Emer O'Donnell

Recent Posts

Startups - What's in a name?

Posted on July 21, 2014 by Emer O'Donnell

Have you ever wondered how startups go about selecting a name for their businesses? Often it seems they choose a name that reflects what the product does. Seems to make sense – yes? Yet when you are an early stage startup trying to find product/market fit that can be tricky. What if you pivot to a new industry or application of your product?

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Posted in: Startups, Product/Market Fit

What's in a Leader?

Posted on November 11, 2013 by Emer O'Donnell

I’ve been at quite a few talks on Leadership. You know the kind of thing – how to be a good leader, what makes a great leader, how I became a great leader etc. One thing they all have in common – as with much of the literature on leadership – is that they examine leadership from the point of view of the leader – rather than the led.

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Posted in: Leadership, Sales Teams

Changing the Way Irish Startups are Built - We're on a Mission

Posted on October 22, 2013 by Emer O'Donnell

Every startup founder knows that the greatest challenge they face is to deliver products that customers want and are prepared to pay for. Discovering that group of customers is a risky business of trial and error. The timeline to find these customers is tight and runway limited.

Enterprise Ireland in partnership with Select Strategies is delighted to announce the launch of a new initiative, SPRINT, to help founders address this challenge.

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Posted in: Startups, Founder

Planning a new market entry - avoid a Waterloo!

Posted on June 06, 2013 by Emer O'Donnell

We recently published an article on how planning a new market entry can help avoid a Waterloo. In the article we talked about the battlegrounds a CEO needs to consider when approaching a new market. There are myriad questions which need answers when you are planning a new market entry - yet in our experience there is often a common bias at play, which may lead to poor decision making.


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Posted in: Market Entry

Decision Making - How many execs does it take to change a lightbulb?

Posted on April 23, 2013 by Emer O'Donnell

We’ve all heard the jokes about the number of (insert relevant profession) it takes to change a lightbulb. But recently I witnessed an exercise that got me thinking – when we ask groups of people to work together effectively, do we give enough thought as to how that group will make a decision?

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Posted in: Startups, Decision Making

Lunchtime Laughs With LinkedIn - Different Roles Have Different Views

Posted on February 25, 2013 by Emer O'Donnell

Whilst browsing through Linkedin at my desk today over a sambo I came across an interesting discussion on how different roles have different views on business and life.

I laughed so much I just had to share it…

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Posted in: Sales, Product Management, Finance, Project Management

Giving and receiving advice for startups

Posted on January 17, 2013 by Emer O'Donnell

We work with startups all the time. On iGAP we meet 25+ new ones every year, each with their own set of challenges and issues to figure out. A friend of ours, let’s call him Jeff, has recently set up an internet business. One evening last week Jeff popped over for some advice and feedback on his beta site.

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Posted in: Startups, Entrepreneur

Before asking customers to validate your thinking, ask what they think

Posted on November 22, 2012 by Emer O'Donnell

We had the pleasure, last Friday morning, of welcoming Sean Ellis (he of Dropbox, LogMeIn etc fame) back to The Gibson Hotel for a day of discussion and debate as part of this year's iGAP. I'm lucky to have seen Sean deliver before, so whilst I was looking forward to the day, I wasn't expecting any light bulb moments! But light bulb moments have a tendency to come along when you least expect them!

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Posted in: Product Development, Customer Validation