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 …

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 …

Crowd Manufacturing

Business Strategy, Technology Leave a Comment

Long after his death Isaac Newton’s unpublished papers finally revealed a hidden obsession with alchemy. Newton was interested in particular with the Philosopher’s Stone, a proto-scientific cum mystical experiment reputed to transmutate one material into another. The Crown feared that the alchemists would devalue the coinage if they did one day manage to make gold coins out of lead. Newton, …

The Internet makes trust and insight scarce commodities, and makes newsroom veterans more valuable

Business Strategy, Media (Culture / Content), Technology 2 Comments

Recently I have been looking at the newspaper as a service and as a business (for reasons that will become apparent later). Something is becoming clear. While the Internet makes information plentiful, and this in turn may be a challenge to some aspects of the newspaper business, deep insight and trust remain as scarce as they have ever been. Indeed, …

The 3 sided product problem

Business Strategy 1 Comment

This post is also on Huffington Post. The first item ever sold on eBay was a broken laser pointer. Startled that someone had bid for the broken item eBay’s founder, Pierre Omidyar, contacted the bidder to ask whether he understood that the laser pointer for which he had bid $14.83 was in fact broken? The bidder responded: ‘Yes, I’m a …

“Peer-to-Peer Retail”: Social marketing/commerce is not just about ‘likes’

Business Strategy 2 Comments

Owjo, the social commerce startup where I worked as evangelist/marketer/product guy, had a big problem. Its offering was so big, and so potentially transformative, that prospective customers couldn’t get a quick grasp of it. Part of my job was to break the product down, so that discrete offerings could be orientated to specific markets. The first fruit of my labour …

Piece in Wired: “Dublin Web Summit highlights the under-reported successes of Irish tech”

Business Strategy Leave a Comment

Following on from my previous piece in Wired UK on the optimism at the Pub Summit, this piece takes a macro snapshot of the Dublin startup scene during last week’s Web Summit. See  Web Summit story on Wired UK here, or read on below.. Last Friday was a big tech day for Dublin. Web game giant Zynga kicked things off …

Frederick Taylor, DEC, and Zynga: how does “idea fuel” filter to the top of perpetual beta organisations?

Business Strategy, Internet History 2 Comments

I broke bread with the speakers after the Dublin Web Summit on Friday (see my coverage of the Summit for Wired UK), and sat opposite Marcus Segal, Zynga’s Chief Operating Officer for Games. Segal is faced with a hell of a problem: Zynga is growing like a super nova, and the model it uses relies on trying out new ideas …