Augmented Reality is an even larger opportunity than Virtual Reality.

I wrote this article on the potential direction of Augmented Reality, which was then published by the Irish Times on the 8th February last.

Sean O’Faolain’s famous quip “There is only one admirable form of the imagination: the imagination that is so intense that it creates a new reality, that it makes things happen” came to mind recently as I mused about artificial reality technology. Continue reading

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Pros and Cons of using a Celebrity to promote your start-up

My editor,  Michael McAleer,  asked me whether I could put pen to paper on this topic,  after a couple of recent announcements in the Irish media.  I duly published this piece on 18th January last..

Will she, or won’t she? Will Oprah Winfrey join the long list of public celebrities – including various army generals, numerous lawyers, a newspaper owner, a movie star, not to mention the incumbent real estate developer and reality TV star – who have served as presidents of the United States since 1789? Continue reading

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Déjà vu, all over again – the rise of the Chinese tech industry

A musing on my first real job,  and how China’s ambitions continue to rise.  I recall some people “dissing” on the early days of Huawei,  but now its a global leader.  I think we will soon see Chinese leadership in semiconductors and other technologies..  This was published today in the Irish Times..

My first job, after leaving University, was as a junior official in the European Commission in Brussels. It was 1983, and I joined the task force of the European Strategic Programme for Research into Information Technology (Esprit), under the leadership of Director General Michel Carpentier. Continue reading

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Skitster – the app that knows best!..

I put this piece together whilst musing about the 350th anniversary of the Irish satirist and writer Jonathan Swift,  whose birthday I share this month.   I wondered what he would have made of the corruption of society by fake news?…     The article was published in the Irish Times on November 2nd::

I have always been wary of promoting any particular company in this column, but I must make an exception for Skitster. Continue reading

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Ten Years of the Irish Times Innovation Initiative

I put this piece together in response from a request from the Irish Times to reflect on innovation over the last ten years of the paper’s “Innovation Initiative” – and to make some predictions for the next ten.   I gave it as the dinner speech for the annual Irish Times Innovation Awards,  and it subsequently was published on October 12th last.

“ the application of imagination. There are plenty of success stories….but that’s the easy pill to swallow. The bitter one is that in the search for innovative ideas come the inevitable failures. …It’s as much about not fearing failures and having systems in place to spot them early and change direction, as it is about success.” Continue reading

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Tranquility – and faking it

If you know my personal history,  you’ll know that Scott McNealy was gracious enough to invest in IONA when we were still a young start-up.  I wrote this when reflecting on his kind and wise words to me and on business integrity – the fine line between calmness under pressure in quality leaders,  and faking it by less scrupulous……  This was published in the Irish Times on 17th August last (under, IMHO, an awful byline but I have no control over that..)

“Hide the terror in your eyes”. Thus a highly successful CEO and entrepreneur quietly responded, when as a first time CEO I sought his advice. I was not surprised when he went on to sell his global company for a cool US$5.6 billion. Continue reading

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Confidence and Performance

Each year, The Irish Times organises an all-Ireland competition for start-ups and established companies to highlight innovation – in products, processes and services.  I have been honoured to be the Chair of the judging panel for quite a few years now.  Its always an interesting event for me,  because there are so many entrants from very varied backgrounds – medtech, food & marine, software, construction industry, fintech, media, services…. and somehow we have to pick an overall winner!   I wrote this piece which was duly published yesterday.

I entered the drive at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham at 8am last week behind a huge articulated lorry. The truck, part of the construction crew for that weekend’s concert on the grounds, gingerly circumnavigated the flanks of the picturesque historic site. We eventually reached the car park at the rear, where a security guard assiduously engaged the truck’s driver before challenging me as to my role in the upcoming concert. He seemed perplexed when I told him I was there to judge innovation for The Irish Times. Continue reading

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