Edit: Updated text.
500+ people queue in Grafton Street, Dublin for sales assistant vacancies in Londis convenience stores.
Archive for the ‘business’ Category
Edit: Updated text.
100k split between four companies/ideas:
1. €16,000 cash sum;
2. One-day business mentoring session from senior eircom execs to the value of €3,000;
3. €1,000 per month for six months post-launch management fee
Full details on the eircom Labs page.
Areas to consider for a pitch:
- Content (e.g. video, short films, animations, UGC)
- Movies and TV (e.g. programme recommendations, listings application, information aggregation, content search, fan communities, recommender systems, discovery tools e.g. data visualisations))
- Games (e.g. Flash games, game communities, platforms, multiplayer games, persistent worlds, avatar-based social networks, game creation tools, ratings, reviews, gambling)
- News (e.g. personalised news gathering, news aggregation, news submission tools, communities of interest, domain-specific news services)
- Music (e.g. Internet radio, streaming / OD services, search / recommendations / personalisation, community tools)
- Sport (e.g. communities, results aggregation, fan communities, results prediction, betting, games)
- Widgets (e.g. any widget(s) based on the above or additional categories)
I met up with the lads from Cork-based Loopthing a while back when it was in Alpha to have a look at what it does for businesses.
The blurb from the site says this about them:
Loopthing allows every business to come online and network with one another, as well as providing customers with detailed information on their products or services.
The idea is that it will list your business on their site and also add lots of the social features we’re now well used to on the likes of Facebook and other places. People can leave comments, companies can add photos, podcasts and videos and they can network with each other.
Lots of practical features on the way too which I don’t disclose for now. Have a look about and send them feedback. Their blog is here. Right now this is a soft launch I believe. Why not get your business listed?
Got asked by a journalist about my take on the budget in regards to technology which I include below. Alexia’s post on it is clearer and better than mine though. Have a look. And bludget? Well that’s what the good folks on Twitter decided to label Twitter messages with that mentioned the budget.
My own take is that this was a prime opportunity to tell the tech companies of Ireland or those wanting to start one that there is real potential and to take the plunge. A budget, even if it is all about cutting things to bits can still be used to promote business and investment in people and ideas. Instead it’s leaving people with a mostly negative take on the present and the future.
This tax relief on IP is also to be welcomed but those getting into creating or acquiring IP need to be very large and very rich companies or have considerable backing. IP development takes a lot of time and resources so it’s only really established companies that are in this area. For anyone starting up, it’s not the easiest place to work and there are better returns for a tech company and a startup by just developing something and launching something fast. Launch fast, launch cheap and iterate as you go, that’s one of the main rules for technology startups these days. Most tech VCs aren’t too worried about IP unless you get sued for breaches. I think a tax relief system where IP developed in colleges is commercially used and exploited would capture the interest of more tech companies. While there is college to business IP movements, this needs to be streamlined and made much more efficient. Stanford University is a model to follow here.
2009 has seen plummeting property prices and plenty of highly skilled people looking for jobs which are serious advantages in terms of starting a tech company. Most of a tech company can be run from anywhere with a broadband connection anyway when it first starts out. A tax or grant boost from the Government to invest in technology startups now will get most bang from a buck. Planning for the future is not all about slashing present costs. We should remember that Google started in a downturn too and the Government should be thinking in those terns.
We all know about creative accounting and creative ways people moved money about, why can’t we have creative tax breaks like tax relief for bars and cafes that install free public wifi or tax relief for a business that provides desk space for tech startups while they incubate. Small things yet effective ways to enable new tech companies.
Some interesting reactions tot he #bludget:
Okay the #bludget doesn’t seem to have hurt me too much, except that I don’t see how it’s going to help create more jobs. I want a job!
Overall the #bludget doesn’t affect me too much but I’d hate to be 19, out of work and smoking!!
Iain O’Connell: (currently living in Holland)
Listening to the #bludget it seems clear that I won’t be un-emigrating anytime soon
the budget was fair given the state of the economy, what’d you expect?! #bludget
all in all, a harsh budget, will probably cost me 10-12% but I think it had to be done, next year will be harsher #bludget #budget09
Numbers in B&Q, Woodies DIY and all the other DIY clones seem to be up these days. People are doing the “bits” they would previously have gotten someone else to do. But see, the bits are still being done.
How many are doing window cleaning, washing the car or getting the kids to do so (reinvesting in the family economy), spending more nights in with cheaper booze, getting more food in Aldi and Lidl, letting each other know where the bargains are, investing in bulk buys for longterm savings, switching off more lights etc. etc. Life is still going on but it’s being done in a more efficient, smarter way. Though maybe kludgier when Dad fixes things when he’s not used to doing it in years.
And businesses? I met someone last week that was upskilling himself on sales, marketing and PR. To paraphrase what he said “I never had to do sales, the phone would just ring and I’d answer it.” Not so in 2009. I wonder how many companies are in that situation? Business was booming and business can still boom if a bit of thinking happens. Some see the future and are adapting.
A client and what they wanted in 2009 is going to be shockingly different to 2008 and 2007. Last year they might have paid a fortune for your services and this year it might suddenly be seen as unnecessary but going back to the core, the business still needs to do all their bits. I think it is wrong to concentrate on a dwindling market for these clients, offering what you’ve been offering all along but at a cheaper price while you slug it out with competitors. Towards the end of a very short life Bruce Lee was in a lot of constant pain from all the fights and stunts onscreen and offscreen. He used to get challenged on the street on a daily basis and fight all comers. Fight only the necessary fights. You might win but you’ll still get hurt.
The IP you offer will need to change. For me a lot of companies want to do those bits themselves when previously they got a company to do it, or they never did, like the guy above, the phone just rang. Now even the smallest of companies want to do PR, Online Marketing and public events, before they might not have needed to do this. So I’m doing a lot of teaching companies how to fish and it’s very enjoyable and rewarding when you see understanding and revelation in the faces of these people.
Lou Dobbs used to host the Business Unusual show on CNN. Business Unusual is usual business in 2009, if you changed your offerings to your customers to fit the new and what we might at first see as unusual needs, then you have a new market, a new way of generating revenue from existing clients and you are seeing as trying to help, not just extract money. Big changes are happening in 2009, you can’t fight the tide, you can’t fight this.
Time to find out what the bits your clients or previous clients still need to do and what new things they need to do and be the B&Q for them and the advisor on how to do them.
Got this via a press release. Laptop and broadband for a year for 80 groups of charities/community groups. Worth applying which can be done online. Done via their UK website. Apply at: www.btcommunityconnections.com
The BT Community Connections award scheme will allow community and charitable organisations that are looking to extend their work through the use of the internet and ICT to apply for a laptop and a year’s free broadband internet connection.
The scheme runs over an 18 month period, with two rounds in June 2009 and January 2010, offering a total of up to 80 award packages across the island of Ireland. To apply simply log on to www.btcommunityconnections.com
Applying doesn’t take too long, if you’re not in…
So you may have seen where I said I was interested in doing internship type stints in companies. I’ve gotten 24 offers, some of them from very fascinating companies. I’m sticking with the 4/5 at most. I don’t have the time to do more. I’ll be letting the companies know later today if I’m going with them or not. So about 20 groups are getting turned down, the decision was genuinely tough. Lots of interesting people I’d love to work with.
So why not open up the offer to others? Tommy and Klara have both left comments saying they’re interested in doing internships too. I’ve heard from others in companies both small and large that they’d love to sit in with other companies. I think it’s a big benefit for a company to let their employees spend some time in another company. We have ambassadors in global politics and many reasons why they work. Twinning cities seems to work as well. There are loads of professionals and students who are living the online life that would relish the chance of working in an exciting company and who by bringing their own viewpoints and ways into a company can enrich a company, if encouraged correctly.
For companies, here’s something to consider though. Telling me or others why we are needed and how we can help you can be charming but it can also get replied to with: Then pay me to consult with you. Value needs to go both ways. Many of us get the chance to work and do fun stuff with companies and we get paid for it. Educate those potential interns!
If you want to intern, leave a comment and contact emails below.
I recently got a call from the guys behind the website Small Business Can about how they could go about getting attention for their service that brings experienced business people together with people looking for business advice. The site is launched and live and a full press campaign is happening very soon. Ulster Bank like the positivity so much they’re giving some support and some media outlets too but the service is always going to be independent and non-commercial.
The whole idea is that the creators of it are putting in their time to give something back to the business community in Ireland. The site isn’t sexy and there are many areas that can be Web 2.0ified but the information on it is very practical. I was impressed with the intent and passion of the people enough that I’ve volunteered my time to help them spread the word. The people behind this are Greg Byrne, Ron Immink and Fionan Murray.
To begin with you figure out at what stage your company is at and you can access resources at each stage then. The stages are Startup, Emerging, Rapid Growth and Next Level. From there you look at the 4 Ms (yes yes it’s very Mnemonicy) in your selected stage which are Marketing and Sales, Management, Money and Motivation. There’s a map or maze! for the resources under there. More articles will be added over time and if you want to contribute any, I believe they’ll be welcome and might be put up after the information is verified.
Naturally the articles will never cover everything so there is a discussion forum on the site too where you can post questions without having to register. It is hoped to get enough people contributing there with questions and answers to build a good body of knowledge and be a place of positive encouragement.
They’ll also be looking to collate case studies, success and well-earned-scars stories for others to look at so keep looking at the site as maybe you know someone or it could be yourself. They’ve also done a few videos with way more to happen. I’ll be getting them to blog, use Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube and drag them into 2009. 🙂
Some of the founders will be around in Cork on Thursday evening if people want to meet with them and have a chat. For those that have blogs or are on Twitter and Facebook or take part in discussion forums, please consider pointing people to Small Business can.
Oh yes and want to demo your company/product at the Science Gallery? See here.