Paul O'Dea

Recent Posts

Do CEOs really have time to waste on emotional intelligence?

Posted on March 25, 2013 by Paul O'Dea

Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, is famously critical of the workplace with his cynical cartoons. He entertains millions with his experiences of jargon-filled corporate speak and the lack of emotionally honest messages.

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Posted in: Leadership, Emotional Intelligence

Want to Make your Startup Succeed - Be yourself with "More Skill"

Posted on March 19, 2013 by Paul O'Dea


Last week, I met famed leadership expert Gareth Jones (author of Why Should Anybody be Led by You?). Jones speaks about large companies and draws lessons from great leaders like Mandela and Branson. It got me thinking - how would his lessons apply to startups?

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Posted in: Startups, Leadership

Discussing the Elephant in the Room - Impact on Business Growth

Posted on February 26, 2013 by Paul O'Dea

The phrase 'the elephant in the room' is often used yet it's impact is less frequently talked about. Sure we can all play along acknowledging the 'elephant' but not discussing it. However I wonder what impact this elephant ignoring has on growing companies?

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Posted in: Business Growth, Founder

'State of the heart' beats 'State of the art'

Posted on February 14, 2013 by Paul O'Dea

I often have the privilege of providing business growth coaching to smart CEOs in the tech sector. Many struggle to get the story of their business straight. It gets clouded in a fog of digital speak. It is hard not to be seduced into colluding with these CEOs trying to improve their PointPoint deck.

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Posted in: Entrepreneur, Value Proposition

Successful market entry - the challenge continues

Posted on February 04, 2013 by Paul O'Dea


Successful market entry is a challenge, whether you are a tiny startup seeking your first market, or a more seasoned entrepreneur searching for growth. In fact history tells us that for every four attempts only one is successful. With these daunting statistics it makes sense to prepare as best you can.

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Posted in: Business Growth, Market Entry

What is the right number of founders in a startup?

Posted on January 15, 2013 by Paul O'Dea

Someone asked me an interesting question recently - what is the right number of founders in a startup? Most of us only have the agony or ecstasy of a few startups so this an important question to consider early on. Like all seemingly straightforward questions, the answer is complex.

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Posted in: Startups, Founder

Observe Customers Interacting with Your Product...It can be surprising

Posted on December 20, 2012 by Paul O'Dea

observe customers interacting with your product

Last Thursday we had the pleasure of welcoming Justin Knecht (@verticalbones) back to The Gibson Hotel for our last iGAP session of 2012. Justin has been with us before and it's always been a great session, but this year there was a twist to the tale.

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Posted in: Product Development

10 reasons why iGAP can increase your chance of startup success

Posted on June 28, 2012 by Paul O'Dea

As programme managers, on behalf of Enterprise Ireland, for their internet and games startup programme iGAP, we are always delighted to hear stories from past participants about how iGAP changed their business. This blog post comes courtesy of iGAP past participant, Rory O'Connor, who shares how the iGAP experience impacted his business:

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Posted in: Startups, Entrepreneur, Founder

Is your CTO keeping your company in a growth rut?

Posted on May 11, 2012 by Paul O'Dea

I met a London based software company founder this week, who wanted to chat about the ‘growth rut’ they were in. Let's call him Jack.

Jack’s software company has a good product, he has 19 happy customers, all who bought directly from Jack, who is a classic international road warrior CEO. His company has a good growth opportunity but their positioning and marketing stink.

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Posted in: Entrepreneur, Business Growth, Founder, Marketing

A novel approach...closing that all-important first reference customer

Posted on March 13, 2012 by Paul O'Dea

Winning the first international reference site is tough. The normal rules don't apply. Greg Turley (Cartrawler) told a great story recently which has become known as the 'embassy close'.

The challenge Greg faced was getting that critical signature from an international airline. He had tried everything. Frustration in getting it across the line was mounting. Vanity was the only route left. He told his sales manager to call the international airlines key buyer to tell him that the CEO of Cartrawer (Greg) was hoping to meet him in Warsaw in the Irish embassy, with the Irish Ambassador and some media to sign the famous contract.

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Posted in: Startups, Sales