Five Steps of Design Thinking from

Using Design Thinking (and thinking like a child) for better outcomes

Business Strategy

US technology investor Dave McClure coined the maxim “Your solution is not my problem.” He had sat through many a start-up pitch from before distilling this nugget. Entrepreneurs often produce products that do not solve the kind of problems customers actually have. An entrepreneur pitching for investment is keen to talk up their solution, but what counts, says McClure, is …

Lean Startup Strategy. Not just for startups.

Business Strategy, Startups

I spoke to Steve Blank, Alex Osterwalder, and the man who coined “Lean”, John Krafcik. But before hearing from them, read this from Twitter: “U should apply Lean Start-up Strategy in everything u do. Even ur personal & love relationship. Think about it & makes sense.” Thus tweeted an excitable San Francisco tech entrepreneur (whose Twitter profile notes that she …

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Interview with internet pioneer Steve Crocker

Internet History, Technology

In a bathroom, at three in the morning in April 1969, a graduate student named Steve Crocker started to write one of the most important documents of the last century. Though drafted in humble circumstances Crocker’s document would set the open, inclusive tone of the next half century of Internet engineering culture, and initiate the process of defining the rules that govern virtually all data exchange on the planet.

Advertising’s historic pivot point

Advertising / Branding / Marketing, Startups

This is a piece I originally published in Contagious. An understandable malaise in ad agencies surrounds all things digital. Low revenues on the one hand and a new answerability to metrics on the other are accompanied by a sense that digital formats remain largely underdeveloped, and that new, possibly unwelcome, surprises await. This is a moment of uncertainty. But it …

Startup networking at a 153 year old media company

Business Strategy, Media (Culture / Content), Startups

If a 153 year old newspaper is to adapt, to experiment, and take useful risks, it makes sense to work with startups. Since The Irish Times’ initial eight week experiment in 2012, both the NYT and the BBC have followed with their own ways of incubating early stage digital businesses. But beyond incubation there is a wider opportunity. Established media …

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An experiment in startups working with news media companies: looking back at The Irish Times Digital Challenge

Business Strategy, Startups

(This post also appeared in The Irish Times on 4 October 2012.) LAST FRIDAY, at The Workman’s Club on Wellington Quay in Dublin, an Irish technology start-up company called GetBulb was announced as the overall winner of The Irish Times Digital Challenge. GetBulb has produced a system that can rapidly create data visualisations suitable for both high-resolution print and for …

Piece on 3D printing in The Irish Times


The Irish Times, 24 September 2012: “3D printers to manufacture a revolution”. (This is a condensed version of a longer piece – read full piece here) THE THREE trends toward cheaper 3D printing, consumer co-creation, and digital distribution should be understood as part of a great adjustment. The current stage of 3D printing is analogous to the early 1990s when the music …

Week One: The Irish Times Digital Challenge

Business Strategy, Media (Culture / Content), Startups

I PREVIOUSLY POSTED THIS ON THE HUFFINGTON POST. RE POSTED HERE. Some months ago I set up The Irish Times Digital Challenge to invite digital entrepreneurs to propose ways to work with The Irish Times. Almost 81 early stage digital companies applied, of which 14 were invited to pitch in person. From this a final five of startups were selected …