Saturday, May 28, 2005

Enterprise Ireland

I was meeting with Bill Shaughnessy this week (he runs most of business & strategy side MSN's communications services such as Hotmail, MSN Spaces, Messenger, etc. -- great guy who is one of the most "authentic" people I've worked with at Microsoft). We had a wide-ranging discussion but the part that I can share was his commentary on his participation with Enterprise Ireland. There was a trade mission led by the President of Ireland to promote what is going on in Ireland. In the last 20 years, there's been an amazing transformation of Ireland into a thriving, tech-oriented economy. Ireland now has the highest per capita income in Europe after Luxembourg. Considering they were one of the poorest countries not long ago, that amazed me. Apparently, the some of the millions who left Ireland are now coming back. Among their objectives of the trade mission was to promote their companies' products in the states and encourage people to come work in Ireland. I bet I'm not the only person of Irish heritage that would be intrigued by the idea of working with or in Irish companies. My only wonder is when stuff would get done their gift of the gab :) I was watching a 60 Minutes segment this week on Rick Steves. At the end of the segment, they asked for word associations for several different countries. The last one they asked him about was Ireland. He paused and then said "lots of talking, lots of beer, lots of love". Worse things have been said about a country!

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