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Last week, a British writer who was touring various start-up ecosystems around Europe interviewed me.
She had just returned from Dublin and she asked me about factors that made the city’s ecosystem – let’s face it, the entire ecosystem in Ireland, north and south – unique.
Facebook (2004) was just four years old, and it is now hurtling towards 2,000 people in Silicon Docks, with talk of another 1,000-strong Facebook operation planned for Dublin’s north side.
A few people in IDA Ireland in the 1980s had the right instincts, and those instincts continue to hold true today.
Ireland’s digital culture is informed by how these agencies took the baton that was offered by the policies of Seán Lemass and TK Whitaker back in the 1960s, to create an open economy captained by legions of educated young people.
They went out in the world and the world came back with them.
The ambassadorial idea certainly provoked and inspired responses, but recommendations to expand the Special Assignee Relief Programme for new hires and to reform the capital gains tax (CGT) regime need to be taken very seriously.
Those young people, from the 1980s to today, have delivered value, and many have rose up the ranks to become senior leaders at Silicon Valley tech giants.