Periodically in Ireland, the question of why hasn’t the Irish economy yet created a tier one global technology multinational arises? I was asked to comment on this issue by my Irish Times editor, and the following piece was published in the paper on the 22nd October last.
Why are there not any Googles, Oracles or Apple Inc.s from Europe ? Why are there not any from Ireland ? Will a sustainable global top ten technology company ever emerge from Ireland ?
This article appeared in today’s Irish Times. In it, I try to briefly summarise Obama’s and Romney’s positions on innovation, including R&D funding, immigration policy, corporate taxation and net neutrality. There’s a tremendous amount that could be discussed, but I was limited to only about 800 words
When Apple first launched the Mac, Steve Jobs noted that “innovation..is not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.” At the time, he noted that IBM was spending at least a hundred times more on R&D. When Apple came up with the iPhone, the rest of the mobile handset industry – companies like LG, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, RIM, Samsung, Sony and Symbian – were investing heavily in keypad and pen-stylus phones. When Apple came up with the iPad, Microsoft had already invested heavily in PC-based tablet computers. Continue reading
Published in the Irish Times on 6th August last.
It’s like the start of a low-budget thriller. A growing high tech economy, with software and services representing about 20% of national exports. But then, catastrophically, entire cities are without power; transport and infrastructure are completely disrupted; and safety systems are compromised. Outside on the streets, temperatures soar to 46C. 50% of the population are directly impacted. This all actually happened for two days at the end of July, when substantial parts of the Indian national electricity grid completely failed. While almost every high tech centre in India now runs its own power generation plant as a backup in case the national grid fails, such massive power cuts clearly impact the work force, their general quality of life and even their ability to commute to work. Such incidents may certainly encourage multinationals to reconsider their international investment strategies.
Published in the Irish Times on 16th July last..
“Have I got a deal for you!” asserted Jim Green, now at Composite Software, but back in 1993 of Sun Microsystems (now a part of Oracle), to my two IONA co-founders, Annrai O’Toole and Sean Baker, and myself. Having courted various venture capitalists, the three of us instead decided to enter negotiations with Jim for a trade investment which ultimately armed us with considerably more fire power than merely further deepening our balance sheet. With the subsequent explicit endorsement of the then Sun CEO, Scott McNealy, we achieved major industry wins with Motorola, Boeing, and Bell South and thus in turn many others. Continue reading
I wrote this for the Irish Times on the 25th June 2012. In it I revisit the influence of the Irish on San Francisco; some current parallels between the Irish and Californian economies; and the primary challenge of any start-up CEO.
This piece appeared in the Irish Times on 21st May 2012.
In it, I revisit Joseph Schumpeter’s endorsements of the Entrepreneur and ponder whether personal gain should ever be at the expense of societal loss…