DICE – Get Mobile

On the 4th of December, we attended our third mini conference, as usual it was in the Helix. Get Mobile was hosted by techspectations. Prior to this conference students we able to look at the mobile apps released by postgraduate students under the DICE module.

Dr. Theo Lynn’s opening words were as informative as always. He highlighted the huge potential of mobile phones and phone applications for today’s world.


Púca- Dominic Muldoon

Up first was Dominic Muldoon, who works for Ireland’s leading Mobile Marketing Specialist Púca. He talked about the history of the phone from its creation in 1876 until todays more modern and hi-tech telephones. He also spoke about how common mobile marketing has become and told us an interesting fact that 91% of the world’s population has a mobile phone. He told us another surprising statistic that it takes the average person 90 seconds to reply to a text message and that SMS messages are generally opened within 15 minutes of being sent. Everything Dominic said I found very interesting especially when he told us that if a person forgets his wallet and leaves it at home, they would not bother to go back and get it but almost everybody would for their mobile phone, and this is definitely the case for me!


Nokia- Eoin Cruise

The second speaker of the day was Eoin Cruise, the head of sales and marketing at Nokia. He claimed that a couple of years ago almost everyone had Nokia phones (which I feel was definitely true, they were like the iPhone of today). To emphasize this statement he put up pictures of well-known but really old mobile phones on the projector. After that he asked the students in the audience to give a hand sign if they had a Nokia phone. Even though the Helix was completely full there was very few students that raised their hands which I found quite amusing. He also talked about Nokia coming back to be competitive in the market with the new Nokia Lumia 920 which actually looks very good and told us that it is run with the new Windows 8. He sold the idea of the phone to the whole audience very well I felt.


Microsoft- Patrick Ward

Third speaker of the Day was Patrick Ward from Microsoft. This was one of the less enjoyable talks of the DICE conferences. Patrick talked about Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. The products he was talking about seemed very efficient as would be expected with anything from windows. He showed us what windows 8 looked like which was quite interesting.

PayPal- Louise Phelan

After a short break which we were able to see the app expo again, Louise Phelan, the vice president from PayPal was next to speak. She started her talk with trends and data on mobile shoppers. We learned that mobile payments in the amount of 4 billion Dollars were made through PayPal in 2011 and that amount is expected to rise up to 10 billion Dollars in 2012. People using mobile payment mainly buy digital goods, clothing and tickets, but lots of them are really worried about security, convenience and usability. She also mentioned that 40% of smartphone users have purchased something through their phone. Towards the end of her presentation, she told us about the idea of buying coffee online at a café that is close to where somebody is and then go pick it up without having to queue or wait for the coffee to be made. I found this example of the convenience of mobile shopping quite humorous but completely agreed that that is the way smart phone technology and online shopping is going.


Panel Discussion

It was interesting to hear from people who work in different areas of the ‘mobile world’. The question about their favourite app was the best for me. Most of them said that ‘clever’ apps are the best ones. These are apps they considered as a real enhancement to people’s lives .e.g. skype. The rest of the panel discussion, however, was quite boring and I felt like the questions asked were not completely answered by the panel.


Global Diagnostics- Johnny Walker

Last but certainly not least was Johnny Walker, Founder and Chairman of Global Diagnostics Ltd. Global Diagnostics is a leading international provider of diagnostic medical imaging services that the Australian founded over 15 years ago. His speech was very entertaining, because he accompanied it with many hilarious stories from his journeys. He was the most motivated of all the speakers and I can tell why his company has succeeded. He was the most enjoyable speaker of the day and a breath of fresh air at the end of quite a long conference.


To conclude the mini conference today, I found it very interesting that all the companies have many plans for the future of smartphones that will soon be a reality and one day I hope to be able to order my coffee without having to stand in the queue!

DICE – Get Digital

The Get digital conference was the last conference of the DICE module held in The Helix on the 16th of April. This conference took place shortly after our dice posters were presented and judged.

At around 2.00pm our DICE group set up our poster which was created from scratch about a mobile app which could be used around the college and had some aspect of cloud computing. Our app was called the Pizza Drop Box. It was a simple but effective idea as DCU students contribute to 25% of Dominos sales. You had to set up an account on the app, when a Domino’s pizza is ordered you just scan the QR code and drop the box back to one of dominos recycling stacks. We will then re-scan all of the recycled box and when you reach 20 recycled pizzas you receive free vouchers.

After the poster presentation we made our way to the Mahony hall for the mini conference. Theo Lynn talked to us about DCU being the national centre for cloud computing and commerce and was very informative about it.

The first speaker of the day was Professor Martin Curley, the Vice President of Intel labs. He told us that it was only the early days of cloud computing and said “when the winds of change come you can either build a windmill or a wall”, for me meaning that we can learn to use cloud computing and give it a chance or we can just shut it down. He referred to Moore’s law as being the 5th version of computer revolution and also made comparisions between the aviation sector and cloud computing and that if aeroplanes had advances at the same speed as cloud computing you would be able to fly from Dublin to New York in only a few seconds. This statement really caught my attention as I feel cloud computing will become quite popular in the future if I continues its rapid growth and development.

The second speaker of the day was Dr Constantin Gurdgiev, a Russian economist who gave us an in depth talk about the economic opportunity of cloud computing for Ireland today. He told us that Ireland could have a good relationship with cloud computing but there was two big challenges for the cloud to truly succeed. He said that Ireland cannot rely on the Irish government as they do not understand entrepreneurship and that we must become more tolerant of success. Overall I enjoyed the detailed talk by Dr Gurdgiev and agreed with many of his points about the steps and challenges we face to make cloud computing successful.

Next up to speak was Clare Dillon from Microsoft. Her presentation was very full of life and talked about how cloud computing can adapt to assist and be combined with other technologies. She showed us an amazing video that was made by Microsoft office called “Productivity Future Vision” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6cNdhOKwi0. It made me realise how technology can help and assist us in so many ways which I never even thought of. Clare then asked us to put our hands on how many things we had in our house that were in some way connected to cloud computing and I was very surprised when I realised that I had thirteen things ! Clare’s talk was very enjoyable and she was probably my favourite speaker of the conference.

Last but not least was Fergus Gloster, the Managing Director of Marketo International. He talked mainly about digital marketing In particular and how customer buying habits have changed as previously we had information scarcity but now we have information in abundance and this is largely down to the internet. He told us in other words that marketing and sales people must work more in tune in the futre to build successful campaigns. The last few points Fergus left us with was that – don’t fall into the marketing flaw that everything is now digital, traditional sources of marketing should aslo be used.

So this is the end of the DICE module! I really enjoyed all the conference’s we had (some more than others) but It was a change to the everyday lectures that I have. This talk was particularly interesting for me as the course I am studying is all to do with computers and enterprise. I have learned a couple of new skills over the course of the year through DICE and look forward to putting them to use.

Dice – Get started

Get Started

The Get Started conference was held in the Helix on Tuesday the 12th of February. Theo Lynn gave a quick introduction to the conference then told us that Sean Coughlan (CEO of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland) was going to be out MC for the first half.
The first speaker of the afternoon was Micheal Kelly, the founder of Grow it yourself. The company was set up in Waterford in 2009 and was intended to encourage the idea of growing your own food. This idea came about after he discovered that the garlic he was buying in an Irish supermarket was actually made in China. Micheal’s company now employs 6 people. He then told us about a few questions that he had asked himself before setting up his business:

  • Do you have what it takes to pull it off ?
  • Can you pay your bills ?
  • Do u have the personal skills ?
  • What is your gut feeling ?
  • Is there a demand for your product ?

These questions i also asked myself made it clear that there is a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to setting up your own business and these are they types of questions that I will ask myself any time I think of a business idea.

The second speaker of the afternoon was George Boyle who set up  the Fumbally Exchange. She was motivated to start her own business up after she was let go from her job. She spent her time talking about the “Catholic Concepts of Business Development”.

  • Impulse
  • Freedom
  • Guilt
  • Personal Responsability
  • Forgiveness
  • Permission
  • Stlye

The one thing that kept on repeating itself in her presentation was about the importance of planning. I strongly agree with her on this concept and fully think that if you do not plans from beginning to end that your business will not make it far.

John Fitzsimons from Camara Education was next. Camara Education educates people who are out of reach of technology in countries mainly in Africa and teaches digital literacy. 200 people are working with Camara in 12 different countries. However John did not set up this business but ;eft his job in IBM to help Camara as he believed in what they were doing strongly. John believes that “building a team is the most important aspect” which he backed up with using examples of how Leinster Rugby Club try to keep their home-grown players in order to have some “team retention” so they keep loyal to their fans here in Ireland. He also believes that “technology has the ability to make the greatest changes”. John concluded his talk by telling us “Do what you love, love what you do”.

Lucy Masterson the founder of Hireland was the next speaker of the day. She basically gave us examples on ways of sucessfully getting your business idea out there

  • Keep it simple – one step at a time
  • Start a movement
  • Be bold
  • Break the rules – not the law
  • Embrace new and evolving technology
  • Marketing – Impress
  • Hello SO LO MO (Social, Local, Mobile)

I enjoyed Lucys talk as it left me with a few useful tips and she was also very energetic on stage which was nice.

The second part of the conference commenced with a panel discussing incubation programmes that help start up businesses by giving them some money to help kick start their business. Each member of the panel all offered different things like seed money, office space and accommodation, however the amounts of seed money offered by each panel member was different. Although it seemed that all the members of the panel were competing against each other in order to get more of us interested in their own incubation program, they all agreed that “access to funding in Ireland isn’t a problem” and that now is the right time to set up a business in Ireland.

Conor Winders the founder of Redwind Ireland was first to speak after the panel discussion. Conor told us how his company grew from just being him and his best friend programming apps in their houses to something much bigger and better. He described how a simple movie trivia app himself and his best friend made turned into a big success with Heinken and Broadway wanting them to develop a similar app for their respective companies. Conor told us all that the best thing about starting up your own business is that you get to be your own boss and run the company whichever way you want to, which for him was having a few beers with his staff the odd day after work. He also told us all that with this responsibility comes a lot of stress and hard work which he found difficult to deal with at times but explained that he loves his job and enjoys every second of it each day which was refreshing to hear.He told us that all the hard work and stress does pay off. His company now employs 9 people and have a new office space in Drumcondra.

Gerry was the last speaker of the day and for me one of the most interesting. He has ran 32 marathons in 32 days and is now a very successfull motivational speaker around Ireland. He had told us about transforming his life from passive to active and now believes that achieving outstanding goals is capable in every human. He believes that everyone just needs to “ask more of themselves” to be able to reach their full potential and reach what he describes as the “best of my ability”. As the long seminar was ending this motivational talk at the end was very useful and encouraging for me as it made me believe that i can achieve much more one i put my mind to it and Gerry instilled in me a way of thinking more positive.


For the seminar as a whole i feel that it was very useful to me and all students that attended   will benefit from it in the future.

DICE- Get Social

DICE- Get Social

On the 16th October the Get Social conference was held in the The Helix. The conference was going to be about the advantages that social media can have on different organisations. Firstly Theo began the conference by showing the video of a new song call “Gangnam Style” which is a viral sensation worldwide and became so recognised through the use of social media networks.

The first speaker was Mark Cahalane, managing director of Edelman Europe. He talked to us about the Edelman Trust Barometer which looked at the truest in government, business, media and non-governmental organisations (NGO’s). In 2011, it was found that Ireland were the least trusting of 25 countries in the categories mentioned above. Trust has improved in 2012 from 2011 however in Ireland, almost 70% of people do not trust government leaders to tell the truth and also there is a big gap in what people want from the government and what people feel is being delivered, for example, 77% of people want government to manage financial affairs effectively where as 12% of people on feel this is actually happening. The most trusted sectors in 2012 are the technology, food and beverage, and the automotive sectors. The least trusted sector is the Banking sector when in 2011 only 6% of people said they had trust in the banks (that is the lowest statistic the study has every seen), however in 2012 there was a small increase of trust to 17% as Irelands economic crisis continues to gradually improve.

The next speaker was Claire Wardle, Director of News Services, Storyful. She spoke to us about managing our identity online because you can be anyone. She gave us some advice about using social media networks and told us to check our privacy settings, ensure that we understand the social media guidelines in work, and don’t have personal and work accounts on the same smart phone cause things may go wrong. Claire gave us an example of things going wrong for ITV news as one of the employees thought he was on his own twitter account but was actually on the official ITV twitter account and tweeted “ The 02 service seems to have gone down on everyone except me… reminds me of a girl I once knew”

Third to speak was Jane white, who spoke to us about Twitter for business. Using Twitter as a tool for advertising is very effective as it is word of mouth marketing on a huge scale. Twitter has a huge audience with 1 billion tweets every 3 days and about 140 million active users worldwide. It is also a very popular in Ireland with 570,000 active users and about 1 million tweets per day. Another advantage of this advertisement is that you choose what brands to follow so you are only seeing information that is relevant or of interest to you, unlike T.V and radio adds.

“Twitter brings you closer”

 Phillip Kelly from Electrical Ireland was next to speak and he told us about how social media networking has helped them grow. He discussed how they use Boards.ie for customer service and have a full time team to answer any queries. They also use twitter to engage with the consumers and they also had an advertising campaign where they gave away free tickets to electric picnic. Phillip said the key to successful social network advertising is knowing your audience and what they want and also knowing your brand relevance.

The next speaker was my favourite speaker of the day, Darragh Doyle, Community Manager, World Irish. World Irish is a website that brings “Irish people and those with an affinity for Ireland together in one place. It offers an opportunity for this global family to connect, engage and support each other”. He told us that this present time is the best time to be online. Darragh was very humorous and made all of us laugh throughout. He told us that understanding his users means that he understand his customers and believes that reaching out and engaging with people is the best way to gain a good reaction, basically, just be a nice person.

Next was a panel discussion on social media in Ireland and how best to take advantage of it. The panel discussed about how to get more likes and followers and about online etiquette – provide nice customer service, be nice, positive, and friendly. It was also discussed about how social media networks were used in the last presidential election to target young people and all the panel agreed that it will be very big in the future which I definitely agreed with.

After the panel discussion, Catherine Flynn at;lked to us about Facebook for business. This is a great way of advertising as Facebook has 1 billion active users monthly and 2.5 billion pieces of content shared everyday. In Ireland, there is over 2 million actives users and 1.5 million of the return daily, so for Irish businesses this is a cheap way to connect to large amounts of people. Catherine also went though steps of setting up a business page on Facebook. 1. Build your page- make it stand out with your photo and cover photo. 2. Connect to people with ads- develop 4 or more ads to find out what works best. 3. Engage your audience with content and quality- post exclusive content, promote your page (but not too much that it is annoying), get the mobile app so it is easier to manage. 4. Influence the friends of your fans- use sponsored stories as they encourage word of mouth advertisement and boost social interaction.

Brian Herron, Community Manager from Google was next to speak. He told us that there is not such job as social media but within there is marketing jobs, customer service, and P.R. Brian’s job as community manager is to get his point across in a fun way. He also gave us advice about getting jobs in social media these days or even with any job. He said that you have to be able to do the job to get the job, so one should self initiate projects and that its okay to fail but “fail with style and have something tangible”.

Last but not least was Eric Weaver from IPG Brand who travelled from America to Amsterdam and then straight to The Helix to speak to us.He spoke abouthow to interact with people online and create a brand for your business through social media, using Twitter, Facebook etc. Eric also told us that no one knows where social media is going but it is great as social medias allow people to take products and businesses much quicker to the market.


DICE – Get Creative

DICE- Get Creative
Nigel Newman

On the 2nd of October an mini-conference was held by Nigel Newan on the subject of creativity. I warmed to him straight away and the first thing he said when he got on stage was “your looking good”. Nigel works for The Edward De bono foundation and is a highly experienced facilitator and a Master Trainer in Dr.Edward de Bono’s thinking methods. The de Bono Foundation is a global organisation with over seven and a half million users in over 40 different countries.

Nigel started talking to us about the excellence of the brain and its ability to make, organise and use patterns. He asked us all to fold arms, and then fold them the opposite way. For everybody this felt weird because our brains automatically folds our arms one way without thinking. This is also like putting your shoes on the right feet and driving on the right hand side of the road. These are all mental routines that allow continuity and make life easier but also can prevent us from being creative.

“up to 90% of errors in thinking are in perception not judgement”
– Professor David Perkins, Harvard University.

Nigel then started to tell us about a book called “Hare brain- Tortoise mind” and that book explained “ Why intelligence increases when you think less”. At first I didn’t really understand the concept but when Nigel explained it more it really made sense to me. What I understood it to mean is that sometimes when you slow down, be patient and think about a matter more you will come up with a better answer rather than just rushing into the matter. From here this just led onto Nigel talking about two systems of thinking:

System 1: Fast, intuitive, auto-thinking
System 2: Slow, rational, calculated thinking

Nigel then talked about different thinking methods such as :
1. WYSIATI- What you see is all there is.
2. PMI- Plus, minus and interesting.

The first method would just be the black and white of what’s in font of you and the second method a more calculated creative way of looking at things. During the mini-conference we got into a group of four and conducted a PMI on the matter that “all cars must be painted yellow”. Nigel also told us that we must think about other people views, in this example it was drivers, children, manufacturers, animals and law enforcement.

Another thinking method that Nigel talked about was the “Six Thinking Hats”. It is a book written by Dr. De Bono and the term is used to describe a tool for group discussion and individual thinking.

White- Information and data
Red- emotion and intuition
Black- negative and caution
Yellow- benefits and positive
Green- possibilities and alternatives
Blue- Overview and process

Creative thinking is most like the green hat. The posted note was an example of where this thinking hat was used. A company had come up with a glue that didn’t stick things permanently and while to the common person that glue would have been useless but they thought outside the box and came up with the posted note which is now used worldwide. For me this also links back to “why intelligence increases when you think less”.

Another method of thinking is combination thinking. It takes two things that already exist and puts them together. For example a toaster that fry’s eggs at the same time. It is a type of wishful thinking that starts by somebody saying “wouldn’t it be nice if …”.

“if an idea is not absurd at first, then there is not hope for it”
– Albert Einstein

Towards the end of the mini-conference Nigel gave us some advice about doing this with ideas. He said if you have an idea share it with someone and you may get one back to improve both of the ideas. He told us to nurture the ideas and be patient with them and then to also make a plan.

T- Time
E- Enthusiasm
A- Attitude (Avoid criticism)
M- Model