The Developing Digital World

“Sharing is good, and with digital technology, sharing is easy.”

-Richard Stallman

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Our final mini-conference of the year took place on April 11th, and whilst there were only 3 speakers and a 2-hour slot compared to the usual 4 hours, we weren’t left without quality content and engaging speakers. The theme of the final conference was getting digital, how the digital world has evolved in the last number of years and how it will continue to evolve in the future. Our 3 speakers, who were all discussing the matter of technological changes, were all different which helped the whole room to stay engaged and focused to gain a new understanding of the digital world.

Dr. Johnny Walker – CEO & Founder – Jinga Life 

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If you are looking for an incredibly interesting, engaging and passionate man, look no further than our first speaker, Dr. Johnny Walker of Jinga Life. Originally from Australian, Johnny is now an Interventional Radiologist and Nuclear Physician at The Hermitage Medical Clinic in Dublin. We all dream about loving what we do, but few of us will truly reach the love Dr. Johnny has for his job and that was widely evident while he spoke to us.

Screenshot_2What is probably most interesting about Dr. Johnny Walker was his background and how he’s grown with the developments in technology and used them to help people – doing what is best for all of his patients. Beginning in ‘The Bush’ where there were over 650,000 people and virtually no Point of Care Services, Johnny realized that something needed to change, leading him to develop a telemedicine network. It all started out of the back of a van, built on a 3k phone line. With 299,563 babies born in Australia in 2010, I have no doubt in my mind that Dr. Walker has had a serious impact on the health service.

Image result for healthcare problemsThere are countless problems with the healthcare system – both here in Ireland and in most countries abroad. It is no surprise that many of these were pointed out to us by Johnny. He believes that there is too much focus put on the doctors, which therefore leads to a lack of care for the patients. This has led him to develop something that can change the focus and ensure that the world will develop as it needs to. The solution?Image result for jinga life Jinga Life! When you look at it, Jinga Life is simple – its an online medical file that can be easily accessed… but why isn’t it being used more? The ‘Tomb to Womb’ description fits perfectly as it can easily store all a patients records and ensure that no matter where in the world they are, they can be easily accessed at a low cost. It can save patients and doctors huge amounts of time and money and ensures that patients won’t forget to bring their vital files to any appointments!

Jinga Life is not the only digital change that is helping the medical field across the world. Virtual Reality (VR), Digital Thermometers and Gesturing are just some of the many other areas that is helping the doctors and patients around the world. Finally, robots are now available to assist doctors and they are the perfect partners as they “never complain and never drops the scalpel!”

David Erixon – Head of Digital and Customer Innovation – Ulster Bank

Image result for david erixonNext up to speak to us was Ulster Bank’s Head of Digital and Customer Innovation, David Erixon. David explained to us how the way we spend money is changing, with very few of us using cash to purchase items now – most of it being by card. According to David, 95% of transactions in Sweden are digital!

Image result for apple payAs many of my Irish readers will be aware, Apple Pay has recently launched in Ireland, and fittingly, David’s bank Ulster Bank is one of only 3 banks who are participating. Apple Pay has changed the game. Almost everyone owns an Apple product today – whether thImage result for apple payat be an iPhone, and iPad or a Mac, making Apple Pay a major convenience for these people. With one simple touch, you can complete your purchase and quickly move on. More importantly, Apple never share your details, making Apple Pay the “safer, more private way to pay.”

One platform that David introduced to me was 22seven, an app all about your money and what you do with iImage result for 22sevent! What I find truly incredible about this app is that it not only allows you to check how much money you have in one account, but it can provide you information on all of the accounts you have! Having multiple accounts can be a pain, but with 22seven, you don’t need to worry. It shows you how much money you hImage result for investave readily available to you, how much money you owe, and how much money you can borrow at the time. Not only does it help manage your cash, but it also helps with investing your cash! With 3 different options, Old Mutual Core Diversified Fund, Old Mutual Top 40 Fund and The Old Mutual Global FTSE RAFI® All World Index Feeder Fund, you have the option of how much risk you take, and how much money you can potentially earn! For people who want to make money without having to do any work – this is a fantastic option!

Alistair Croll – Author and Public Speaker – Lean Analytics

Image result for alistair crollThe final speaker of the evening was Alistair Croll – a visiting speaker from Harvard University! The title of the talk was ‘Horses, Tea, Steam and Perfume’ which sounds very random, but sums up perfectly what Alistair was speaking about… just about everything! What was most different about Alistair’s talk in comparison to the two we heard before was that he didn’t think that technology was the interesting aspect, he felt it was the discontinuities that were.

Image result for the futureThink about it… the world we are living in is ever changing, whether that be a good thing or a bad thing is still up for debate. We simply cannot predict the future. The developments thImage result for football helmetat are happening are both successful and unsuccessful, some for different reasons than others. Take the helmet in football for example, as Alistair pointed out, it was made to prevent head injuries, but ended up causing more injuries as players thought of it as a weapon to use against their opponents now. The inventions purpose truly lies with the user.

Image result for blockbusterAnother interesting point was that we have to learn to keep up the the advances and sometimes staying on top is more important than inventing something new – but falling behind is not an option. Blockbuster are the victims of falling behind as they Image result for cinemafailed to adopt to the streaming services that are being offered by massively successful today such as Netflix. Cinemas are still popular as people see them as a luxury and they receive the new releases first, ensuring that people still come back – which proves that as long as you stay on top, you don’t need to do anything new!

That’s all from me! I hope that you have enjoyed reading my blogs from Get Started, Get Social and Get Digital as much as I enjoyed writing them! It has been a great experience to learn from some of the best in the business and hopefully be able to put the knowledge into practice in the future! Make sure to leave a comment below!

 

 

Your Social Presence Can’t Be Overlooked

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Valentines Day 2017 brought us back to The Helix to bring us a better understanding on the wide range of social media marketing strategies going on today and how exactly businesses can grow using their social media platforms! We now live in a world dominated by social media – with over 2 billion people worldwide engaging with social networks. Businesses simply cannot fall behind and with advertising online becoming more widely used – they need to know how to adapt.

What’s Best For You?

With over 60 social media platforms available to individuals and businesses today – choosing the right options is essential for the success of a marketing campaign. One thing that was noticeable throughout the Get Social conference was the emphasis on video. According to Hugh Curran, 75% of people today watch video on demand – with 60% of those using a smartphone to do so. With numbers like that – it would be foolish for any business not to attempt to use online videos to enhance their brand. YouTube offers a simple way to share your videos to large audiences – with approximately 900 million unique visitors to YouTube each month and being available to people in 88 countries worldwide.

An issue with video is the price. Smaller businesses may struggle to afford the hefty prices that come with high quality cameras, editing software and even the expertise needed to produce effective material. Therefore, different platforms may be better options for businesses. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are four of the most widely used social media platforms by people of all ages today.

Ann Marie Boscyhan of Bank of Ireland revealed that they were the first bank to use Snapchat. This is an easy to implement method and has been hugely successful in engaging with the younger population, and instead of pushing advertising on the young people – they asked them what they wanted to see and that’s what they go with!

Facebook and Twitter are two of the longest serving and more recognized social media sites today. In the fourth quarter of 2016, Facebook had 1.86 billion monthly active users. At Get Social, Matthew Weill discussed the importance of FacebookImage result for facebook and twitter today – showing us the mass amount of users as almost everyone in The Helix admitted to having a Facebook profile. It allows businesses to get directly involved into peoples lives – without seeming intrusive. Twitter, on the other hand allows for direct communication between businesses and consumers. If there’s a problem, or if people like a product/service it is possible for views to be expressed and problems to be solved before growing. With over 500 million tweets sent each day – Twitter is an ideal and extremely useful tool for businesses to collect information on their products and services from consumers.

A more obscure social media platform introduced to us at the conference by Matthew Weill is Sina Weibo – aImage result for weibo Chinese platform that is almost a hybrid of Facebook and Twitter – but is used purely for business. With 600 million registered users, Weibo is no joke. While it has the features that Twitter and Facebook has, such as verified users – it also adds a whole new level to make it more attractive for users. A Medal Reward System encourages people to use Weibo more, and as we know from our DICE lectures – an element of Gamification assists in the success of any project. China benefits greatly for this as it ensures that all money stays in the country.

Your Content Is The Key To Your Success

There is no way to succeed if your content isn’t up to scratch. The most important message that was mentioned by all 7 speakers at Get Social was the emphasis put on creating good content, and making that content to suit your consumers. Without the content – your business is nothing and you’re set up for failure.

Paul Hayes of Beachhut PR was the first to drive this message into our heads, and if there was someone to do it – it was him. What do you think of when you think of to succeed? That you should have your name all over the place. This is not the case, however, and he made it clear to us – don’t be the headline – be the most important point of the story. This different way of thinking helps you to realise not to do what people think you should do, but make the impact they expect you to make.

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As Hugh Curran pointed out to us – 60% of the content created is poor. Poor content is as good as no content, and will not help in making an impact of the world. It is essential for any business to make their own story, create their own content and build towards making an impact on the business world. Not following the crowd gives you a high chance of success – don’t create a business… create a sector!

Falling behind is a massive problem faced by businesses today. We live in a changing world, and technology is a big example of that. Businesses such as Kodak and Blockbuster failed to aImage result for Fail to adaptdapt to the changing environment in front of them. As Eric Weaver pointed out to us – it is possible for a business that was once the biggest and most successful in the world to fail in a matter of year due to an inability to spot a change. Aisling Tobin of Jameson showed us that you have to listen to your consumers and learn from them. This led them to release their new product – Sine Metu Spirits. What I found interesting about Aisling and what she was speaking about was, even though she was there discussing a new product release and almost advertising it – her message didn’t waver. To succeed, stay relevant and engage with your consumers.

Engage and Be Relevant

What attracts you to a product or service? If I was to guess, I’d say that the relevance is a huge deciding factor. We don’t want to fall behind in trends, and possibly run the risk of damaging your reputation. Businesses have to have the same outlook. Online trends today are massive – and people are constantly discussing them in their day to day lives. Take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge for example. Anyone who has access to internet and social media platforms were aware of the trend at the time. Although it may have been ridiculous, it was all for a good cause – and that encouraged people to take part. Before too long, it was all over the world. Businesses can use these trends to raise awareness for their products and best of all, it doesn’t take a lot of time and money to be effective.

One major issue that companies face is only following trends that apply to theImage result for Be relevantm and their product/service. Being a part of a trend that has no relevance to you but brings you success can be worse than not being part of that trend at all. Aisling Tobin opened my eyes to this, as with Jameson being an alcohol selling company – it is important that they stick to trends that can be easily associated with alcohol. Sports events such as rugby and football matches are a perfect example of this. If you look at the other side, however, consumers are sensitive. Aisling Tobin stated that “Just because something is trending, doesn’t mean you should jump on it” and discussed the difference between a brand such as Jameson discussing an important topic today such as Global Warming, and Innocent Smoothies discussing it. Consumers realise which brand the topic is most suited to, and therefore have more respect to that company compared to the one doing it for publicity.

Engagement with consumers can be one of the easiest and most effective ways of making them feel valued. Simple engagement with consumers online, such as retweeting a tweet that promotes your product, or on the flip side, replying to a consumers tweet who wasn’t happy with your product and trying to resolve the issue as best possible quickly can have a massive positive impact on the reputation of the business. Shaping your campaign in order to get people to share their experience (positive, ideally) will end up with the business reaping the benefits. Not only will this drive new consumers to the brand, but it will help them learn what is good, and what may be missing from the product. Bank of Ireland host Q and A’s over on their Facebook page with popular figures that encourage people to take part, and therefore they appreciate Bank of Ireland that bit more. As Paul Hayes stated “earned media beats bought media.

Press Releases can be of benefit for businesses in a number of ways. Paul Hayes states believes that they can be useful for two reasons  to raise money or to gain customers. Social Media presences such as Kylie Jenner  can be used as a way to promote new Image result for kylie jenner advertisingproducts. With almost 88 million followers on her instagram – one post can generate huge publicity for a business. Unfortunately for the businesses however, these advertisements are not cheap. It is estimated that an Instagram account with a few million followers can make up to $75,000 per post. With success not guaranteed – that can be a big risk for smaller businesses. YouTubers with massive followings such as PewDiePie are hugely attractive for businesses as their fans believe in every word that they say. One drawback to these posts are the fact that by law – some of the posts have to be labelled with #ad or #spon which turns people off the product.

Thank you for reading this blog on Get Social! I hope I have helped pass on some of the vast knowledge that I learned by attending this conference. Next up for us is Get Digital on the 11th of April so keep an eye out here to find out all the happenings from that!

 

Entrepreneurship – Get Started 2016!

If not me, who? If not now, when?
Hillel the Elder

Recently, while attending the Get Started Conference in The Helix, the idea of entrepreneurship grew in my mind. The great variety of stories from a huge range of people from all walks of life was magnificent. Going into the conference I had closed my mind to the idea of starting a business – the risks, both personal and financial outweighed any possible benefits for me. Leaving I had a complete different outlook.

There’s often a stigma attached to entrepreneurs. It’s believed that they only want the money and power, however this is not always the case. While both of those are huge benefits – many entrepreneurs are hugely enthusiastic about their business and want it to succeed to feel proud and provide their customers with something beneficial.

Get Started

Get started is a mini-conference run by the Ryan Academy. It’s aim is to provide students and others who may wish to become entrepreneurs with stories from varying people who have started business and how they fared. A brief introduction from the leader of the Ryan Academy – Eoghan Stack and Paddy Quinlan, who manages DCU’s UStart programme.

Philippe Brodeur – OvercastHQ

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Kicking off the speakers was Founder and CEO of OvercastHQ Philippe Brodeur. A hugely experienced man, Philippe has worked with some of the leading media outlets across Ireland and the UK. Beginning with BBC in London, he moved to Ireland to help with the launch of TV3 in the 1990’s and founded TV3.ie. This led him to develop his own video collaboration platform and so OvercastHQ was born.

The underlying message throughout the talk was differentiation – what can separate your budding idea from the next persons? The world is dominated by video today with “93% of marketers and publishers now working with video.”.  Video is complex and often hard to manage – this is where OvercastHQ comes in. A required resource in the market, Philippe understood that timing was the main reasons that Startups succeed. By providing a resource to manage your videos better, he believes you can save up to 90% of time on rudimentary tasks. OvercastHQ provides businesses with a cloud based management system, security, multi-format trans-code and so much more – all in one place. The business has been able to receive the traction that every start-up needs with great reviews from Google, The Daily Mail and Amazon.

The only way is up for Overcast HQ as Philippe looks to grow and extend his business which can “change the word for good” and solve “clients’ biggest pain points.”.

Brian O’Rourke and Alan Farrelly – CitySwifter

Secondly, we heard from Brian O’Rourke and Alan Farrelly of Cityswifter. Brian – co-founder and CEO of the company is a graduate of DCU, studying business from 2010-2014. He co-founded Cityswifter with his childhood friend Alan Farrelly, whose family owns a bus company in Longford. The Cityswifter team is finished by Sean Byrne.

The story of how Brian and Alan landed with Cityswifter is certainly an interesting one. While Alan’s family own a bus company – he was advised to stay away from that sector of business. After 2 unsuccessful attempts at similar companies with Busman.ie and concertbus.ie,  they realized they had to stay positive. Cityswifter is a very new business – only starting during the recent bus strikes. These bus strikes were a blessing for Brian and Adam as, although they weren’t necessarily ready to launch, it get them an incentive to be ready and a perfect platform to build on. They received 15,000 journey requests and 1,000 passenger trips which boosted their name completely. As a result, Cityswifter is growing. With the addition of new routes and the release of a new app, they’ve been able to secure key partners and build their team.

Cityswifter can give everyone confidence as they were once rejected by the Ryan Academy in DCU. Instead of letting that get them down, they used it as motivation and gained success as a result.

Elva Carri – Girlcrew

The last speaker before the break. Out comes Elva Carri of aircrew whose enthusiasm for her brand was clear from the very start. Elva, who credits her success to boredom and loneliness began her story with a funny, interesting and mostly relatable story of the night it all began.

Tinder – usually an app used by many to find a love interest, was not used to its intended function by Elva. Instead, she would use it to begin a business… by accident. Looking for a few friends who were girls to go dancing with, she realised there was no real way for women to find friends with similar interests. Without too much effort and most importantly funding, the business grew. Gathering a small team, she was lucky enough to meet Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook – who ensured her that her idea was a fantastic one.

GirlCrew is growing constantly, with over 500,000 members, expanding out to more and more cities. With the help of companies such as Microsoft, Dell, PayPal and JustEat to keep the event costs down there are now events every day for women of the ages 25-40. Her slogan “How I built a tech business for free without being a techie” is one that could motivate anyone in the audience.

 

Gavan Walsh – iCabbi

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After a short break it was time to hear from Gavan Walsh. A college dropout, he had first hand knowledge of entrepreneurship. His father founded the Irish Motor School at the time that the driving test was introduced. A finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year 2016, it was clear that we were listening to someone with great knowledge.

After dropping out of college, Gavan found himself selling Christmas trees. However, after a few years of this, it could tedious and boring. While on holidays, he noticed that there was a big gap between traditional taxi companies and the new modern taxis such as Uber and Hailo. With the huge number of traditional taxi companies, he decided that he would help them to develop and upgrade their systems to ensure they were up to date. After partnering with VIP taxis, iCabbi was able to grow. The cloud based system allowed the companies to run from anywhere and therefore hugely benefited them.

iCabbi is further able to grow as they look to work in dispatch technology. Already working with Subway, they are quickly able to deliver customers orders by identifying the closest available taxis to perform the job. This is helping them expand worldwide to the likes of the United Kingdom and the USA.

Iseult Ward – FoodCloud

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Iseult Ward introduced to us a start-up different from each other we had seen previously – a non-profit organisation. A recent graduate from Trinity College Dublin – Iseult is passionate about the food wastage across the world.

With only 1 registered food bank in Dublin the problem was clear. The amount of food being wasted was astonishing – over 300 meals a week. Iseult wanted to prevent this however it was difficult. It was hard to find businesses willing to donate their food due to the difficulty in transporting the food. Luckily, with the help of Tesco Express and a local woman running a charity she could build her business. This was the beginning of FoodCloud Hub – an app-text system to notify charities of the available food from companies which could be used.

FoodCloud has grown dramatically. With the help of Tesco, there is a 3 year global plan to expand FoodCloud to over 3,000 Tesco stores by the end of 2017. The problem isn’t solved, but Iseult has definitely helped to ease it and is well on her way to much success.

There were many terrible things in my life and most of the never happened.” – Michael de Montaigne

 

Andrew Keogh – Giving People Confidence

A fitting end to a fantastic afternoon – a lighthearted and fun speech from our MC for the nighr Andrew Keogh. A funny joke about a few slides set the tone. I learned a lot about larger businesses throughout this. The way YouTube started as founder Chad Hurley wanted to show his mother video of an award ceremony and has now grown into a massive company and Skype was founded due to the sheer expense of making international phone calls which instead of costing the founder Niklas Zennstrom huge amounts – made him millions.

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Overall the Get Started conference was brilliant. With a wide range of speakers there was something there that everyone in the audience could relate to. This helped us to understand entrepreneurship more and how we don’t always need a huge idea to start our own business. The Ryan Academy is hugely beneficial for all the students at DCU. The valid point of don’t be scared of failure will remain in our heads for a long time.