Author Archive

Fluffy Links – Friday January 3rd 2014

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Get Running with the Irish Times. Online course to help Irish Times readers to get into running in 2014. I like this idea of trying to be a core part of the lives/routines of their readers and not just a random part now and then.

Tape over your camera on your laptop and phone too if you are very paranoid. They’re remotely switching them on.

Griel Marcus’ commencement address for the 2013 graduating class of New York’s School of Visual Arts on high versus low culture and the false division. He rallies against this kind of bullshit:

As to whether the new, DiCaprio-ed edition of “Gatsby” would be socially acceptable to carry around in public, Mr. Cassem of McNally Jackson offered a firm no. “I think it would bring shame,” he said, “to anyone who was trying to read that book on the subway.”

Everyone going ape that people like Mrs Brown’s Boys and it beat Doctor Who in the ratings. High brow, low brow. Low brow low brow really. And in a similar vein:

People bitching about the Apple teen stuck in a phone ad seem to forget that most people that watched it, enjoyed it. And the ad is the perfect example of why advertising still works. As Ken Segall puts it:

There are tens of millions of people who will stop in their tracks at this commercial and wipe a tear from their eye. As a result, they will feel slightly more attached to Apple, which is the marketing purpose of this spot.

James Franco on selfies. Well written piece and valid points.

The different types of Snapchats.

Particle: Nice tech tool to track articles being spread online.

collecting data about the promotion of articles on Twitter, Facebook, Webpages, and RSS feeds

Everyone needs some Diana Vreeland quotes.

“Unshined shoes are the end of civilization.”
“There’s only one thing in life, and that’s the continual renewal of inspiration.”
“To be contented—that’s for the cows.”

OK Computer

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.

Business Links – Monday December 30th 2013

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Some links that might give you some guidance or inspiration:

Purpose from David Hieatt. Linked to him numerous times. Been to a workshop of his. Very inspiring guy, this is brilliant.

And more from David Hieatt.

Outing fake quotes and then using it as a hook for your college that prides itself on studying original sources.

Who goes to work to have fun? Nice counter to the brogramming, Movembering, “serious fun” workplaces that seem to actually use fun as a more sinister form of control and use “fun” to mask other issues. Hard to make a harassment complaint when you take part in the “fun” events and those remarks about your small breasts were just in the heat of “fun”.

And on the topic of HR and issues. Netflix and HR, some interesting thoughts. And a nice dig at startups that are far too casual.

The best thing you can do for employees—a perk better than foosball or free sushi—is hire only “A” players to work alongside them. Excellent colleagues trump everything else.

Mentally strong people and what they avoid.

Dylan’s thoughts on tech in 2013. Great line:

Any company’s real business is people. Everyone is in the headhunting business, it’s simply a question of whether you realise it or not.

Vinny’s things from 2013 that he liked.

Get yourselves a startup sales play-book.

Allen Pike on “Unprofessionalism” or rather accepting that you will get cranks unhappy with whatever that you do and your choice is to accept that and move on. Succinct and valuable.

Starting a business in 2014? Some thoughts

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

The end of a year and the start of a new one is the most common time to think about changing job or starting your own company. I’ve written a lot about working for myself and taken shots (some cheap) at various industries through the years. Mostly when I write blog posts I write them for myself. Not for traffic, not to get links back but as a mechanism to put into words the various thoughts and imagery that are swirling around in my brain. Writing for me makes me understand my thinking on various topics, makes me understand myself.

I’m sure at this stage many of these are wrong but here are some posts from me on my thoughts on business and tech through the years. My favourite on this topic is the first one:

And? You can always go back to living in mediocrity.

If you’re young and want to do a tech startup, leave Ireland.

When people react in a negative way to what you’re doing, fuck em. Pork in Every Fucking Dish.

Get yourself inspired. The web will give you infinite possibilities.

Be your own hero. Stop with all those bloody business autobiographies.

Don’t hire anyone, ever.

Failed means you at least tried. Fail fast, fail cheap.

Fuck traditional things you need to have, fuck brochures, have a comic.

Just start.

You have to do public speaking, you have to do conferences, you have to do sales. So get up, sweat like a sweaty thing and get used to it. Start small and do many iterations.

Get yourself a business communications bible.

Fluffy Links – Friday December 27th 2013

Friday, December 27th, 2013

And the finalist for Best Dad of the Year: James. Why buy a toy when you can make one for your daughter?

John Quinlivan owned 2013 and made it his “breakout” year. Here’s his blog about how he transformed his life.

Nice idea. Stoked. Action sports to accelerate youth development

The blog is dead. No it’s not.

I still urge every aspiring-whatever fresh out of school to start a blog. I still think most companies need one. Nothing makes you sharper than trying to say something worth listening to and nothing can attract like-minded friends and followers than a mountain of concerted attempts

Watch as Irish media outlets copy the headline but ignore the content of these pieces.

An art museum now has their own YouTube comedy show. Why the hell not!

On art, there’s art on the Moon and it has generated a lot of hate and vitriol towards those involved in the placing of it.

Fake news and hoaxes can still be of value. Even if it’s fake, it’s real.

Free app. Beethoven’s 9th symphony, a walk-through.

Elgar – Sea Pictures

Fluffy Links – Sunday December 15th 2013

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Been around for ages but first time seeing it and could be made very relevant for Ireland. Iain Duncan Smith’s Unemployment Simulator.

We’re now all Hyperemployed. Doing more jobs all under the umbrella of one job.

There’s money in doing the heavy lifting for big data. Billion dollar company that does a lot of work for the spooks.

“Some say starting a business is hard, it’s easy. The hard bit is running a business”. Nice post from Mr. Canteen.

How to be efficient when packing a suitcase. Roll for some, stuff for others.

Benjamin Franklin, Social Media Pioneer.

This is a call to arms to those that work in journalism or want to start something.

Some really interesting stats from this leaked Facebook deck on video ads.

A smartphone controlled paper airplane.

Let it go

Fluffy Links – Saturday December 7th 2013

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

On Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse on International Day of Persons with Disabilities…

Via Jim. What happens to retired sports stars? I like that at least some media crowds give them training. And they’re eager to learn, it’s what pros do.

Swag Bomb. If giving away your merch, some good guidelines.

Looking forward to the new album from The Gloaming in 2014.

Invisible Children exhibition in UCC Dec 10th – International Human Rights Day. (they’ve built a replica of asylum seeker accommodation)

I really like Paul’s post on Advent and waiting. No microwave in my house, the idea being dinner takes a bit longer and I make something that’s less convenient and appreciate more. It also keeps me hungry for a little bit longer. Advent might be seen as fitting in well with the slow-food and other slow movements.

This idea and also Matt Churchill’s post that talks about social media bringing people together (the overall post is about SM losing passion) has me thinking about something. I’m not sure what yet but both are quite thought-provoking.

Mirror Mirror, off the Wall. Dec 16th – Dec 21st – ” Feisty princesses and sword-wielding heroines…reclaiming fairy tales for a modern day Ireland.”

For a minute there, I found myself. Man was himself for 27 minutes today. I know people with fake laughs, who hide their sexuality not just because they’re private but they believe it would not aid their careers, who eat shit from a dickhead boss and who are friendly with people because they are perceived to have power. It’s very hard to be always transparent unless you’re a zen master but I do wonder how much of someone’s day is interactions where they’re not themselves. Thankfully working for yourself or not being able to work for others means you can be more of yourself.

Ho ho ho

Software will destroy transport – The era of drones

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

I gave a talk the other week for the Wicklow Enterprise Board on technology for 2014 and beyond. The foundation of it was based on Marc Andreessen’s “Software Will Eat the World” mantra. Software will eat the financial world (Kickstarter, Square, Stripe), software will eat the media world and I talked a bit about Drones and Google cars too. Goodbye news choppers, hello drones. So Amazon’s dronenet. People already saying it’s a PR stunt. Jeff Bezos isn’t Michael O’Leary (PR wise anyway). There is something in this.

Of course as I started writing this, I saw Chris Applegate’s post and that pretty much covers all of this so you can stop reading now. Chris thinks it will be transport/deliveries that will be disrupted first and I agree. We’re nearly there already.

Google have been testing driverless cars for years at this stage and the cars look less and less like moon rovers and more like mom-mobiles. Volvo and the Swedish Government will be allowing 100 driverless vehicles on the roads in 2017. Driverless cars are safer and more efficient.

Technology is bringing the world closer but to bring physical goods to these closer people, humans who get fatigued are driving the goods and they are legally obliged to rest every few hours. Humans are a bottleneck and software will route around that.

I think what we’ll see is automation starting off as a national backbone kind of thing. Hours from 1am to 5am for some paranoid governments. National routes are better mapped and have better infrastructure and over time the automation will get closer and closer to our homes. Driverless trucks delivering to Tesco, M&S but also to Parcel Motels where we already go to pick up packages.

Parcel Motel is already disrupting Amazon and other companies. You only deliver to the UK? No problem. Here’s my UK Parcel Motel address and they route it to Ireland where I pick it up. In Ireland delivering to a country that doesn’t have postal codes can make deliveries inefficient. Pick up points at petrol stations and shopping centres is very clever. They’ve made it an easy habit.

Eventually public transport will be disrupted like this with automated tag on and off buses being cheaper (slightly) than human driven vehicles. How do we Irish thank the driver then?

The Dronenet was actually suggested nearly 12 months ago, well before Amazon talked about it but of course then people agreed it would be the likes of Amazon that would do it. What about Apple though? They have an insanely good logistics infrastructure too. Wonder will a Cork man be looking into this?

Right now in Ireland and many other countries you need a pilot’s license to operate a drone, even if it’s a brittle lightweight one so delivery companies have a while to go yet but I do see drones (they don’t need to be flying ones) taking over the delivery of goods in the next while.

There’s money in gold rushes and of course as this evolves money can be made from supplying these companies or giving them routes. Land and mast space have made billions for companies that supply roof or hill space to mobile companies. What can be supplied to the drone net? Guaranteed lanes on toll roads? Low-flying routes over your land? Better local mapping? Charging stations?

With the money that will also pour into research on this, Ireland would be clever to take advantage and make itself a test bed. Ireland’s tax incentives for R&D are well utilised for tax scams efficiencies by big tech as it is. But alas we won’t be there for the Cambrian Explosion of this new tech but will instead just give grants to companies already making fortunes from the area and ask them here to set up tech support centres. Ignorance on the way up, tax breaks on the way down. We do that well.

Update: Done experts says Drone Net is nearer than we think.

Fluffy Links – Tuesday December 3rd 2013

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Circuit Stickers – Peel and stick electronic components. Nice.

I Pixel U, app that 8-bit izes photos.

Wow, impressive and inspiring piece on the core philosophies of the All Blacks. Humble bunch of people. They clean up their dressing room after a game.

New site for UX Jobs in Ireland. Naturally it’s called UX Jobs.

Irish Mass re-imagined. On its latest recording, “Ó Riada Re-imagined,” the Louth band has asked Uzbek composer Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky to create a new work out of an Irish mass by Seán Ó Riada.

Nature. Bats use their sonar to find moths to eat, nature makes a moth that can jam their sonar.

Put your Instagrams on … marshmallows.

What lies behind the boring paintings in your hotel room?

Build your own Apple iBeacon using a Raspberry Pi. (For the non-tech readers, yes that was a real english sentence)