Nov 28 2015

Irish Incomes

Category: Economy,MoneyTeknovis @ 5:33 pm

I am always interested in statistics relating to Irish incomes, and I often get asked about this while travelling, so I thought the the following statistics from Plans to slash the USC are rash and dangerous – here’s why were very interesting:

  • 70% of earners have an income greater than 12,000€ per annum
  • 50% of earners have an income greater than 27,000€ per annum
  • 22% of earners have an income greater than 50,000€ per annum
  • 16% of earners have an income greater than 60,000€ per annum

These figures relate to earned income, so they do not include non-earned income.

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Sep 20 2015

The Billion Dollar Startup Club

Category: Business,InfographicTeknovis @ 12:40 pm

A very nice interactive infographic: The Billion Dollar Startup Club


May 17 2014

How Angry Birds Started

Category: Entrepreneurship,Games,InfographicTeknovis @ 9:34 am

I received this image over the weekend (I assume that it came from How Angry Birds Started):

How Angry Birds Started (Copyright Funders and Founders)

How Angry Birds Started (Copyright Funders and Founders)

I must confess that I have never played Angry Birds, but I still like the story of continuously trying!

There are lots of other nice infographics on Funders and Founders.

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May 05 2014

Outliers

Category: Aviation,Entrepreneurship,ReviewsTeknovis @ 10:20 pm

I finished reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell this weekend. For more information about it see Outliers or Outliers (book), and you can buy it at Outliers: The Story of Success.

I enjoyed reading it. It was fairly easy going, and it was always interesting.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

There are plenty of reviews online already, so I am not going to add another. However, there was one very interesting piece of information that surprised me, so I will describe it here.

Chapter seven discusses plane crashes, and it describes a concept called the Power Distance Index (PDI). I will summarise this index by stating that a high DPI basically means that a subordinate is unlikely to be confident enough to contradict a superior, whereas a low DPI means that a subordinate sees himself/herself as an equal to his/her superior.

In the context of flying a plane, it is more desirable to have a pilot and co-pilot who come from a low DPI culture so that they can work well as a team of equals. In other words, if the pilot is doing something incorrect, then you want to co-pilot to be comfortable enough to clearly point-out the problem.

The book lists the five countries in the world where the PDI is highest between the pilot and the co-pilot. They are (in descending order):

  • Brazil
  • South Korea
  • Morocco
  • Mexico
  • Philippines

It is an interesting mix covering south and central America, Africa, and Asia. I am not able to see any pattern there.

However, the book also lists the five countries in the world where the PDI is lowest between the pilot and the co-pilot. They are (in descending order again):

  • United States
  • Ireland
  • South Africa
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

The thing that strikes me here is that they are all English speaking countries, and all former colonies of the UK. (This makes me wonder why the UK is not in the mix!)

I do not find this in any way surprising, because in a general sense these are all countries that share a language (English) that does not support formalities, and they provide relaxed workplace environments where subordinates and superiors are all friends!

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Jan 20 2014

ISA Techbrew – When Your Market is not Big Enough, Reinvent and Grow

Category: Business,EventsTeknovis @ 9:44 am

The ISA is organising an interesting event later this week – ISA Techbrew – When Your Market is not Big Enough, Reinvent and Grow.

It look interesting, and if time permits then I will be there!


Dec 10 2013

Ireland as a Patent Nation

Category: Economy,Infographic,PatentsTeknovis @ 7:35 pm

FRKelly has produced a nice infographic in Ireland as a Patent Nation showing Ireland’s prowess as a patent filing nation (click to see larger version):

Ireland as a Patent Nation (Copyright FRKelly)

Ireland as a Patent Nation (Copyright FRKelly)

I think that the breakdown between academic institutions, individual inventors, and corporate bodies is the most interesting statistic.

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Dec 02 2013

Amazon Prime Air

Category: eShopping,HardwareTeknovis @ 5:48 pm

A friend brought Amazon‘s latest announcement to my attention today – Prime Air! I think it is really impressive, although I am not sure if Amazon’s goods are particularly suitable. My Amazon orders tend to be bulky, relatively heavy for air lifting, and fragile!

Several people have questioned if this is a hoax, but I think it is believable!

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Jun 28 2013

Punitive Irish Income Tax Rates

Category: EconomyTeknovis @ 8:10 pm

I heard of an interesting situation in a small Irish technology company recently. The company is successful, and it generates a small profit. In previous years some of this profit was redistributed to employees in the form of a bonus.

However, this year management decided to do a cost-benefit analysis on these bonuses. It was not a surprise that they found it was very bad value, due to the punitive income tax rates in Ireland. See Bruton criticises high income tax rates for an explanation, and bear in mind that this does not consider employer’s PRSI. There is roughly 4€ of benefit to the employee for every 10€ spent by the company.

So instead the management allowed employees to choose from a list of alternative incentives that would not incur a tax liability. Some of these incentives included:

  • Additional annual leave
  • Additional investment in informal employee education and training
    • Travel and accommodation for attending foreign trade shows and conferences
    • Purchasing of new hardware relating to the business (smart phones, tablets, laptops)
  • Improved office facilities
    • Free food
    • The creation of a recreational zone
  • Donations to charities of the employees’ choosing

There were more, but I cannot remember them all now.

Unsurprisingly, not even one person choose to receive a bonus! So now the government is not going to get even a single cent of income tax from the potential bonus pool. Furthermore, this means that the company’s total income tax bill this year will be the lowest in many years.

So what is the moral of this story? There are two!

Firstly, there are many rewards that employers can offer employees that have a one-to-one cost-benefit balance. It is just a matter of thinking creatively!

Secondly, that by continually increasing income tax rates the government is taking a larger percentage of a smaller amount of money!

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Jul 01 2012

EU Patents

Category: Business,PatentsTeknovis @ 8:40 am

It looks like the EU leaders have finally agreed to proceed with a single EU patent, according to EU leaders agree to introduce a single european patent. You can read a brief overview of the torrid time EU patents have had in European Union patent.

I think that the idea of a single streamlined EU patent is brilliant! I think that it is vital for encouraging innovation and economic activity!

Unfortunately, I think that the politicians are going to dilute the idea to suit their own national interests. For example, I am already disappointed with the following aspects of it:

  • The court will be split between London, Paris, and Munich :( One court, in a single location, would be far better!
  • The official languages will be English, French, and German. It should be English only! Languages are important, and they are an integral part of our culture. However, patenting activity is not a cultural activity! One language facilitates communications (both within and outside the EU), and it reduces unnecessary costs.
  • It appears that Italy and Spain will remain outside of the EU patents. I would prefer if they were included, but ultimately I think that their self-exclusion will hurt themselves more than anybody else!

This really cannot happen soon enough!

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Apr 13 2012

Minimum Wage – Greece Versus Ireland

Category: EconomyTeknovis @ 5:06 pm

Ireland and Greece are both currently being bailed-out. This effectively means that both countries are funding their current expenditure using borrowed money. This became necessary because their economies both got into serious difficulties. So it is very interesting to see how both countries are adjusting to this financial dependence.

I read today that the minimum wage in Greece has been reduced to 580€ gross per month, according to Greek unemployment at record high with youth jobless rate now over 50%. This reduction is designed to boost employment (by making it cheaper to employ people) and boost the economy (by making exports cheaper).

I was curious how this compared to Ireland, so I did some investigating. According to my calculations, the minimum wage in Ireland is 1,500€ gross per month. (This is based on a minimum wage of 8.65€ gross per hour as described in Minimum rates of pay.) Even more interesting is the fact that the minimum wage in Ireland was increased by 173€ gross per month in 2011.

The Greeks (and probably many others in the EU) must look at Ireland and wonder how the Irish can afford such high minimum wages at a time when the country is bankrupt!

I certainly do not understand this!

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