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Notes and Quotes from Bizcamp Dublin

21 September 2009 · 5 Comments

A great event in Dublin on Saturday. Certainly the most robust communities anywhere in the world are supported by the community itself. It’s even more heartening that the North West is starting to rally around similar events (Open Coffee Sligo & Mayo, Leitrim Business Network, North West Connects, among others) so it is no longer imperative to travel two hours to network with like-minded business people.

Quote of the day goes to Jerry Kennelly.

Sack the gobshites.

You only need to look to the public sector to see what a demotivated and unincentivised workforce can “accomplish.” I can also draw on my own work experience in the private sector. The worst mistake I made was not getting rid of a highly-productive, but toxic employee in my own group. Now, even in the private sector, the law seems to be on the employee side with enforced multiple stays of execution and fear of lawsuits tying your hands while your team looks on and begins to question your ability to lead. It wasn’t entirely my decision. But if you’re running the show, you must make the call.

Clued in organisations like Netflix succeed with policies to reward the best and give generous severance packages even to the good.

You can never get to every session you’d like, but here are a few of things I wrote down from some of the speakers I heard:

Gerard Brandon – It is part of the job of an entrepreneur to find money. Get over it!

  • Find complimentary skills. This was echoed in several presentations and though it seems rather obvious, how many of us are willing to recognise our weaknesses and fill in those gaps with other people? Hiring people just like yourself is common and not helpful for success.
  • It’s often a story of getting 50 x 10K investments vs. getting 1 x 500K investments. Get a group of people in a room.
  • Tell a story in the first 10 seconds, convince them in the first two minutes
  • Answer these three questions for potential investors: What is in it for them? How much could they lose? Who the hell are you?

Brian Flanagan – Making financial projections for a business plan

  • You can find a summary of Brian’s points at How NOT to Write a Business Plan. There’s also a link to How TO write a plan if that approach does your head in.

Joe Drumgoole – Start-ups in Ireland. Where DO we go from here?

  • Check out the NDRC for potential funding
  • Most entrepreneurs are successful on their third start-up
  • (Again) find a co-founder that is complimentary and plan upfront for what happens if one of you leave.
  • It’s no longer about technological skills, you can build whatever you want in Ireland. It’s all about cost of customer acquisition, channels of distribution and go to market strategy
  • The only way to bring Silicon Valley to Ireland would be to literally move California and bolt it onto Ireland. US investors don’t invest overseas because they don’t have to. Ireland is a “great place to practice” but you need to be honest that the market is only about 250K people. That makes consumer plays in Ireland very hard.

Panel Discussion – Kevin Traynor, Colm Lyon, Asheesh Dewan, Jerry Kennelly

  • You know people in the industry so go ask for the stuff you need
  • Go back to all the people in your network to let them know how you’re getting on
  • Answer these questions: Where? What is the scope? How is it different? Why does that make sense to you?
  • Be outside the space of your own business
  • (We already covered ‘Sack the gobshites.”)
  • And then I had to run to my own session …

Here are the slides from my session on Service is Product is Service. You can download a deck of cards covering the major points / approach to service design. I’ve also created ones on user-centred design and brand experience.

Looking forward to the next opportunity we all get a chance to meet up.

Tags: conference · Dublin · speaking · work