First of all, anyone that tells you they know what’s going to happen in an economy is a liar. No one knows with any real certainty, and economists make wild predictions all the time for reasons that escape me. But a few friends and clients have asked me my thoughts, so I thought it might be worth sharing how I perceive what’s happening and what things to watch out for in the Irish economy.

The Engines of The Irish Economy

You can think of the Irish economy in 2020 has having 4 main broad fundamental “engines” — that is, places where ‘real’ wealth creation and value…

One of the most exciting and potentially time-draining things about starting your own professional services business is negotiating terms with your first few clients. We often go to the blueprints of what we’ve seen somewhere else in our career as a starting point, but maybe that’s not sufficient. How do you know what you need to put into a statement of work? How do you negotiate a price on services? From my experience and advising some of my own professional services clients, here are some pointers.

Statements of Work don’t have to be confusing.

Divorce the Price from the Project Plan

Ultimately, you have a client that wants something done and you want to do…

“If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And — which is more — you’ll be a Man my son!”

- “If” by Rudyard Kipling

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the last piece of advice for adulthood in Rudyard Kipling’s “If” is about Getting Things Done (GTD). I’ve had the great pleasure of working with exceptionally efficient and effective people in my career. Here’s some hacks I learned from them:

A reminder a colleague of mine used to have on their desk

Write Out Your Top 3 Priorities

I had a boss some time ago that told me if I…

“[A resume is] a record of a person’s career with all the accomplishments embellished and all the failures removed.” — George Buckley, former CEO of 3M, as told to Geoff Smart and Randy Street in “Who”

Resumes are marketing documents: they give you a sense of the person’s profile, but not necessarily their capabilities, characteristics, cultural fit, or psychological profile. To understand who you’re hiring, you want to understand the real person, not the one they advertise.

That’s where interviewing comes in. Research suggests structured interviews are the best way of understanding the nuances of the personality you’re assessing.


Your investors (and your income statement) are telling you that you need to sell more. You have a few customers, but you need to double, even 10x that number at similar or larger contract values this year. Welcome to building a sales team.

Most entrepreneurs are in agreement on how you get to your first customers: you build a product that solves a customer’s problem and then you sell it to similar customers. You’ll often rely on your network to find those customers, you’ll build the website for inbound enquiries, and you might do a bit of cold emailing and…

You’re an entrepreneur- which is American for “I’ll figure it out”- and you’ve figured out a lot: product, investors, your first customers, and the market. But now it’s time to scale, and to scale you need more people.

If you’ve been on the startup scene for longer than 5 seconds, you’ll have heard that hiring is really important. In fact, there’s a general consensus in the startup world that it’s the most important thing you’ll do. Everyone wants “A players”. And everyone wants the ‘best of the best’ in their executive team. But how do you get started?

Hiring Well is Hard

My old…

Last year, one of the greatest businessmen of all time passed away. He arguably had more of an impact on computing, the economic trajectory of the United States, and foundations of Silicon Valley’s rise than any other single person. A Jew, he was born in Hungary in 1936 and lived through Fascism, the Holocaust, and Communism. He fled as a refugee and worked as a busboy in New York, eventually making his way to California and becoming a founding employee of Intel and then its CEO.

Learned through the horrible reality of the Nazi SS and the Soviet Red Army…

Eoin Hayes

Founder, Cantillon Labs ( ). Aspiring polymath. Failing polyglot. Deeply worried optimist. Engineer. Social Democrat.

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