A Silicon Valley “State of Mind”

John Hartnett - ITLG

A Silicon Valley “State of Mind”

I am just back from a really uplifting Cork Chamber breakfast where the attendees had the pleasure of listening to John Hartnett, a Limerick man who is now working and living in Silicon Valley.

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.

Silicon ValleyHe 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?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion


Colm Healy from Skelligs Chocolate gave me a great link to a “Ted” talk by Cameron Herold about “raising kids to be entrepreneurs“.


Tags: , , , , , ,

11 Responses to “A Silicon Valley “State of Mind””

  1. electricalcomplianceguru Says:

    Great blog Greg. Totally agree with” 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.” How many good ideas are binned because of bad presentations?
    Eleanor B

  2. dee o'brien Says:

    Totally agree with John’s idea re: the negative bubble in Ireland the need to be aggressive and making things happen but need to be instilled into our graduates who become the young Entrepreneurs of tomorrow via lectures and training in our Universities and Colleges, they need to be encouraged to be hungry, agressive and go for the big ones!

  3. colm healy Says:

    Greg, I am a big fan of ‘TED’ website and there is a great talk by Cameron Herold about ‘let’s raise kids to be entrepreneurs’ – here is the link ifyou want to share it – well worth a look. http://www.ted.com/talks/cameron_herold_let_s_raise_kids_to_be_entrepreneurs.html

  4. lewisevans777 Says:

    Yes, I think it’s a great article and you raise some very important points, Greg. Here in Vancouver, I feel a much more elevated energy. I have to say I feel it was great to get out of the ‘negativity bubble’, and start working with ‘can do’ people.

    Having said that, though, I think Ireland already has a huge amount to offer, and I am promoting Irish/Canadian connections in business since each has strengths and weaknesses.

    • Greg Canty Says:

      Hi Lewis – thanks for the great contribution. It’s really good to hear from you and to see you doing so well. Any lessons that you can share from Canada?

      • lewisevans777 Says:

        I think that rather than cancel all flights, it would be great to encourage more flights for people to come over here to experience the entrepreneurial spirit that thrives here. Equally, I see a lot that Canadians can learn from ‘ the old world’ in terms of depth and maturity in business that can be a little superficial here, and even naive. Canada, to my mind, is over-dependent on it’s oil culture and its overbearing neighbour to the south. Ireland is a great gateway to Europe and international markets that could help it thrive in the future should a volatile USA not work so well for it. At the moment, the CAD$ is strong, so Irish exports could do well here. Equally, Canadian companies with an eye for export would do well to set up in Ireland, taking advantage of a favourable tax regime and relatively lower costs, as has been demonstrated by several big companies recently.

      • Greg Canty Says:

        Wow – thanks Lewis. Sounds like plenty of opportunities ..

  5. Patricia Whiteside Says:

    The irish Have Always Prevailed & Always Will:)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: