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A World Turning Digital

The rise of the machines is upon us.  Could robots soon run our lives? Many seem to think so and it’s hard to disagree with them when you consider how fast our world is turning digital. US mathematician Claude Shannon,  wrote, “I visualize a time when we will be to robots what dogs are to humans, and I’m rooting for the machines.” And Physicist Stephen Hawking also commented that “Unless mankind redesigns itself by changing our DNA through altering our genetic makeup, computer-generated robots will take over our world”. I for one share these views, especially after witnessing how technology is taking over sophisticated jobs in fields such as medicine and banking in my third D.I.C.E conference.

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So here it is, my much-anticipated final blog. The ‘Get’ trilogy of conferences has finished with ‘Get Digital’. Dr. Johnny Walker, David Erixon, and Alistair Croll took to the stage to talk about how digital innovation is disrupting their respected industries and how the unintended consequences of innovation can reveal new markets. Throughout this conference, the extent to which our world is evolving into a digital one was evident.

A Digital Health Sector

Dr. Walker highlighted how health is entering this stage of digital revolution, through extrajohny-walkerordinary advancements in technology. One of the major problems with the health care system is that it is doctor focussed, meaning humans are at the center of the industry. The main problem with that is well, humans make mistakes. And mistakes in this sector, result in a loss of lives. As well as that, our trust in doctors has eroded. A study by the Robert Wood Johnson foundation in 2014, found that only 34 percent of Americans have great confidence in the leaders of the medical profession. So, what does this lack of trust mean? Well potentially it means people desire a more trust worthy and efficient way of delivering medical care and that’s what’s beginning to occur.

A digital approach to delivering health services is taking the industry by storm. The system has become outdated across the world with Dr. Walker described as “chaos”. As a result, firms have developed new and exciting technology to feed this demand for a better health system.

E-prescriptions are beginning to be introduced throughout the world, which is revolutionising the health industry by creating a safer and more convenient consumer journey. This electronic prescription process has recently been implemented in Portuguese law and has been extremely successful. According to Procedia Technology in their article ‘PEM-A New Patient Centred Electronic Prescription Platform’, “electronic prescription has proved to play an important role in patient safety, quality of care as well as cost control… (It also) implements additional safety and control in the medication circuit, as well as increases the potential to avoid fraud and to reduce costs.” I personally don’t think the question is if, but when this system will become mainstream around the world. Not only that but I believe the entire prescription process will soon be completely automated.erx-illustration-large

Other health advancements mentioned by Dr. Walker included wearable health monitors. Nowadays consumers want everything on demand and at their fingertips and that’s what the health industry are giving them. There are products from the ovulation buddy, to tell you the best times to try conceiving, to earnings that measure blood pressure, as well as glucose sensing technology. These types of products are giving consumers more control over their health and is relieving patient dependence on doctors.

Dr. Johnny Walker is encouraging this drive towards a digital world and wants to give patients and families, even more control over their health with his idea Jinga Life. “The Jinga Life platform is a personal electronic health record of each member of the family, maintained and managed by the true curator of care within a family, the jinga!” The platform connects with all these new wearable technologies and sensors so customers can monitor not only their health but their family and friend’s health as well. I feel this could be revolutionary, especially for elderly people living at home alone.

Dr. Walker was quick to inform us that technology isn’t only taking over the day to day elements of health but also improving the accuracy and reliability of surgeries. Yet again removing human error from our health system. Technology such as CyberKnife is removing any doubt and concern from patients. “It treats cancerous and non-cancerous tumors and other targets, precisely and accurately delivering radiation anywhere in the body.” So, it is evident robots and technology are taking over the health sector and it’s only a matter of time before doctors are no longer needed.

Future of Money and Banking

The next speaker David Erixon talked about the future of money and banking. Finance and banking are being revolutionised by Fintech (Financial technology) companies and advancements in digital technology. Perhaps the most interesting advancements in this sector is the move towards digital money. Erixon talked about how less than 2% of all transactions in Sweden last year were cash transactions. As well as that these cash transactions are predicted to fall below 0.5% by 2020. This demonstrates a shift away from physical money and our desire for more convinenet, frictionless methods of payments. ‘frictionless’ payments is where are system is currently at. These are typically fast methods of payment via a contactless card, smartphone or fingerprint recognition. These payment methods are creating the best user experiences. However, these frictionless payments still require preparation, like filling out forms and linking a card to an app and so on. Soon we will see the true meaning of frictionless payment. Concepts such as iBeacons are being developed to allow customers to pay for their goods automatically just from the physical departure from a store. Wearable FinTech and the integration of payment competence into products seems to be the future of payment. Check out the video bellow, it goes into detail about the iBeacons possibilities.

With this move towards digital transactions, we have seen the rise of digital currencies and cryptocurrencies. Now, cryptocurrencies is a highly complex topic and the advantages and disadvantages of currencies such as Bitcoin are highly debatable. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of Bitcoin is that it is finite, meaning governments and financial institution can’t manipulate it. This is once again removing a human element away from the sector.

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Over the past decade, FinTech companies have been revolutionising the traditional retail banking industry through innovation. Not only has this changed the way consumers conduct their financial affairs, but it has also forced retail banks to increase their speed of digital adoption.

Banking is moving online and it’s only a matter of time before banks become fully digital and branchless. Banks have already announced they will no longer be opening new branches and will be focusing on digital banking. In January of this year, Bank of Africa announced it would close 12 of its 42 branches and move its services to a more digital platform.

Completely digital banks have already emerged. Fidor Bank in Europe is completely digital and aims to restore lost confidence in the banking industry.Image result for fidor bank Just established in 2009, they now have over 100,000 customers and aims to interact with their customers through social media platforms. Its progressions like these that show this digital shift is no longer the future but the present.

Erixon also highlighted how banks don’t have a good track record of progression. Now FinTech companies are causing immense disruption that are forcing established players, from banks to payment firms, to reconsider their position and evolve. It’s important we look at these companies to see how they are challenging the financial sector.

Currency Cloud is a British firm that provides cross-border money transfers for businesses. It establishes itself as a rival to banks that usually carry out this transaction, but says it is cheaper and faster than these traditional players. Founded in 2012, Currency Cloud now processes $15 billion a year.Image result for worldremit

Another company challenging traditional players is WorldRemit. What they are trying to do is take over the $600 billion remittances market. The company has developed an app that allows people around the world to send money to other bank accounts or so-called mobile wallets for a low price. Currently, this process can take several days and can cost a lot. This company challenges large players such as Western Union and have recently raised $45 million to fuel their expansion into this potentially huge market.

So, as you can see, technological companies are forcing traditional banks and financial institutions to adapt to this digital market or risk losing a lot of their customers or becoming obsolete. Despite the enormous challenges retail banks now face, they still have an inherent competitive advantage over Financial technology firms. They have large customer bases with vast amounts of customer and transaction data, as well as having years of know-how in areas of payment, compliance, security, and financing. With this wealth of experience, if retail banks adapt accordingly they can most certainly compete into the future of this digital era.

Discontinuities

Finally, Alistair Croll took to the stage and enlightened us with the idea that discontinuities reveal new markets and business models. I couldn’t think of a better talk to effectively wrap up this conference. This new digital era is creating an abundance of discontinuities as we have already seen. But what is a discontinuity? Croll describes it as something that “changes our perception of ourselves and the way we see the world”. One of the best examples of a modern discontinuity is the smartphone. It has become a prosthetic brain and many of us would find it difficult to imagine a world without them. The smartphone has impacted so many unexpected sectors such as the banking industry above. Who would have thought the mobile phone industry would have such an impact on banking?

Furthermore, firms nowadays have to engage in even more environmental scanning than ever before. With such a rapidly changing world, firms need to know what is going to affect their businesses and respond accordingly. Failure to do so can be fatal. A great example of this is Netflix. The ways in which movies have been consumed has drastically changed in recent decades. The manufacturing of the first video recorders and then DVD players took movies into the comfort of your own home. DVD rental chains arose to meet this demand for home movies. One of the most famouImage result for netflixs of these was Blockbusters. However, the arrival of a discontinuity drastically changed the movie rental market. It was the internet. Blockbusters saw the change coming but avoided it because they knew it would hurt them. This ignorance to adapt resulted in Netflix’s dominance. Netflix encouraged the change the internet brought by first delivering an online rental system by which they posted out movies, to then developing a system that allowed users to access the titles online. Netflix understood the importance of adapting and effectively highlight how discontinuities reveal new markets and how recognising these markets is the key to a successful start-up.

It’s hard to ignore the extent to which technology is taking over our world. Sectors are being drastically changed by digital innovation and discontinuities. The Question is, will we eventually see a world where almost everything is digital? It’s hard to imagine and is somewhat scary. However, most sectors will inevitably become completely digital. The rise of the robots is coming and it’s imperative firms recognise this or they could be left behind.

 

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Be Informed, Innivative and interesting

Businesses don’t get to choose whether they participate in social media marketing, just how well they participate. I understand this is a bold statement. However, it couldn’t be more accurate in relation to modern marketing. It doesn’t matter how much you avoid social media, there will always be something about your business on the internet, and that’s just a fact. As a result, companies mbudlightupforrapeust work increasingly harder to make social media work in their favour. Which a lot of the time isn’t so easy. Some of the smallest mistakes can result in the loss of millions. There is always a constant threat that your marketing campaign could go viral, for all the wrong reasons. An
example of this is Budweiser’s, Bud light #UpForWhatever campaign in 2015. “The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night” was printed on Bud light beer bottles. At first, like Budweiser’s marketing team, I didn’t exactly see what was wrong with it. More than likely it’s because I’m a little slow at these things, but hopefully there is some of you out there just like me, so I’ll just go ahead and explain… Consumers were outraged by the campaign because it promotes rape! Consumers tweeted that they couldn’t believe “Bud light didn’t know it was making a rape joke”. Others proceeded to tweet “Budweiser- a proud sponsor of American Rape Culture™ (Removing the “no” from women’s vocabulary since 1876)”.

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Personally, I feel people look to deep into these things but once I copped why people were so outraged, it was hard to ignore the fact that it really does sound like they’re promoting rape. It also doesn’t take a genius to realise, that’s not something you want associated with your brand. This example clearly illustrates the dangers of social media marketing, and even if you don’t initially use social media for your campaign, it could very well find its way on it.

As you probably already know, (those of you that actually cared enough to read my previous blog… all three of you)

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I am writing these blogs in reflection to the conferences I am attending for college. This is the second installment to my trilogy, where hopefully for once the second is better than the first. And possibly you won’t all be begging me not to write a third one. Regardless of your begging, there will be a third blog so just pretend you enjoy what I’m writing and look out for it soon.

The latest conference I attended was ‘Get Social’! The conference thought me a lot about how to avoid social media and general marketing errors to effectively deliver a product or service to the public. That’s why I started off with the example of Bud light because it effectively shows how even the biggest firms can get themselves into a spot of bother over these issues and why it’s so important to have an in dept knowledge of this issue.
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Overall the speakers were excellent and I genuinely learned a lot. Most of which I am happily sharing below. Enjoy!!

Know Your Audience!!

One of the most compelling messages of the conference was to understand and appeal to your audience. Although this might seem extremely obvious, it’s consistently done badly and is one of the most important factors in having a good social media presence.

Engagement

Paul Hayes, founder of Beachut PR, emphasised how to effectively engage your audience. The audience doesn’t necessarily just mean the consumer, it also considers potential investors and journalists who can effectively help you spread your ideas. “Resist the temptation to talk about yourself. Talk about your impact on the world”. This was an extremely importance message he expressed during the conference, and I know many of you are probably trying to figure out what he means by that… It’s simple. People don’t care about you as much as you’d like to think. I know some of you are thinking ‘speak for yourself, you miserable ****’, but it’s true. In business, the only relevance you have to people is how beneficial you are to them. Effectively you need to think of yourself as irrelevant and hence you need stop talking about yourself. What you need to be doing is talking about what effect you will have on the world, and in turn the effect you will have on your consumers! He also stated people remember how you make them feel and not what you say… this is extremely important and I want you to remember this. An example of this is buying the first and last drinks. This is because these drinks appeal to people emotionally. You’ve started off the night and ended it. People appreciate generosity and hence remember you and not the other guy you’re with who bought everyone their second drink after seeing you buy the first. In order to get people to remember and talk about you, you have to appeal to them emotionally, and that’s what many companies have started to do in their advertising campaigns. Think about it! The adds that get shared on Facebook or twitter aren’t the ones that get across how great a company’s product is but the ones that are funny, motivational or support subjects close to people’s heart. They appeal to us emotionally.

John Lewis are notoriously famous for their Christmas adverts providing us with some tear jerking tales since 2007. They’re famous because they make people feel something. Last Christmas their advertisement was both heart-warming and funny, making it memorable. In case you haven’t seen it, have a look below!

Now tell me you that ad doesn’t evoke some sort of emotion. The first thing I wanted to do when I saw it was tell some, and it looks like a lot of other people had the same idea. According to Adweek this video received nearly 2 million shares online. It also raked in an astonishing 25 million views on YouTube alone!! Each year they appeal to our emotions and without fail, we remember them.

Targeting Your Audience

It’s all well and good to create an impressive, emotive campaign but you still need to have it reach your audience. Knowing how to target your audience is becoming increasingly easier with the large amounts of data available. It is imperative that you find out what your target market is using, watching and listening to. The more data you have the better. Anne Marie Boyhan was telling us that Bank of Ireland are now using Snapchat to target young consumers. She informed us that Ireland has the world’s highest snapchat penetration, with 63% of 16-24 year olds having accounts. Although I fell this is the right way to go about things, by finding out what means of social media your audience is predominantly using, I ttacobellsnaplenshink they’ve missed just one thing. People in that age category don’t Particularly want their bank on snapchat. This is just my personal opinion along with the thoughts of people my age (19), who I have been talking with. Although they plan to use snapcodes to reduce the friction between adding the account, I personally don’t think people will bother. What do you guys think? I feel that adding a snapchat account is far too personal for businesses to expect people to do it. instead they should think of creative ways around it. Like sponsored lenses. As you can see Taco Bell using on the left. It’s a playful way to target your audience and it actually has your consumers sending your ad on for you! Taco Bell subsequently had 224 million views on this campaign in one day!! According to snapchat, users “play with a sponsored lens for 20 seconds” which is incredible interaction with your brand. I think this is definitely a case where Bank of Ireland should try know their audience a little better and find more creative ways to advertise. In contrast to this, I feel Jameson have used the same concept of finding out how to target your market but have executed it a lot better!

Aisling Tobin, brand manager of Jameson talked to us about what they are doing regarding social media. From the conference, I got a true sense that Jameson knows their target market in incredible detail. They describe their consumers as ‘LADS’. Laid back appreciators and down to earth socials. By effectively knowing their market they are much better at appealing to them. Tobin says ‘LADS’ spend 24 hours a week on social media with 80% of that accessed through smartphones or tablets. Unlike Bank of Ireland they fully understand their market.

Jameson are now using NFC (near field communication) technology for android users and QR codes for Apple users on their bottles. The NFC technology just requires android users to tap their phone against the bottle. This results in engagement with the product and consumers are rewarded for their loyalty. This effectively correlates with their information that ‘LADS’ are constantly using their phones and it factors in the increasing trend momentum for use of these codes. It is a great way to bring their customers online through their physical product and also help increase the completion of their consumer journey.  There is no commitment to the brand by having them constantly on your snapchat, they just simply reward your loyalty in an interesting and fun way.

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Engage with your customer

Consumer engagement on social media is a key to any campaign’s success. However, Hugh Curran, a digital transformation consultant, suggests companies’ further engagement with customers can further enhance your customer satisfaction. Like stated before, people remember how you make them feel and not what you have to say. By responding to people on posts by retweeting, commenting or liking what they have to say, you are making them feel relevant to your company. YouTubers are excellent advocates of this. When they respond to subscribers on social media the subscribers get a more personal interaction with them. They run off and tell all their friends, ‘OMG you’ll never guess who just retweeted me’and It wasn’t too hard to actually find a forum, where people are bragging about celebrity interaction. This creates an emotional felling people remember as well as spreading awareness for your company.

A lot of companies go through great lengths to respond effectively to consumers on social media and it can create a great brand image and consumer samsungdragon.PNGappreciation. Last year Shane Bennett, a loyal Samsung customer reached out to them online asking for their latest phone for free. To sweeten his offer he attached a picture of a dragon he drew. Not surprisingly Samsung said “no” but sent him their drawing of a kangaroo on a unicycle. Shane shared both of the messages and drawings to Reddit, where it went viral. In response, Samsung sent him the phone he asked for customised with the fire breathing dragon he drew.

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This just shows how a simple reply, with a bit of effort, can create a viral response. Why did it go viral? because it showed Samsung cared. Online can seem so impersonal at times, it’s imperative that you remind your consumer of their significance to you. This touching story of a man and his dragon, spread the message that Samsung care about their customers.

Digital + Physical + Emotional + sensual = Success

Paul Berney, CEO and managing partner of mCordis had a lot to say about customer engagement and understanding. He insisted that combining digital, physical, emotional and sensual to solve customer’s problems is the ultimate branding. I couldn’t agree more with him. Companies realise this, and are now spending millions on creating an experience with their product, to appeal to people’s emotions and senses while also solving their problems. Berney used Apple as an example.Capture-applephone.PNG Their packaging gives buyers a sensory experience that reinforces their brand. Every part of the packaging is designed to be clean, simple and direct. They use an elegant minimalist white colour that effectively reinforces what’s inside the box; something elegant and straightforward to use. Even opening the box is a unique experience. In Adam Lashinsky’s book, “Inside Apple” he says “For months, a packaging designer was holed up in this room performing the most mundane of tasks- opening boxes”. Apple spend considerable time perfecting their packaging, just to create this sensual and emotional connection that customers have with their products, because like stated before people remember how you make them feel. Consequently, Customers remember their experience with Apple and their packaging which has resulted in them having a brand loyalty that most companies can only dream of.

Starbucks are also trying to improve their brand in relation to the equation above. They have implemented a digital side to the customer experience to solve customer issues. They concluded thCapture-starbucksapp.PNGeir shops’ main friction was the large lines people were waiting in to grab a coffee. So, they introduced a new click & collect app, that allows customers to order their coffee online to their nearest Starbucks and to collect their coffee within 5-9 minutes without waiting in line. It gives customers that priority feeling and that personal touch is still there when they call out your name as you walk through the door.

Don’t stop moving forward!

It’s exciting to see such advancements in technology and marketing, such as Starbucks and Snapchat advertising. However, with such large-scale innovation, companies need to be careful not to fall behind. This was precisely the message of Eric Weaver, vice president of communications & marketing solutions at Xerox. People are scared of change and rightly so. Change is destroying firms that remain still. The only way to survive is to change, and change better than your competitor. Who would have thought that the world’s biggest taxi company would own no cars? For crying out loud, Airbnb doesn’t even own a bed and it’s almost worth more than Hilton and Hyatt combined ($30.2 billion). 74% of CEOs are worried about disruption. However now is not the time to worry. It’s time to innovate!! Companies that are creating a culture where ideas are welcomed and change isn’t a ‘dirty word’, are succeeding. The ones that prefer to stay in their comfort zone are paying the price. 35% of Google’s revenue in the last 4 years, came from ideas by their employees. Challenge people to challenge their own thinking and you will reap the rewards.

Social Media is a large part of consumer culture and weather you like it or not you are going to need to use it. Use the tips above to become creative and informed when using social media and you’ll see your company flourish. I hope you enjoyed this blog and keep your eyes peeled for my next one!!

Fail Forward

Why are we so scared to fail? It seems we will do almost anything to avoid failure. We perceive things as unrealistic and constantly make excuses to talk ourselves out of trying something we desperately want to do. Why? Because we fear failure! The thought of failing far outweighs the slim chances of success. Thus, we give up on our dreams and ideas before we even attempt to make them a reality.

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again”

On the 8th of November, 2016, I attended a conference in The Helix called Get Started, where six self-made entrepreneurs shared with us their businesses’ success. The one thing I found in common with all their successful businesses, was failure! Maybe it was just a coincidence that they all happened to succeed after failing, or was it trend? I began to research the idea and found out the average millionaire goes bankrupt at least 3.5 times! so why do we fear failure so much if constant failure leads to success? That’s something we must ask ourselves before we pursue anything with an element of risk. The predominate message of the conference was, you must learn from your failure to learn how to succeed. Furthermore, each speaker gave an uplifting account of why we don’t have to be afraid of failure and rather why we should embrace it, so we can learn and create a successful startup.

Differentiation

The first speaker Phillippe Brodeur, founder and CEO of OvercastHQ, talked about what he learned was necessary to succeed in a constantly changing market. He stressed the importance of differentiation! He informed us if we plan on creating a business, we need to differentiate ourselves to better our chance of success. With so many new products, apps and services constantly entering the market this statement couldn’t be more true. What is going to make your idea stand out? What will make people take notice? This reminded me of a Ted talk where Seth Godin talks about “How to get your ideas to spread”. He mentions making your idea remarkable. Making it worth something to talk about. He gives the example of a company called Silk locating a product that doesn’t need to be refrigerated, next to the milk in the refrigerated section. This tripled their sales! Why? Because everything in the fridge was milk but that product. Hence it stood out. It differentiated itself from the rest, so people noticed the product. The Statistic Brain Research Institute compiled statistics showing the percentage of startups still operating after four years in certain industries. As you can see from the graphic below, its only about half that survive. So, what are you going to do to make your startup stand out from the rest in order to survive in an extremely competitive market!

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Passion and learning

Brian O’Rourke and Alan Farrelly founders of CitySwifter, were two young entrepreneurs attempting to enter the transport industry. In doing so they had become quite familiar with failure. Their first business Busman.ie was a complete failure and their next business concertbus.ie wasn’t exactly perfect either. (They had to search for their passengers in the rain on O’Connell street). What they emphasized about these failed attempts was the amount they learnt from it. “You have to do something wrong to know how to do it afterwards”. Like I mentioned before constant failure leads to success, and CitySwifter is an excellent example of this.

Brian and Alan also displayed the passion and work ethic necessary to be a successful startup. With Dublin Bus strikes fast approaching, it was a massive opportunity to get thousands of customers in a short period. With limited time and funding they rented out a house, removed the furniture and devoted their life to the firm for the next couple of days to seize the opportunity. Such devotion paid off and created the platform for CitySwifters success. This type of passion and drive is so fundamental to creating a successful business and was extremely motivational.

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Complimentary skills

One of the most interesting startups on the day was a site called GirlCrew founded by Elva Carri. Unlike the other startups, Elva came across hers be accident. One evening Elva wanted to go dancing but none of her friends were available. She came up with the quite bizarre idea of changing her gender on the popular dating app, tinder, so she could match with other girls. Elva changed her profile picture to a message asking girls if they wanted to go dancing with her. Within a few hours she had over one hundred responses.girl-crew Not being able to message them all individually, she sent them all a link to a Facebook group chat where they could organize to go dancing. Overwhelmed with the response, she left her computer for an hour or two, only to come back to the group having arranged to meet up in a cocktail bar without her even organizing it. Elva realized she had found a gap in the market and created GirlCrew, an online forum where women can socialize and meet up with other women in their local area. GirlCrew gained a lot of traction and now has over 50,000 members! Although the site has become very popular, Elva said the growth of the site was greatly restricted because they hadn’t a tech person on the team. She went on to stress the importance of building a team around you with complimentary skills. Before this conference I hadn’t thought about this idea that much and never realized the importance of networking with people who have complimentary skills. But from listening to Elva and the other entrepreneurs it has become obvious how essential it is.

Vision

Gavan Walsh founder of iCabbi was next to speak. Gavan was an extremely impressive speaker who’s ambition and passion was felt by everyone in the Helix. What struck me the most about Gavan was his desire to succeed on a much larger scale than the other Entrepreneurs at the conference. iCabbi was essentially just a dispatch system for taxi companies. However, Gavan had a bigger vision for his company. He wanted to be a global leader in dispatch technology. This idea may have seemed a bit absurd coming from a small taxi dispatch company but he soon began to display iCabbi’s potential. iCabbi expanded worldwide and entered several different markets.visionGavan talked about the importance of having a clear vision of where you’re going and to never limit your vision because “you can only grow as big as your vision”. Gavan’s strong emphasis on vision was important to hear at the conference as It is a key element to success! You can have the best plane in the world but if the pilot doesn’t know where they are going, the plane will just go around in circles and never reach its destination. No one has ever been successful without intent and Gavan made that clear to us DCU students.

Prototype fast

Like all the other speakers Adrian Mihai, founder and CEO of opening.io, had a fantastic idea. He developed software that can read CV’s and cover letters as well as matching candidates to jobs that will suit them. Such software is designed to greatly reduce the time spent in the recruitment process. Although the idea is fantastic and revolutionary, what really caught my attention was when he said “don’t over polish, prototype fast”. This brings us back to the quote from Brian and Alan, founders of CitySwifter, “you have to do something wrong to know how to do it afterwards”. They all know you must create a poor product/service in order to create a good one. I felt it was important to know this before attempting to create the perfect product/service the first time around.

Making a difference

It seems that nowadays everyone is overly concerned about profits and not so much about make a difference in the world. However, Iseult Ward, founder of FoodCloud, restored my faith that there are people out there still trying to do good. Iseult’s idea is simple. She wants to connect those who have too much food with those who have too little by redistributing left over food in supermarkets and restaurants to local charities. Her Original solution to this problem failed. But like the rest of the entrepreneurs at the conference she persevered and started again. FoodCloud was her new solution, an app that allowed supermarkets and restaurants to upload a notice about the food they had left over and allowed charities to claim the food and get in contact with the supermarket. Iseult has partnered up with Aldi and Tesco in Ireland and is recently expanding to Tesco in the UK. The app is simple and effective and has serious potential to make a difference worldwide. Iseult is an excellent example of how we can use business to help people globally.

The Conference ended with Andrew Keogh urging us to think about making our startup ideas a reality now, rather than in the future. why? Because it means we have more time to fail and learn. Each entrepreneur discussed different fundamentals they felt were essential to have or do when starting a new business. Not only was this conference informative, it was motivational and inspiring. And right about now I wouldn’t mind creating a business that is a complete failure!

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