For all of those who still live in fear of Enterprise Ireland, you better stop associating with me now because in the near future I’ll become a lot more critical of this useless state body and if you think you’ll be tarred with the same brush, then stay away, starting now. What am I on about? It seems that article from the Tribune that quoted my thoughts on EI has gotten some attention that others surrounding the Paddy’s Valley tour wish to distance themselves from. Fair enough. No really. I don’t and will not take the EI soup so I can be brutally blunt about them while many can’t. This is the relationship many people have with Enterprise Ireland, one which I consider to be an abusive one where people alter their behaviour for fear of being punished. That’s how many voluntary orgs get controled by the Government when they give them funding and they rely on it.
Consider this my Geneva Convention style declaration though. Trouble is coming. Abandon all association with me from here onwards if you worry about grants and feasibility studies and them being affected somehow via me.
I won’t comment any more in public of my experience of EI during Paddy’s Valley (I will talk about it in private though) but in future I won’t be staying quiet for anyone else’s sake. So if any company interacts with me via the Blog Awards, Web Awards or other events I organise, accept any potential fallout or stay the fuck away.
Nothing will be bigger than the first trip. For years people will be talking about this. Full writeup on this trip when I get back but as well as the impressive Valley people, those that came from Ireland are bloody impressive too. Some very clever people who if given the right opportunities could make Ireland a better place by building great companies. Were I a businessperson I’d be watching all of them with interest.
Only had time to write this now. Things have been a bit mad. So the Pitch Forum organised by EI on Tuesday went very well despite some annoying things which will be discussed properly in a future post. Enterprise Ireland really pulled out the stops and some very heavy hitters in Silicon Valley and American business turned up. The new Irish ambassador also was present and gave a speech.
Conrad Burke of Innovalight moderated the event which included a 45 min panel discussion on all things VC and business. The panellists were Richard Irving, Tim Danford, Patrick Ennis and Dino Vendetti with a guest appearance from Aidan Connolly of Idiro. Aidan then went back into the audience while the remaining panel listened to pitches from Jan Blanchard, HélÃ¨ne Haughney, Alan O’Rourke, Marcus Mac Innes and Joe Drumgoole.
I’ve done some videos of the event, please forgive the quality.
Wow. Day 4 of Paddy’s Valley was again amazing. Diego from Ning was most welcoming and then Marc Andreessen entertained us with this thoughts on business, social networks and the mobile space. There is no way in hell the first Paddy’s Valley will ever be bettered. 2am here and still wide awake buzzing from today. Microsoft were great too. Would you believe I skipped lunch at the Googleplex? 🙂
Ross Mayfield from Socialtext just gave more advice to us in 90mins than any of us Paddys could have learned back home in months/years. Had we paid a consultant we’d have paid 1000s if not 10s of 1000s for his frank and honest advice. Day 3 of Paddy’s Valley and after meeting Facebook this morning and then Ross, we’re smiling big smiles and buzzing from the welcome. The people on this side of the pond are amazingly generous and open.
Day 2 of Padbrother upped the drama levels as Padbrother set a challenge to the Benchd team to unlose their car keys. A frantic few hours of searching the locality and tearing apart a bedroom ended with success and just in time too for the next challenge in San Francisco.
After a quick interlude in the Padbrother house where everyone met Brian Deane from Ceatec and then headed to lunch in the Cheesecake Cafe, everyone then set off to San Francisco for the Scoble challenge.
This challenge involved the Padbrother contestants dressing to the nines to see who was the most fashionable. Touristr’s Jan Blanchard being French had an instant advantage though lost serious points by wrapping his new iPhone in a gaudy red jacket. Steve would not be impressed.
Not only did the creator of the Golden Crabswin a Golden Spider he’s also gotten a book deal. That’s at least 5 bloggers I know that have gotten/are getting/were approached about book deals. I should become some kind of agent to the bloggers (just so I can get a cut :)). Well done G and really it’s unsurprising, you have a talent. Just don’t have senior citizen porn (one of the top searches to his site) in the book please!
Grandad doesn’t know it yet but he’ll be sharing a podium with Twenty and maybe a few others just before the next Blog Awards.