My work journey began when I was 12 welding tanks with my Dad at his engineering works. He taught me everything I know about hard work, discipline, working with great people and the importance of trusted relationships.
I left school at 15 because of my Dyslexia & ADHD. School made no sense to me and the education system had no idea what that condition was back then. I was just stupid and placed at the back of the class. Most days I wouldn’t go to school, I got off the bus and walked home for the rest of the day because I couldn’t face the ignorance of a system that didn’t understand how my brain worked.
It’s not much better today but we’re working on assistive technology now to make learning a little easier.
One thing I knew was I loved music. You have to find your purpose and focus on it. That’s what we teach children with any condition now. Find what you love.
In the early 90’s I formed My Little Funhouse with my brother and my career journey started in the 90s heyday of the American rock ‘n’ roll scene after receiving the largest advance paid to a new artist up to that date from Geffen Records in Los Angeles and Island Publishing in London. Bingo, in music at the very highest level.
I moved to Los Angeles, recorded three records for Geffen Records and toured the world for six years with bands like Guns n Roses, The Ramones & Chilli Peppers. Music took me from concert stages in front of thousands of fans to the boardrooms of Silicon Valley and beyond.
I sometimes joke that everything after 1997 is kinda boring because living my dream and playing music for a living was all I ever wanted to do.
I moved home to Ireland to get married, have a family and set up a successful chain of Bars and Nightclubs.
I worked on bringing Lucky Brand Jeans to Europe, set up distribution for Gas and Colcci clothing.
One of my biggest breaks came in 2005 when it opened up the tech world to me.
A friend in Los Angeles asked me to meet with a small Palo Alto company they invested in. I flew up to meet at their small office off University Avenue. I remember thinking, this is very cool, it’s like a new MySpace that connects the World in a new way. It was FaceBook.
I came home and ran Facebook garages to teach people about this social network. I got turned down by most government agencies who told me it will never work. Well I guess they were pretty wrong about that one.
I invited Dave Morin over who built Facebook connect to explain the tax breaks of setting up in Ireland. Facebook followed and set up their European Headquarters in Dublin. And no I didn’t invest before you ask. It’s on the wall of my office. I guess we all make that one huge mistake in life but I learnt about social networks and how they connect people.
I worked as a Worldwide consultant to Amobee, we sold to Singapore Telecom.
I consulted Vertu for many years on technology and their global rollout.
In 2011 I was appointed to the Media Advisory Board at Fordham University New York. That was fun learning how the education ecosystem in the US operated.
At an event at Sony Pictures in Hollywood I was awarded the Innovation in Entertainment Award honouring the top Irish Entrepreneurs working abroad.
I’m very fortunate to now work across a diverse portfolio of companies with some amazing partners in Ed Tech, Music, Adventure, Med Tech, Fintech, PetsTech, Augmented Reality, Safety, Neuro-Diversity and Social Impact.
Our global initiatives change people’s lives daily through assistive technology.
Something I’m very proud of.
A long way from getting off the bus.