Archive for the ‘business’ Category

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.

Link without fear – Copyright in Ireland in a Digital Age

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

The main report from the Copyright Review Committee has been released. Read the full PDF of it here.

The whole thing is worth a few reads. Well done to Patricia McGovern, Eoin O’Dell and Steve Hedley for writing something readable by practitioners and the general public too. Irish copyright Law hasn’t moved with the times but this report moves it into the 21st century and will ensure it is a little bit future proofed.

Lots of good recommendations but the main ones for me are:

  • Linking is ok.
  • Photos: Nicking and modifying them (including Metadata) is bad
  • DRM: DRM is fine but shitty DRM is not fine and a user has a right to not be hampered
  • Marshalling should be allowed to some degree.
  • Orphaned Works are being recognised.
  • Fair Use will come to pass.
  • Data mining is fine too.
  • Recognition of the multiple media devices every person/family has.

Says they:

Interconnectedness by linking is at the very heart of the internet. However, links simply convey that something exists; but they do not, by themselves, publish, reproduce or communicate its content.

The group recommends that it should not be an infringement of copyright to reproduce a very small snippet of the linked work reasonably adjacent to the link. Snippet = no more than either 160 characters or 2.5% of the work, subject to a cap of 40 words.

However if you link to something that infringes copyright and you do this knowingly then you can be seen as an infringer. Exceptions for education will already apply and here too for news/media types who are doing reporting and point out bad behaviour.

If a news site wishes to expose sites that stream pirated films or music, it would be unworkable if it could not say where those sites are, and the “public interest exception” would allow the news site to do so without fear of infringing

(My reading of this is as a news org you can basically make yourself a directory of pirate movies/software?)

More protection for photographers. Encouragement of using metadata and someone that messed with the metadata is seen as an infringer.

we recommend not only that copyright protection be extended to metadata, but also that its removal should amount to an infringement of copyright

They have nothing against DRM however if it’s shitty DRM, they are forgiving of someone that breaks it to be able to do what they have a right to do with it (Listen on other devices, different device etc.)

we also recommend that users should have an effective remedy where the technological protection measures prevent a user from performing an exception permitted by the legislation

Orphaned Works
When you don’t know who owns a work and you want to repurpose it or remix it or use swathes of it. Up to now you had to find the person who owned the rights, if you didn’t then you had to hold off doing anything. Limbo. Instead now:

Any person seeking to make use of an orphan work, where the rightsowner genuinely cannot be identified or located, will have to seek a licence from the Agency subject to a fee to be paid to the Agency to be paid on to any rightsowner who is subsequently identified or located.

Marshalling is: indexing, syndication, aggregation, and curation of online content. For me this covers sites that aggregate news or basically rewrite copy from news sites like the Irish Times/Indo. You can in essence now reproduce 160 characters or 40 or words less. This may spell some trouble for some organisations.

Caricature, Parody, Pastiche, and Satire
All allowed. Game on.

Data Mining is go.

very significant social benefits stand to be gained from content-mining, and in particular to be gained from a copyright exemption in favour of content-mining for non-commercial research.

Fair Use
I like this :

On the advantages and disadvantages of fair use, there was a great deal of anecdote, but not much by way of determinative evidence.

Businessy Links

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Lots to take away from this piece about teens and social media.

  • While waiting to turn 13 to join Facebook, Instagram and Twitter came along.
  • Parents are on Facebook now, putting off teenagers.
  • Facebook is too complex.
  • Teens want to see trends and jump on them.
  • Too many in-feed marketing messages.

Some great lessons learned and shared by Niamh on her Kickstarter drive for her Bacon cookbook.

James Altucher. Some handy one-liners on running a startup. Sell it for cash is repeated a lot.

Got a new website where you want interactions and user generated content? Seed it yourself to start with. Fake it til you don’t need fakes.

This piece on Marissa Mayer is a love-bomb with criticism lobbed in at the end for “balance”. I did like this bit on why she took a job from Google:

“The turning point for me,” she says, “was realizing that I would learn more at Google, trying to build a company, regardless of whether we failed or succeeded, than I would at any of the other companies I had offers from.”

Facebook really seem on the way to dominate in mobile ads.


Saturday, August 17th, 2013

A summary of Zuckerberg at Startup School 2012.

I really like this quote from 17.34 in the video:

I never really understood the psychology of deciding you want to start a company before you understand what you want to do

Too many want to be in a startup and work on some half-arsed and not-remotely-considered idea instead of letting it distill in their heads, figure out how they are going to make it and then build something around this structure. Some great insights from Zuckerberg and it really seemed they had insane focus even from day one.

No credible evidence that plain packaging…

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

I got a press release from Forest Éireann (they represent smokers) about the latest study on plain packaging and them debunking it.

The study provides no credible evidence to suggest that plain packaging will reduce youth smoking rates or have an impact on adult consumption.

At the end of the release was this:

Forest Éireann is funded by Forest UK which receives donations from tobacco companies in Britain and Ireland. We do NOT represent the tobacco industry. We have a completely independent set of goals that are centred around the right to smoke a legal product without undue harrassment or discrimination.

So when I did a Google News search for the “credible evidence” line…

Huffington Post

Forest (UK) which runs the Hands Off Our Packs campaign, said there is no credible evidence to support plain packaging.

Philip Morris

there’s no credible evidence to suggest that plain packaging will be effective and plain packaging will not reduce the number of young people who start smoking

Imperial Tobacco UK says:

there was no credible evidence to support plain packaging

Australian service station group to Australian Government

there is no credible evidence to support plain packaging

Great minds. Thank you for smoking.

Engulfed in quotes from business people

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

I think you should write the rules, if you follow things in a formulaic manner you will wind up at best being the same as everyone else

Tim Cook – Inspirational Nuggets. Collaboration and lack of ego seems to be massively important to Apple.

Find me a provocative topic, and I’ll show you something you don’t have to spend a lot of marketing dollars to launch. People like to be provoked, and if you are provoking with information that is on the side of the angels, on the side of the consumer, the louder the industry reacts. And they just can’t win. It’s the greatest way to market, pick a fight with somebody who can’t win.

Rich Barton says pick a fight.

4. Look for what isn’t there. But should be.
5. Ideas make you stand out. Great ideas make you standalone.
15. ‘Standing still’ is just a nicer way of saying ‘going backwards’. Don’t stand still.

23 Laws of Creativity from David Hieatt.

Don’t be at your desk, don’t be in Cork, don’t be in Ireland

Sunday, June 16th, 2013


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.

Moments of truth

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Steal this objective from Netflix, it applies to all businesses:

Netflix in 2013 on what comes next:

Our North Star is to win more of our members’ “moments of truth”. Those decision moments are, say, on Thursday 7:15 pm or Monday 2:40 am when our member wants to relax, enjoy a shared experience with friends and family, or is just bored. They could play a video game, surf the web, read a magazine, channel surf their MVPD/DVR system, buy a pay-per-view movie, put on a DVD, turn on Hulu or Amazon Prime, or they could tap on Netflix. We want our members to choose Netflix in these moments of truth.

We win those moments of truth when members expect, based on their prior experience with us, that Netflix will be pleasurable, compared to all those other options. The pleasure comes from our simple experience for choosing, control over when to start/pause/resume the video, and from content that suits their taste and their mood.

When we deliver enjoyment, members watch more Netflix, continue their membership, and evangelize Netflix to their friends

Pork in every fucking dish

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

There’s a bit in Tremé where someone complains in David Chang’s restaurant that there was pork in the broth of one of his dishes. A veggie. They’re apparently livid and are going to sue. So David Chang does a David Chang/Anthony Bourdain/Chefs we want to channel and says “Let’s put pork in every fucking dish.”

In his series “Mind of a Chef”, (which is ok, could be way better given his creative genius), he visits Wilensky’s and orders their fried bologna sandwiches. If you want them without mustard they charge you ten cents more and you only get served one of your orders at a time. Chang loves this idea of charging more to remove something. Of course he does. I think its great.

And I like this too:
Sil Vous Plait

So no, no student discounts for those doing MBAs, no discounts for charities, no discounts if you are a struggling startup. is on Wednesday the 13th of February.

Update: Remembered my own example. There were a few complaints about the bad language in the first Mulley Comic so for the second Mulley Comic I purposely added more in. #fuckoffier