What is it with the Northern Ireland/British psyche that we are inclined to be derogatory about stuff, policy, ideas, innovations and such like that are thought up within the confines of ‘our wee country’ or the shores that make up these islands?
We fail to support and nurture that talent and believe that it is good enough to play on the national stage, never mind the global one. Couple that with the penchant for feigning over things thought up in other countries and you have well and truly got on my goat.
Rory Cellan-Jones blog “Attention, please, for UK startups” hit a bit of a raw nerve when I read it. To say I was incandescent with rage is a huge overstatement. I was certainly remotely perturbed at what he was saying to say the least.
Rory’s role at the mighty Beeb is, in my view anyway, to bring technology news to the masses. As it is UK licence fee payers money that pays his wages, that technology should primarily be British. His argument that UK web businesses should make something journalists like then pack their bags for Silicon Valley to get noticed by prominent tech writers just doesn’t cut the mustard I’m afraid.
Big tech businesses monopolise the coverage afforded to technology on the BBC by lavishing large amounts of money on junkets for journalists. I don’t have an issue with journalists from private sector titles attending these but as public service broadcasters those in the BBC have a duty to cover those who can’t pay to get the attention themselves.
It is time we started to recognise the talent, ingenuity and bloody minded entrepreneurial spirit that is oozing out of every pore of this country. Let’s treat them like rock stars. Events like SHOWCASE being organised by Mark Nagurski up in Derry~Londonderry in September are showing that there is a huge appetite for web startups of all sorts to show their wares. SHOWCASE is a free one-day conference showcasing fresh ideas in cloud, mobile and web-based apps.
Lets hope this is the start of a new revolution. Its time we made a big noise about Northern Ireland startups and demanded attention rather than pleading for it.
That will get their attention won’t it!