John Breslin is a senior lecturer at NUI Galway, and co-founder of boards.ie, adverts.ie and the PorterShed. Here he talks about emerging trends in business, his passions, and his daily routine.
What would a typical day involve?
I wake up after my wife and kids and then check my emails, Twitter and the news over breakfast. I drop the kids to school before nine, drive to work, and spend a lot of my time in Google Docs working on shared documents or presentations, creating, reworking graphics and PDFs in Adobe Illustrator, communicating via Slack, Twitter, and LinkedIn, or otherwise in meetings and telecoms. I try and leave work around 5 pm, but I respond to emails and social media much later than I should. In the evening its science fiction and fantasy shows or novels and then bed. John Ryan liked to hire people who read sci-fi; it improves your imagination and creativity.
“I am a big fan of Bill Aulet, MIT professor and author of ‘Disciplined Entrepreneurship’.”
What are you passionate about?
Technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. All things that are French, Japanese and Irish. Electronic music. Carcassonne. Manga and comics. Electric cars. Honda cars. Branding, logos and fonts. Social media. Science fiction and fantasy. Geeky stuff.
“The trends I see emerging include innovation districts, coworking spaces and entrepreneurship skills that complement storytelling.”
What are your ambitions?
Growing the innovation ecosystem in Galway and the West of Ireland, through TechInnovate, AgInnovate, the PorterShed, the Galway City Innovation District, Startup Galway, and WestBIC.
What trends do you see emerging?
Innovation districts, coworking spaces and entrepreneurship skills to complement storytelling. More mobile computing, deep learning, smart contracts, agri-drones, smart privacy protection, and all of that other crazy stuff you see in Black Mirror.
“I get very frustrated by empty vessels making noise and people who claim they are doing stuff when they aren’t.”
What would you like to see more of?
I like those who take the initiative themselves and make stuff happen, rather than asking those who are already doing a lot to take on more. “Ask not what I can do for you—ask what you can do for yourself.”
What would you like to see less of?
I get very frustrated by empty vessels making noise and people who claim they are doing stuff when they aren’t, and in particular, those who knock you down to cover over their own shortcomings. Less fake humblebrags please.
What drives you?
A Nissan Leaf or a Honda Stream, depending on the day. Just kidding, it’s all about making progress rather than standing still.
Who do you admire in business, and in life?
I am a big fan of Bill Aulet, MIT professor and author of ‘Disciplined Entrepreneurship’. I have been fortunate to have met many of my heroes, including synth musicians Jean-Michel Jarre and Tomita, and tech innovators Tim Berners-Lee and Doug Engelbart.
What three things would you take to a desert island?
A yacht, a navigation system and supplies to get back home. Or, if that’s not an option, my family, water and shelter. Maybe an optional MacBook Air, satellite uplink and downlink and a solar charger. That’s three sets of three.