He was speaking about an initiative he is involved in called ITLG (Irish Technology Leadership Group), which is all about facilitating the Irish to succeed in Silicon Valley.
While the topic was absolutely fascinating what was even more interesting was his observations about Ireland and the Irish, which he can now do quite well “as an outsider, looking in” as he put it and the differences with Silicon Valley.
He spoke about Silicon Valley not being a place but being a “State of Mind” and after listening to him speak for half an hour you get to understand exactly what he meant even by the language he chose in his presentation and in the Q&A afterwards.
The people in Silicon Valley work with a focused intensity, everything is possible, failure is often considered as a natural step on the ladder to success, mega opportunity is better than “niche”, we need to change the game and it’s all about “out of the park” ideas ….I was enthralled!
OK, we can see the big American influence but the language, both tone and content was totally infectious.
John spoke of the Irish having natural advantages such as being smart and sociable with great story telling ability but not being so great when it came to pitching and selling – “our kids should be presenting regularly at school so standing up in front of an audience and pitching your idea should be the most natural thing in the world when it matters” he commented.
He spoke about the very tangible “Negativity Bubble” in Ireland that we need to lose as quick as possible .. we need to get aggressive and go after it, we need to shake things up and make positive things happen. He spoke about getting more of the successful ex-pat Irish community in the US involved in the right organisations in Ireland such as the IDA, Enterprise Ireland and the Science Council.
Not only did John make perfect sense but he gave everyone in the room a huge injection of positivity – Thank you John.
Cancel all flights …don’t let him leave the country!
What’s your State of Mind?