London with deadly fires, the Plague, Cholera and more and yet it survived and grew even bigger. I

I like the idea. Sculpture classes as a team-building, fun event. Nice results.

Found via Twitter User story does online usability testing and website reviews.

Actual causes of death. Smoking and bad diets eh?

Lana Del Rey – Video Games (Via Jim)

Black sun

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

via BBC’s The Code

Starlings create these amazing patterns when flying together. It seems they follow three simple rules and if you recreate them as a software model, you can get the same patterns. Fly at the same speed, always stay the same distance between you and your neighbours and if you see a predator, leg it.

Meanwhile a 13 year old uses the Fibonacci sequence to redesign solar panels to be more like trees and so more efficient.

A year in an hour and a bit

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

If you were to bump into this witty and cultured guy at a friend’s party and think he’s a good laugh and he invites some friends and you to another party, you take his car and on the way to this other gaff you realise it’s not his car, he just lifted keys from the original party and he’s actually on second thoughts a bit mental and with a scary dark side and you have no idea where the fuck you’ll end up or if you’ll escape, then you’re slightly experiencing the genius that is Neil Watkins and his play The Year of Magical Wanking. And if you only breathe out after that last full stop, this is what the play will do to you. You can’t be prepared, so go with it. Funny, scary, intelligent and with spit in your face honesty. It could just be a little bit liberating.

Runs 9-17 September 2011 in Project Arts Centre. Tickets on sale from Absolut Fringe Dublin 2011.

This is the new trailer.

And this is just five minutes of what you’ll be experiencing:

Fluffy Links – Sunday August 21st 2011

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Coffee product placement by TV3, sure haven’t they been doing product placement in comics for ages?

Ah there’s another ex-Demonware founder let loose on the bloggersphere. Sean Blanchfield, hello.

Nice idea from Paul. SEO in a box, type service. 747 SEO.

Tickles, another deal site, this time for us down South are hiring. Part of the TCH Group.

Woah. From a McDonald’s (why did he not cover his tracks properly?) a disgruntled employee almost totally wiped out the tech infrastructure of his ex-Pharma bosses. Virtual servers eh?

Seen all those cool levitating type pics from Asia? Here’s how they do it. Yer man has the same accent as Paul Whitehouse. Via Hyperallergic.

Active Child – Hanging On

Opportunities

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Jim Carroll’s post on Quality v Quantity in the music business where you now have only a few months to break on through (it seems) due to easy findability of every band on the planet, kind of links into this piece quoting Ian Rogers on how it’s easy to create and distribute music nowadays but again because of easy discoverability, you have to market harder/smarter to get yourself noticed, so more resources are going in to marketing/pr/promotion.

That to me says there are opportunities as well as suggesting maybe with all this connectedness it could bring the quality way up for bands but they still need that 10k hours idea Gladwell came up with. Wait til they get the tech right for people to jam with each other properly around the world in real time. No more ‘bassist wanted’ flyers in guitar shops. It worked with Internet dating!

This of course ties into everything else not just music. When the web first came about, search engines allowed us to find/discover textual information and it worked well. The amount of information then for the basic web was tiny compared to now. With these more complicated media, more tech and more opportunities to sort out information were born. Now with the web we have services like Last.fm (liked this song, others who did liked this one), Netflix for movies, Amazon recommendation services (bit rough) and sites using your social media footprints are now aiding us into finding new things we might like. Counter to that though is the idea we are having too much hidden from us due to what we soley like. Serendipity gets stomped on. There’s a whole TED video on filters and this:

Anyway, Dylan Collins did a blog post on what people (I was included too) thought were opportunities for startups. A good range of people and a load of good ideas are over there. Importantly for me and maybe you is that these quick bursts of ideas get you to think and come up with other ideas and opportunities based on them. Even reading them and saying “this is bullshit because…” gets you to be creative and analytical and maybe share ideas and potential opportunities.

So loads of new ideas for everyone around the world that can be inspired by blog posts and what not. More ways to be inspired, cheaper tech and infrastructure to build your ideas and faster turnaround for the ideas. Increase in quantity, increase in quality too but also a lot of noise. Geography won’t matter as much (we’ll have no Valley is better than Roundabout stuff in the comments please) so an Irish startup could compete with a German one for example. Creativity and skill not previous history of the area become stronger factors for startups.

Is the startup world following what is happening in music? If yes, will the issues with the music industry become a lesson to be learned by startups too? So a bit like Inception, there seem to be opportunities inside opportunities as the opportunity to have an opportunity becomes easier.

Inspiration is just a matter of slowing things down and observing:

Fuckoffier – #mulleycomic 2

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

The next version of the Mulley Comic is plonking down on doorsteps about now. First one is here.

Thanks to Nick and Dena who didn’t know how they’d be presented.

Also thanks to the companies in the comic for investing in good old product placement. Voice-over Bloke. Curious Cupcakes. MadeInHollyWood. John Blackbourn. Blacknight. IsMulleyOnATrain.com made by Keith and Anthony also features. And of course we all <3 IrishStu.com

A bit of end of business year fun.

MulleyComic2BroadsheetPhotoshopMaterial1

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Ink/Drawing by the legendary Tommie “jetpack” Kelly

Don’t hire anyone, ever

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Bullshit backstory bit, skip down if you want

The dayjob is about three years old this month. It’s been going well, I think. Doubling in revenue year on year.

I work for myself, pay myself a basic wage and that’s it. I get to buy nice work related toys now of course. I’ve turned down more work opportunities in the past year than took on, many times because I can and don’t want to but some because I just don’t have capacity even when I do want to. That bit sucks but I still get to work on great things. Even though I mostly work seven days a week (which when you enjoy what you do, isn’t too taxing) and long hours, I still have missed some projects which would have been fun.

About two years ago I started thinking I needed to hire people. Doubling every year is a nice growth rate but you can’t do that on your own forever. I’ve reached that impasse about now, unless I increase my prices. So two years ago I was looking around and being the type that doesn’t forgive mistakes easily, found it hard to find the right people. Personality wise and experience wise.

An additional slight backstory is that I was a teamlead in a previous job and people management is not for me. I like to just ask people to do things and let them do their thing while I do mine. How are you today, is there anything I can do to make your job easier, I knew you had a hangover and skipped work but HR rules state instead that I have to see can we work together so this doesn’t happen again. Fuck that.

Finding the right people
Back to the main bit of meandering. So I looked at this for a while but work got in the way of looking more into the idea of hiring people. In the past 12 months again as I saw where turnover was going I knew again that if I want to grow the company more, I needed to hire people.

Going past just you
When I talked to a lot of business people, well experienced ones, they all said this: “Damien Mulley can’t scale so what are you going to do?” Back to looking for good people. When you run your company your own way, it’s a mess, full of odd routines and illogical organisation methods so anyone that comes on board will need slight deconstruction of their persona and then rebuilding back up.

So there were things I could do:
* document the way the company works
* build systems and automate them as much as possible
* hire someone to learn these systems
* hire in people that were good with people and have them hire the workers and keep them away from me

This is why a little while back I started looking at the Myers Briggs tests. Find the first fulltime hire and have them being a good match with my personality. Which apparently says I have the same personality as the great dictators. So someone that can put up with that is what is needed and is good mentoring others.

Don’t hire anyone, ever
While this was going on, I used to say this to every business owner I met. Without exception they all told me that employees were the bane of their lives and things would be so much simpler without them. One person that owned a multi-million euro company had 80 staff and said they broke his heart, another said she wished she kept the company at 3 people and that was it because for every new employee, the company made less per person and brought with it more personal drama. It was accepted that employees were a necessity to scale but I was forewarned by many that they would change what I do and change the company too.

Digital will scale?
I’ve been using contractors for various work bits and bobs and for clients I send them straight out to others when they ask me to do certain services (Web dev, web design, marketing campaign supervision, status updates etc.) All these services need people though and it looks like I’ll be avoiding that now. So how to scale?

It has to be digital, right? I’m working on a few web services (me bitching about finding Irish web devs to build it is another post) that will aid the company in scaling up and luckily I’ve calmed work down for the past few weeks and have time to draw out on A4 pages on what these services can do. Still, ironically, getting this right seems to be as taxing as finding that unique special snowflake employee type but I can get away with not wearing pants in the office with this digital employee. Sorry, I went there.

Now this is just me who works in a very personality driven company. I know other business people who love the company of their employees and see them as a big family. It’s not you, it’s me and I have the utmost respect for people like that.

Anyway, it’s been an interesting 3 years and we’ll see who the work in progress goes for year 4.

This video has everything to do with nothing:

Fluffy Links – Sunday August 14th 2011

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Some Madmen staffers are giving a Screen Training Ireland course in Dublin on TV series concept development.

Love this Terminator account on Twitter, looking for Sarah Conner.

Take a penny, leave a penny. Never heard of this concept before, interesting how it works and is culturally locked in, it seems.

What Google sees as bad words. I could add a whole lot more.

Mark Rothco, his post suicide legacy on his family.

Sky Ferreira – Animal (Miike Snow Cover) (Via Derek from Phantom)