The world’s most valuable start-up

I wrote this piece for the Irish Times,  published (in a shortened version) today..

Which company — just four and half years old — is now the most valuable technology start-up in the world? It has just been valued at €37 billion ($45 billion), more than established companies on the Irish Stock Exchange such as Kerry Group (€10 billion), Ryanair (€13.5 billion), or even Diago (€36 billion).

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Impressions of Bengaluru (Bangalore)

This was published by the Irish Times on 1st December 2014 last.

The “Garden City of India”, Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore), has an attractive climate, being about 900m above sea level and thus much cooler than many other parts of the country. When India gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, the population of Bengaluru in the southern and rural state of Karnataka was just 400,000. By 1961 it had grown to just over 1 million. Today it is about 10 million, and is the third most populous city in India. I visited recently as part of the work to replicate the Science Gallery, founded at Trinity College Dublin, to various other cities around the world. Continue reading

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2014 Web Summit

This was published by the Irish Times on 3rd November 2014.

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Crazy Jack

This article on Alibaba and its founder “Crazy Jack” was published on 29th September last.

“When the team is all a bunch of scientists it is best to have a peasant lead the way”.  How did an English-language teacher — and self-confessed peasant! – emerge as one of the wealthiest in his country,  and indeed the world?

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White knuckle aviation

This article was published by the Irish Times on 1st September last – 100 years after the first successful military aviation mission.

“No flying machine will ever fly from New York to Paris…[because] no known motor can run at the requisite speed for four days without stopping”. Orville Wright reputedly predicted a limited future for aviation in his comment in Illinois in 1909, six years after his brother Wilbur’s pioneering flight in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina in December 1903. Continue reading

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Cortana, Siri, and Google Now

This piece appeared in the Irish Times today.  As an aside,  I always find it interesting how a sub-editor subtly changes some of the text from my submitted original.   The sub-editor also choses a headline for the piece,  which I sometimes find is at slightly at odds with the main point of an article :-)

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Kevin Melia: a great mentor

I wrote this following the sad passing of Kevin in June.   It was published by the Irish Times on 5th July.

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