My name is Richard Donelan and I created IrishStartUp.TV to share some of the inside access that I was fortunate enough to get to enjoy on a daily basis at what was perhaps at that time, the epicentre of Dublin’s tech. startup ecosystem, the Polaris-backed Dogpatch Labs, at ‘The Warehouse’ on Barrow Street, in the grounds of the historic Boland’s Mills on the banks of Dublin’s Docklands.
Joining Fluid UI, a rapidly scaling global technology company itself by late 2013, I was extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to also join the Dogpatch community, to get to spend my days working in an amazing environment with some of the most exciting companies like Logentries, Newship and Riffstation and to get to forge friendships by the coffee machines or over a game of pool with some of the brightest and kindest people I’ve ever met not to mention having the opportunity to learn from their collective vast knowledge and experience on a daily basis.
It was really amazing to get to get to observe, first hand, inspiring teams of young people, guided by some extremely seasoned veterans, creating global businesses and even an organisation to help kids of all interests, beliefs, and backgrounds from all over the world to build out local peer groups and communities to teach each other how to code under a simple yet Zen mantra: “Be Cool”.
The life blood of all startup communities, it is the spirit of camaraderie, unconditional giving and an insatiable desire to improve things and make a positive impact on the external environment that appears to underpin the philosophy of startup ‘company culture’, organisations like Coder Dojo and CodeForAll Ireland and events like Startup Weekend globally.
It was a mix of these wonderful experiences and learning opportunities during some very happy times spent, (largely) either at ‘The Warehouse’ on Barrow Street, up the road at Google or skating around to the Art of Coffee for Latte’s or catching up with the lads for a trip to Junior’s or the lunchtime markets, that inspired me to build out IrishStartUp.TV, as a platform to share the amazing stories of the inspirational people, products and communities that I was so privileged to have become a part of and to enjoy during such a happy period of my life.
It has become my impassioned hope that viewers of my interviews and videos will get to share in at least some of the excitement that I have experienced and that they get a sense of the enthusiasm for problem solving and deep desire to have a positive and meaningful impact on the world around them; an enthusiasm that appears to drive the incredible global startup community forward everyday.
It is also my hope that you, the viewers, will be inspired and encouraged to ‘back yourselves’ and to get involved in the most liberating of all experiences, that of following your own dreams even if others around you have long since abandoned theirs. Highlights of the project to date, most definitely, include getting to meet so many inspiring people and getting to try today the technology of tomorrow. However my biggest success so far came from the most unexpected of places. It was delivered by lady who told me that one day she was feeling really low, almost at the point of giving up, but that she decided to tune into IrishStartUp.TV to take inspiration from some of the other featured brave women whom she reckoned must also often face similar situations. One video in particular gave this lady that little bit of hope to pick up and crack on.
Someone once said that doing a startup was like riding the gnarliest of emotional rollercoasters and never was a truer word spoken. To all of us who experience those challenging times never forget that the tough times are a very necessary reality of the process but it is how we react to and handle those times that defines us. Most importantly, never give up hope, never stop believing and also back yourself.
Remember, you are not alone. To quote a wise lady from Cork who has seen it all before and survived it all too, “failure is not an option”. Head down, bit between the teeth and crack on and remember, there’s always a coffee machine or a pool table around somewhere with a friendly face and a kind word of reassurance from someone who’s already lived through worse; so don’t be afraid to seek out those veterans!!
Much love and thanks to all my startup friends who have been there for me through the tough times and who continue to support, encourage and inspire, and best wishes and a warm welcome to those thinking of getting involved!!
Stay tuned and do keep in touch,