One of the first things to do is to accept thgat Do you have clear answers these questions:

  1. Who are your customers?
  2. What do they need?
  3. How will you reach them?

Be honest now: are your answers are based on actual evidence collected from real people?

Or are they based on a few assumptions and a lot of hope?

If it’s the second one, I have some bad news for you: you’re entering a world of stress, frustration and pain.

Because sooner or later, you’re going to find your assumptions were wrong. If that happens after you already built and launched, your startup journey ends.

I can help you avoid that. I’ve helped hundreds of founders and dozens of companies to find answers to these questions before they run out of money and energy.

I work directly with teams or through world-beating startup programs like Seedcamp, CERN, Rockstart, TechCityUK, Startupbootcamp, Enterprise Ireland, S2Xpeed, XaRFA and UPC Empren.

Get in touch if you want to talk about how I can help you.


I find myself drawn to work that is creative and collaborative. Exploratory and a bit messy, where we embrace the uncertainty and thrive on the complexity.

I’m distrustful of people who show up with neat, clear answers to complex problems. That’s a surefire route to stagnation, to complacency and ultimately, to mediocrity. The picking of “low-hanging fruit” and the bullshit “quick wins” beloved of middle managers and arse-coverers.

Screw that. The low-hanging fruit is already picked over and what’s left is half-rotten. And quick wins are usually neither.

Because complexity is not a thing to be simplified. It is a thing to be admired and awed. To embrace and to danced with.

From complexity comes emergence. Pattern arise from the apparent chaos. This is where we find he most original, the most beautiful, the most apt innovations.

A philosophical rant

Why are most organisations so poorly run? Why are most Managers so bad at actually Managing? How is it possible that almost nobody ever says the place they work is “well-managed”?

Humans come together to make things happen in myriad different ways. Working together to solve problems too large to solve alone has been the key to our success on this planet. So why does it so often suck?

I’ve worked for co-ops and corporations, communities and collectives, startups, scale-ups, spinouts, rocket ships and trainwrecks. And I could count on two fingers the places I’ve worked that are truly well-managed. Most seem to get by on good intentions and gallows humour, and a willingness for workers to clean up the mess when management fucks up.

Some believe in the power of a great leader to shape an organisation, but I’ve worked for geniuses and they are some of the worst of all. I’ve worked for saints and for psychopaths, for savants and fools. And all too often, for the merely mediocre, and I can’t say I’ve ever seen much of a pattern.

Sometimes things work because of some great leader; more often they work in spite of an awful one.

Often it’s the people you work with that make the difference, not the people you work for.

Workwise, I do some consulting, some coaching, quite a bit of teaching, some speaking, and a lot of reading.

By nature I am an optimist and by experience I’m a skeptic. On a good day I think can change the world. On a bad day I just try to change myself. Most days fall somewhere in between.

My career wasn’t planned - it is something that’s emerged from the choice I’ve made to always seek out people smarter than me who seem to be doing stuff that seems crazy to everyone else. It’s a great way to end up doing fun stuff.

Skills and Expertise

I have picked up some techniques and methods and they can be categorised into a few different areas.

Innovation and Design Thinking

  • Human-Centered Design:
    • Mastery in creating products and services that prioritise the needs and experiences of users.
    • Proficient in conducting user research, ethnography, and usability testing.
  • Design Research:
    • Extensive experience in qualitative and quantitative research methods to inform design decisions.
    • Skilled in diary studies, panels, and rapid prototyping.
  • Lean UX and Agile Methodologies:
    • Implementing Lean UX practices to ensure continuous feedback and iterative improvement.
    • Leading agile teams to deliver user-centered products efficiently.
  • Systemic Design:
    • Expertise in applying systems thinking to address complex, interconnected challenges.
    • Designing solutions that consider broader social and ecological impacts.

Entrepreneurship and Business Development

  • Startup Mentorship and Coaching:
    • Guiding early-stage startups through customer development, market validation, and product-market fit.
    • Coaching founders on business model design, market segmentation, and growth strategies.
  • Program Development:
    • Designing and delivering educational programs focused on entrepreneurship and innovation.
    • Creating curriculum and workshops tailored to different tech sectors.
  • Business Strategy:
    • Crafting business strategies that align with customer needs and market opportunities.
    • Leading reconfiguration of product delivery teams to adopt agile, value-driven approaches.

Education and Facilitation

  • Curriculum Design and Development:
    • Developing comprehensive syllabi and instructional materials for various educational levels.
    • Creating engaging and impactful course content for physical, online, and hybrid classes.
  • Teaching and Facilitation:
    • Teaching subjects such as Entrepreneurship, Creativity, Lean Startup, UX, and Design Thinking.
    • Facilitating workshops and classes that inspire and engage participants.
  • Coaching and Mentoring:
    • Providing one-on-one coaching to students, researchers, and professionals.
    • Assessing student outcomes and providing constructive feedback.

Project and Program Management

  • Program Leadership:
    • Leading interdisciplinary programs that integrate deep tech innovations with socio-ecological impact.
    • Managing large-scale projects funded by international consortia and organisations.
  • Team Management:
    • Recruiting and managing diverse teams to deliver complex projects.
    • Creating a collaborative and productive team environment.
  • Budgeting and Logistics:
    • Managing budgets for educational programs and international projects.
    • Coordinating logistics for events, workshops, and program activities.

Communication and Stakeholder Management

  • Strategic Communication:
    • Crafting compelling narratives and promotional materials for educational programs.
    • Engaging stakeholders through clear and effective communication.
  • Collaboration and Co-Creation:
    • Working with diverse partners, including universities, research institutions, and industry leaders.
    • Co-creating solutions and frameworks with stakeholders to address common goals.

Technical Skills

  • Digital Tools and Platforms:
    • Proficiency in design software, project management tools, and digital collaboration platforms.
    • Proficiency with modern prototyping tools such as 3D printers and laser cutters.
  • Data Analysis:
    • Analysing qualitative and quantitative data to inform decision-making and design processes.
    • Using data to track outcomes and identify areas for improvement.