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Hire slowly, but fire fast, advises entrepreneur

July 18th, 2017 8:10 AM

By Southern Star Team

Jerry Kennelly from Tralee imparts business advice at the Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen

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ANYONE who has had any kind of success in business has been through an absolute horrible time, you need ferocious tenacity for it, it just doesn't happen easily.

That's according to Jerry Kennelly who addressed a group of 50 entrepreneurs from West Cork at the inaugural Ludgate First Tuesdays event earlier this month in Skibbereen. 

The Kerryman who sold his stock photography company, Stockbyte, to Getty Images for m in 2006 pointed out the 99% fail rate for entrepreneurs: ‘People look at the Mark Zuckerbergs of this world, that's the 0.000001%. Those guys work bloody hard, it takes a huge amount of commitment, it is a very competitive world and there's lots of reasons for failure. 

Even a lot of the people who keep going are failing so it's important to ask yourself the question before you get into this kind of venture; am I really up for it, am I competent?'

He also hit out at the notion that global tech giants locating in Dublin was good for Ireland.

‘There's a lot of talk about Google, Facebook and Amazon, all these guys are bringing lots of jobs to Dublin.

 In my opinion that's a form of tourism, they're not jobs. There are sucking resources in the city. 

Fair play to the IDA for bringing those guys in but we don't get the benefits. It needs to be a balanced portfolio to ensure the best end

result for Ireland.

‘If we're going to have any kind of success, we need to be making stuff. Either for other people or for ourselves.'

In his wide reaching address he pointed to a lack of competent software engineers in this country and said the Irish education system and jobs market left a lot to be desired for digitally enabled businesses.

 ‘Certainly in my own personal experience I've been very disappointed to see the range of experience from some Irish software engineers, compared with foreign trained engineers.'

He said that going to university, in his opinion was ‘a waste of time for people who want to get into creative digital businesses.'

‘Go back to university at some stage when you have time and money but competence is the first thing and there's too many people coming out of ITs and universities who are not job ready and by the time they are they're close to 30 and it's too late, the energy is gone.'

He also advised people to be themselves: ‘I didn't ever lose the Kerry accent although I must say I had to work particularly hard with it in foreign countries so that they don't think I'm speaking another language! People admire Irish entrepreneurs and admire the fact that we've come from a small country, from a small town on the western seaboard of Ireland and we don't pretend to be anything else. Particularly so in the US, they really admire the entrepreneurial spirit and they really admire what's going on in Ireland.'

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