Archive for the ‘Innovation’ Category

Your personal rights versus your community responsibilities

I read two things in the Sunday Business Post this week. The first was a “work to welfare” program that would allow unemployed to claim benefit and work, pay tax, if they also did community service. The Minister Eamonn O’Cuiv is at the very least being innovative and open to a more enlightened view of society that is not always black and white when it comes to operating with the Black economy.

The second article I read was in the David Mc’Williams opinion “A matter of life or debt” where he relates the struggle of a businessman on reduced turnover battling it out with the local council who insist on a higher rent for land that is rented to the business. The businessman is unable to pay the increase and the council refuses to reduce their demand.

Is there perhaps compromise and a win-win opportunity to be had in all parts of society if there is a more open and innovative approach to resolving problems rather than trying to plug the cashflow issue of businesses or social welfare fraud reduction? Continue reading


Global innovation is bigger than Silicon Valley

Not all VC’s are equal, but the majority of them are still human and as such suffer the frailty of not being able to be in two places at once. They relate to or prefer to be on familiar ground in their surroundings as well as in their preferred target investment sectors. This limits the global opportunities and requires structural change in the industry if a high ROI is to be achieved.

The human bit has a lot to do with being on boards of directors and travelling to the companies they invest in. If you consider the cluster mentality of investing locally, or at the very least investing conditions based on an investee company moving to a cluster area (i.e. Silicon Valley) means that companies who want investment had to move to the investors.

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Is there an App to replace learning advanced math?

I have been following the call for engineers and mathematicians as the way forward to increase or “up-skill” the work force as this is deemed to be the only way to raise standards for foreign direct investment and stimulate growth. I am not saying this is not an essential part of adding to the skills of potential employees, but I ask myself if there is an App for just about everything why is there no App for basic, fundamental and even advanced mathematics.

It strikes me that with a computer, mathematics is probably the easiest subject to be provided as an application on an iPhone. I am not talking just about a complex calculator with Sine, Tan, CoSine etc. I am talking about taking the same skill set that is being put into the likes of Google linguistics capabilities and delivering the results that anyone would need under any circumstances to make appropriate calculations.

The paradox is of course that to get there we need good mathematicians in the first place and there are millions out there already. But if we are to make a leap forward perhaps removing the basic necessity to undertake an unnecessary chore of learning mathematics is to provide a hand held solution.

Thanks to Chris Horn who directed me to Wolfram|Alpha and here is the application that takes the headache out of asking a mathematical question. A sort of Math for dummies..

Ireland could introduce a Private Sector Currency

There has to be a realisation here that we are not the type of race that gets up in arms and ousts the Government and we are not going to change that any time soon. NAMA legislation has been passed, the EU will most likely find good reason to agree to the terms this week and indeed the transfer of loans will commence.

So the insiders will stiff the outsiders…. Shift happens. I am not in any way condoning the mess that was made, but the fact is that the mess is made and it needs to be fixed.

Now what are the ideas to go about doing this? Well the Greek 10% off everything is a big idea. It is not far off the old Dunnes Stores concept of “pile ’em high and sell ’em cheap”. We are all getting used to the campaign to reduce our carbon footprint. Everyone has to do a little more to use a little less of fossil fuel.

A private sector currency can not only reduce the cost of Irish goods and service by 10% but can encourage consumers to spend more on Irish goods and services, reward tourists for coming to Ireland in the form of vouchers and possibly start to reduce unemployment. Continue reading

Foreign Risk Capital in Ireland

Foreign Risk CapitalThat wonderful image of a tourist asking for directions from an Irish rural resident. “Well to get to Listowel, luv, I wouldn’t shtart from here…”

We used tax incentives and low cost educated english speaking employees to attract FDI. Now we need a much more refined solution for a much more complex opportunity. If we expect our “Smart Economy” to get Ireland out of the mess it is in, practical alternatives are needed.

Chris Horn in his Sunday Business Post article and his blog refer to Foreign Risk Capital being needed and should be encouraged is absolutely right. This is our way out if we have the vision to implement the necessary steps to encourage more of it to come to Ireland. FRC providers would fall over themselves to get here if the environment and opportunities exist. What is needed is to create reasons for FRC to come here.

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Innovation, Creative Process and Abstract Ideas

Taipei Skyscraper 101

Innovation is the outcome of a definable logical sequence of developments within an evolved creative process, derived from an abstract idea or desired alternative to the perceived reality of an existing problem

Innovation is beneficial but not necessarily required to be economically viable. We may benefit from the research of the Hedron Collidor but may not recoup the financial investment. It is still an innovation.
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