Paul May

A Piece of the Puzzle

09 March 2010

If we ever wanted to create a more vibrant, creative, diverse economy here in Ireland where would we start? Education is important, scale is important - but I'd start with humility, generosity and honesty.

Visiting Adaptive Path
I had the pleasure of spending some time in San Francisco last week meeting companies like Pixar, Flickr, Get Satisfaction, Adaptive Path and IDEO. It was an inspiring few days that has left me wondering what it would take to foster creative industries here in Ireland.

One of the common threads I noticed and took to heart was just how honest the people at these companies were about their experiences, their failures, the highs and lows of what they do.  They said yes to meeting a group of strangers who are interested in their work, and there weren’t really any questions that were left unanswered.

I can’t help thinking that here in Ireland we’d be more likely to wonder what was in the meeting for us (in the short term), we’d definitely be keen to steer away from talking about our failures, and we’d most certainly feel uncomfortable about answering questions about what makes our work special, unique and valuable

Talent, skills, education - these things are really important but maybe we just need to** let our guard down, promote a culture of sharing and honesty, say yes to the meeting with the group of strangers**. Just a thought.

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  • Paul May is a researcher, interaction designer, and technologist from Dublin, Ireland. He is currently working with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on smart health applications.