Archive for the ‘Ireland’ Category

Google’s Alphabet Street

Friday, August 14th, 2015

So, Google Alphabet

  • Alphabet = [Google] + [Calico, Nest, Fiber, G Ventures, G Capital, Google X]
  • Google = Google Search, Ads, Maps, YouTube, Android are still under the Google umbrella in Alphabet. The rest is shit Sundar Pichai doesn’t want.
  • Alphabet saves face as the founders and Eric are now not running their creation.
  • Sundar Pichai can gut the company more too and it wasn’t them. Nobody ever got the axe under the rule of the three amigos – Larry, Sergei, Eric. Actually, a few were left go during the crunch but not massive numbers.
  • Maybe now, silly projects like Google Glass don’t need to be crowbarred into being an integral part of Google and can be left to be fun toys for the billionaire’s boys club
  • 2500 people have subscribed to my website instead of coming back each day. You can subscribe to the site using a feedreader or email. I'm also on Twitter. My online marketing blog might also be worth a visit. Thanks for visiting - Damien.

    Fáilte Ireland and Lovin Dublin

    Monday, February 16th, 2015

    FOI’d Visit Dublin which is part of Fáilte Ireland. Remember that Loving Dublin thing in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre? Did you know they got €5k ex VAT from Failte Ireland as it encouraged people from the UK to travel to Ireland? Now you do. The money was to help in “Repositioning Dublin as a cool, contemporary, edgy city break destination”

    Good news too. They expect 10k people (lots from the UK) in 2015 and 15k in 2016. Hmm, people from the UK coming over in 2016. Great!

    (Click to enlarge etc.)



    I asked Failte Ireland too if “communications between Fáilte Ireland and employees of LovinDublin on content/editorial decisions of
    LovinDublin” and they said they didn’t contact them with any issues about their content. Maybe people from the UK will Love content like this? It’s “edgy” alright.



    How much has IDA spent on Web Summit?

    Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

    FOI Request to IDA has generated this:

    2012: €80,000 ex VAT
    2013: €140,000 ex VAT
    2014: €100,000 ex VAT

    The below is for a press conference and networking event at the 2014 Summit. From IDA “Our networking event in the National Museum which had over 200 clients and potential investors present. We also had a press announcement with national and international media in the building to coincide with the event.”

    2010 and 2011 payments to Web Summit.

    How much has Enterprise Ireland spent on Web Summit?

    Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

    TLDR: €265k in 2014, €175k in 2013, €144k in 2012 : €584k over three years

    I did an FOI request in December:
    1) Grants, fees, payments made to the Web Summit / Founders
    2) Web Summit/Founders costs paid by EI such as speaker fees, travel costs (if any)
    3) Costs for the EI for stands, marketing and running events around Web Summit / Founders

    This is what I got back:

    The Income column is money EI made from subletting their stand at the 2014 Web Summit.
    The column on the right includes travel and accommodation costs for overseas buyers, investors and media.

    2010 and 2011 payments to Web Summit.

    Accounts for the company behind Web Summit, Manders Terrace Limited. Please note these are from Duedil so may not be fully up to date.

    Manders Terrace Limited | DueDil

    Ones to watch 2015

    Thursday, January 1st, 2015

    I’ve been doing these Ones to Watch now for 8+ years. This is my 9th “Ones to watch”. This is the 2014 one. Good to see it’s something worth copying.

    2013 ones to watch. 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 2008, 2007.

    My ones to watch are entirely subjective, they’re based on people I know or know of, these people are mostly Irish or they have a link to Ireland that’s weaker than the criteria to play for our soccer team. I do not link to people hoping I’ll get gratitude from them or get links, retweets or future business from them.



    Marie Duffy was featured in these Ones to watch about two years ago. In 2014 she has been directly affected by mental health issues and she wrote about it from hospital. This felt like watching storm coverage on TV and the person in the middle of the storm pausing the scene and talking directly to you, explaining what’s going on. I worked with Marie when I was on the board of Spunout and am really proud of everything she’s done and will do. If there’s one new thing you’d like to read as 2015 starts, read this short piece from her. “Can you guarantee your safety?”

    In no particular oder, here are some people to check out and see what they’re up to in 2015.

    Matthew Mulligan
    Deputy Editor of tn2 Magazine and Editor-at-Large of Trinity News for the 2013//2014. This is his LinkedIn. A very boring place for someone that is not. I first encountered Matthew from various tweets to his writing and retweets of his commentary. A very talented writer who I hope to read more from in 2015. His Twitter, far more interesting than LinkedIn.

    Jane Ruffino
    Well there’s someone that won’t shut up. Won’t be quiet when some bro has his mansplaining to share with the world. Won’t play the game of “all is well in techland” as everyone feeds from the trough. Good. I’m glad Jane has her weekly slot/shot in the Business Post. You should read it. This is her site. This is her Twitter. She did archaeology, she knows how to dig up the stuff that other people buried. Oh my, isn’t that clever writing from me? Punarific. Jane is also the token woman on the list so I can now go back to talking up the menz, right? All of the menz.

    Mark Coughlan
    Good journalists weave. They take various threads and bring them together and give you a tapestry. Weaving. Mark has put in the time to craft his skill, put himself out there and worked hard which has made him skilled. It wasn’t family dynasties that got him to now. In 2015 though they’re going to replace that pen in his hand with a swankier one.

    Vicki O’Callaghan
    I’m sure she’ll get awkward reading this. Vicki is a digital champion for Landmark Digital who look after all the digital properties of the Examiner. What’s great about Vickie is there’s no being able to bullshit her on anything digital. Same goes for a few others in there. The Examiner publications have seen major changes in the past few years and their digital offerings have been doing really well in 2014. I’m not privvy to the way the Examiner works but 2014 seemed to be a year of things settling down with debts, layoffs and office moves so given some good enough digital gains in 2014, I think 2015 will be very interesting for the Examiner group and it will be worth seeing what Vicki and her colleagues will be doing. Plus you know, Cork bias from me.

    Mat Morrison
    Mat’s Irish now. He’s stayed in Dublin at least three times. So yeah. Mat has spoken at the conferences from the very start and made them successful as a result too. He’s finished up in his last gig and is off now, wandering the land like an episode of Kung Fu. 2015 ought to be very interesting for this very insightful chap. His blog.

    Ciara King
    Yer wanno from Chris and Ciara on 2FM. If she doesn’t kill him, their show is going to grow in 2015 and you may see them get more attention for the work they do. Ciara’s youth diary entries are a recently uncovered gem. Even if she did kill him, she’d get out in a few years anyway and can resume what she does. Ciara King on Twitter.

    Aoife Clarke
    Aoife and Caitriona and the other Lidl comms staff seem to be always on social media looking after their brand. Lidl did well in the 2014 Social Media Awards and it’s because of an in-house team that obviously like what they’re doing. For such a massive brand, the Lidl comms are a bit of fun. Looking forward to what happens in 2015 with whatever Team Lidl will be doing.

    Deborah Maguire
    Deborah is the bosslady of Irish Made Gifts, a growing company in Cork that sources well produced Irish crafts and sells on behalf of producers. One of the ways to pay attention to a company, technology or person is having three different sources come to you talking about the company/person and I experienced that a few times in 2014 with Deborah.

    Jim Carroll
    The Banter Boy. Jim has been piloting Banter for a good few years and it’s expanding out and out each year too. It’s almost, but thankfully not fully become “the establishment”. And when other outlets report on what happens at them, good stuff is happening. Again, not privvy to his plans but with Banter, Agility HQ, that Irish Times gig and other bits n baubles, 2015 could prove very interesting. New shirt for those bigger arms or something.

    €2000 tender for an infographic by Houses of Oireachtas

    Thursday, June 26th, 2014

    Oireachtas Infographic

    So the Houses of the Oireachtas want an infographic and one that does this:

    provide a visual representation of the budget process from the perspective of the Houses of the Oireachtas that is visually engaging as well as being authoritative, accurate and objective.

    and the max ex-VAT price you can quote:

    The maximum budget for this project is €2,000

    Yeah cos when you tell people the max you’ll pay, that means the quote will be Max minus a few quid.

    This is all outlined in an 18 page document. (.Doc Attached)

    But hang on, there are some conditions for this:

    “it must be possible to print it (A3 and A4) as well as publishing it on the Library & Research Service WordPress website.”

    Yeah infographics generally have that ability, you know cos they’re graphics.

    But wait, there’s more:

    It is expected that there will be at least one kick off meeting after the tender has been awarded to confirm approach and content, and at least one draft infographic delivered to the L&RS before delivery of the final approved infographic.

    Think of the admin work that went into producing this tender and evaluating it. For an infrographc!

    Last year it cost €105 million to run the Houses of the Oireachtas.

    ISME 2014 Survey – Baloney from Banks and Govt on lending to SMEs

    Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

    ISME Survey. PDF.

    • 52% of companies who applied for funding in the last three months were refused credit by their banks, a slight improvement on the 54% refusal rate, seen in the previous quarter.
    • 32% of respondents had requested additional or new bank facilities in the last 3 months, a reduction from 39% in the previous quarter and lowest demand since June 2011.
    • On average, the decision time has increased to just over 4 weeks and the wait to drawdown has increased from 3 to 5 weeks.
    • 11% of respondents who required bank finance did not apply for various reasons, a decrease from 17% in the previous quarter.
    • Of those 42% were actually discouraged by bank from making application and another 33% were afraid of a reduction in existing facilities.
    • 50% of respondents are customers of their bank for over 20 years, while 85% are over 5 years.
    • Of the 48% approved for funding, only 43% have drawn down the finance either fully or in part.
    • 46% of requests were for term loans, with 34% for overdrafts, or alterations to existing facilities, while invoice discounting/factoring accounted for 5% of requests, with 20% requesting leasing.
    • 60% of respondents had increases in bank charges imposed, while 20% have suffered increased interest.
    • Reductions in overdrafts were demanded of 23% of SMEs, down from 35% in the previous quarter.
    • 71% state that the Government is having either a negative or no impact on SME lending.
    • 74% of owner/managers are in favour of an alternative Strategic Investment Bank.
    • Only 32% of respondents are aware of the code of conduct for business lending to SMEs.

    Cork is … Dublin is

    Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

    According to Google Autocomplete:



    I just call the numbers.

    Ones to watch 2014

    Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

    2013 ones to watch. 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 2008, 2007.

    Barry Hand
    I’ve known Barry from the days of Boards, then Digiweb, then LastMinute and now GrabOne. Barry is one of only a few that I feel is better at digital marketing and planning than me. (That’s not an ego thing, much). I’ve attended talks and workshops that he’s given and always come out of it richer with knowledge, which is why I’m always nagging him to do courses for my clients. His constant strive for bettering himself and more knowledge is admirable and something I want to do but rarely get round to. 2014 by just probability is going to be a good year for Barry.

    Dylan Varian
    Dylan has been doing the business thing since 17, has worked for himself and worked for Trustev. If you have that much experience before 20 and you stick with it, you’re going to do well. Or maybe totally burn out and run a small scented candles store near a surfing and tourism spot.

    Niall Smart, Cormac Driver
    They’re at it again. More Irish Y-Combinator alumni. Sold their last company to Real Networks. Now both doing different things but in New York. Cormac is head of product at Temboo which is an SDK that gives you access to 100+ APIs. The Internet of Everything goes their pitch. A perfect platform to create your own web app. Be interesting to see how this tool kit fast tracks a lot of new tech startups.

    Niall is now CTO in Hightower and they just landed $2.1 million in investment and are bringing realtors to the 21st century with their software. This should be a fun space to watch.

    Christian Ryder
    In fairness I was a mentor to Christian so I know his business quite well. Christian’s company Fonesense is now in the Wayra incubation programme and they’re getting some great meetings with some very nice companies. You can tell they’re going places when Government Ministers want in on their success. Selfie with Bruton in 5, 4, 3 … And like the lads above, Christian already has had previous success with the Cabbage texting app for Android.

    Laura Gaynor
    Laura is from the Spunout world and has a talent for getting her videos on to Broadsheet.

    Only barely done the Leaving, that she wrote about for the Indo and she’s out in IADT now doing what she’s good at: videos. Wait a few years and see what she’ll be directing.

    Lastly, going back to two I’ve featured before but a revisit is always worth it.

    Alexia Golez
    Alexia is now working for Trustev (that’s two Trustevees on the list this year) and featured on the list in 2011, so not that long ago. She’s not been in Trustev that long so her impact and the impact of a startup culture on her should make 2014 interesting for them both.

    Dena Walker
    Dena is back in Ireland, maybe back for good. Featured in Ones to Watch 2010 edition. Herself and Barry Hand are the book ends of this post. Two people in Digital Marketing who understand marketing/digital strategy better than me and most people. Thank god there’s a voice that calls bullshit in an industry that rewards bullshit. No, I meant the marketing industry, not green tech.

    2013 – The year of being outraged

    Monday, December 30th, 2013

    All of those end of the year articles streaming out of many media orifices towards the end of this month looking at back at what 2013 was. One of them to me was a year of being outraged and Twitter was at the core of it. While that game has always been around on Twitter, 2013 was certainly a peak and media and agitated personal lives definitely contributed.

    Some asshole does something assholey and someone that needs to move their frustration out of their head into the public finds themselves being outraged. Just like we have “the Final Number One Single of the Year” now we have the final outrage of the year and it seems to be Justine Sacco. Now of course not only do you read about the outrage and every media outlet both professional and amateur (though these are only labels, not levels these days) telling us all the same story but now they’ve figured out you can analyse this to death as if it was a soccer match. “How did the pigeons in the council estate react Jeff?” See, why go and work for a story when you can just post-match analyse what’s been handed to you via a Tweet?

    Screen shot taken from Willow.


    Already linked to this piece by Allen Pike about negativity will always come after you. in another post but worth pointing out here too:

    As your audience grows, the chance of any given action triggering criticism asymptotically approaches 100%.

    Without doing too pop-psychology about this but it probably says something about the people and the network that people now do Twitter searches to find spoiled kids at Christmas so they can out them. Everyone nowadays wants their Gotcha moment which of course they can share with others for approval. Micro-rewards of replies, Favs and RTs means it will happen again and again.

    But it’s not a Twitter thing, hunting like animals to find validation for your own personal issues is wildly encouraged by media outlets. Controversial opinion pieces in the Irish Times are great for generating outrage which are great for generating comments which are great for generating page views. Outrage has always been there, Gerry Ryan, Gay Byrne and Letters to the Editor thrived on that. Now it’s en-masse and automated. Now we have article comments. And your tweets now get featured in print editions of newspapers too. “Here is what an outraged Twitter thinks”, nice reward cycle.

    Many media outlets have community janitors to wade through rivers of bile when really, who fucking cares about the opinion of someone in the comments? How does that better the lives of the readers? After all the work editing and sub-editing articles to get the right timbre and message and then some dope says “you smell” in the first comment.

    Aside: I actually find it hilarious though that the people who give out about the comments on the likes of the Irish Times wet themselves when their carefully constructed Letter to the Editor gets printed, which probably gets stuck on the fridge.

    If you keep reading the comments or worse reply to the comments in some of these spaces, it makes me wonder about you and not the trolls. If you keep following people on responding to bigots on social networks giving sisyphus a run for his money, I wonder about you more than the Twitter fools. I see these people that get outraged and incensed when someone who by their nature will never change says something that they will always say. Don’t agree with a right-wing Catholic, just use the block button. I probably use the block button two or three times a day on Twitter, it makes me a little saner. Try it. I block all those lame-ass meme accounts too. I actually think I have more in my block list than my follow list. You control your stream, have you not heard?

    You’ll probably lose friends too but when someone starts a conversation says “Oh my God did you see what David Quinn said” just get in “I don’t care”. Again, makes life a little saner.

    Leave a comment if you want, I may delete it but I very probably won’t read it.