5G Disruption: When? Perhaps?

The killer-app(s) to justify 5G investment have yet to emerge. This was published by the Irish Times on April 4th 2019.

I recall my heated debate more than 20 years ago with a well-known CEO of a State-owned telecoms operator, on the likely future demand for broadband services. At that time, one of the biggest web applications was ticket purchase – particularly for flights, and concerts. His strongly held view was that even if e-commerce increased, there would be little justification in further capital investment in broadband infrastructure, since these applications would never require substantial bandwidth. We agreed to disagree.

Now we are at the cusp of a further evolution of broadband services, with the advent of “5th Generation” or 5G networks.
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How Do You Get Noticed at a Trade Show?…

Trade show season is upon us. My piece here was published by the Irish Times on 14th March 2019.

What is the best way to get noticed?

Spring is a prime time for trade conferences. Among many others, Mobile World Congress has just been held in Barcelona, SXSW just finished in Austin, Texas, the O’Reilly Artificial Intelligence conference will be in New York in April, and the ACM International Conference on Big Data and Computing in May in Guangzhou.

If you and your company are exhibiting at a major international trade show, how on Earth can you get noticed among the myriad booths from your competitors and others? For a young company, it can be intimidating to be surrounded by the extraordinarily lavish and enormous stands of major corporations, which are always flush with eager marketing staff grabbing the attention of passers-by.
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Gig Economy and Consumer Safety

My piece here on the Gig Economy was published on 21st February 2019.

Mark Paul wrote a perceptive assessment in an opinion piece on January 24th last. The business affairs correspondent of this newspaper observed the tension emerging between the new ways of organising our lives in the sharing “gig” environment of the self-employed, and the inertia of new regulation appropriate to this new economy. While the economy has been ‘Uberised’, the rules that regulate it have not, he noted. Continue reading

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Cutting the Cord: Tesla

Nikola Tesla has always been intriguing to me. He promised so much, and had a huge vision, raised a lot of capital, but ultimately did not seem to deliver on what he had hoped. My piece on him was published by the Irish Times on 17th January 2019.

I detest power cords and cables for my various smart devices and domestic appliances. Why is it that almost every device seems to require a different cable and fitting? Why is it that modern designers produce aesthetic minimalist electronic objects but leave them traipsing their umbilicals behind them? Most of all, I hate having to lug cables around with me in my bag, and then inevitably have the wrong connector for the job at hand. When will there be a better way? Continue reading

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Voice-managed Applications

I wrote this on the potential move to voice managed apps,  over traditional “point-and-poke” apps.  It was published by the Irish Times on 13th December 2018.

Are apps antiquated? Isn’t it a pain to have to search for an app and then have to wait for it to download onto your device? Isn’t it frustrating to have to configure a new app and to have to tell it what options you want? Isn’t so dumb to receive tens of notifications every week about various apps on your device each needing yet another refresh download? Continue reading

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Necessity as the Mother of Invention.

I gave this as a speech,  at the Irish Times Innovation Awards dinner.  It was then published on 22nd November 2018.

Tuesday evening was the awards dinner for The Irish Times Innovation Awards. As chair of the judging panel, and having been involved for several years, I was invited to give some thoughts on the importance of innovation to our economy.

“Then, I said, let us begin and create in idea a State; but the true creator is necessity, who is the mother of invention.” So wrote Plato in Book II of his dialogue The Republic. A state is founded on an idea. But the idea is a response to necessity. Need, difficulty and challenge drive inventiveness and ingenuity. Continue reading

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A Rough Guide for Pitching Awards

I wrote this as background to the Annual Irish Times Innovation Awards,  for which I chair the judging panel,  It was published on 1st November 2018.

After several years chairing the The Irish Times Innovation Awards final judging round, a few tips for pitching your bright idea become evident.

These awards are now well-established in the national business calendar. This year, 85 entrants qualified to undergo the first-round judging process. From this cohort, three finalists were ultimately shortlisted in each of five categories: IT and Fintech; Life Sciences and Healthcare; Manufacturing and Design; New Frontiers; and Sustainability. Continue reading

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