ISME members prefer it that we keep it ‘strictly business’ and that we keep away from politics, particularly international politics. The media’s current obsession with ‘Trump Bad, All Others Good’, has meant that many vital domestic issues, such as the looming shutdown of most of our State-run public transport systems, are not getting due media coverage. If all goes to trade union plans, industry (across all sectors) will get an almighty hammering when the workforce can’t turn up for work.
Another item to note is the incredible rise in the cost of the Children’s Hospital. Just a couple of years ago, it was going to be built for little more than what the State received from the Canadian purchasers of the National Lottery. Now it’s going to cost two and a half times the original estimate – paid for by greater State borrowings, of course. As that great phrase goes, ‘Never let a State budget get in the way of a populist project’.
Our time has come
There’s also much being made, quite rightly, of the absolute need for indigenous industry in this country to grow and mature, so that we’re less reliant on the kindness of overseas investors. Today’s shock announcement of five hundred lost jobs at HP is all the proof we need of that. The times they are a-changing. It would be pure folly to rely so heavily on future FDI into Ireland, especially in light of the triple threat from Ms Vestager’s EU Commission, Ms May’s Brexiting Britain, and Mr Trump’s ‘America First.’ It was great while it lasted. Now it is time for the State to fundamentally reconfigure our industrial policy, and concentrate on encouraging the growth of our 200,000 SMEs. They are the future.
Putting something back
Enterprise Ireland [ @EntIrl ] continues to do sterling work in trying to get high-potential start-ups to head for overseas markets, particularly helping tech companies get into Silicon Valley. Our own indigenous tech entrepreneurs are getting better at re-investing back into the sector following successful trade sales. It’s the current fashion and long may it continue.
A simple idea
Nobody ever got poor by borrowing a good idea. So here’s one we saw in Fortune this morning that the State should investigate. @FortuneMagazine says Denmark is to appoint its own ‘Silicon Valley Ambassador’, as if, the articles says, Tech was its own country. Details are sketchy but the idea is that this ambassador will “establish and prioritize comprehensive relations” between tech companies and Denmark”.
Peer to peer
We know only too well that the Irish political class would probably, if we had a similar position, try to snaffle it for a few years of junketeering. However, what if one of our successful tech entrepreneurs would take on the role in some form of honorary position? They would engage with those companies at a peer-to-peer level in the C-Suite as they like to call it in Silicon Valley and might well bring back fresh perspective as well a keen feel for future trends, which could prove invaluable to @JulieSinnamon and her EI team. You can never have too many sales reps on the road?