||Last Updated: Oct 7, 2015 - 1:18 PM
Aug 18, 2015 - 8:27 AM
Digital Taylorism: Amazon.com's founder and chief executive on Monday in a message to staff rejected what he termed a depiction of the company as a "soulless, dystopian workplace" and he suggested that if that was the reality, staff would be "crazy" to remain in such an organisation.
Aug 14, 2015 - 8:37 AM
Finfacts has often reported on research which shows that young firms up to 5 years old are typically responsible for most net job creation in an economy. This research usually based on US data and published by the Kauffman Foundation, an entrepreneurship think-tank, has now been supplemented by a useful working paper from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Aug 12, 2015 - 6:45 AM
The rise of the US dollar against the euro and other world currencies over the past year has reduced the cost-competitiveness of US manufacturing compared with economies such as Germany, France, Japan, Australia, and Brazil. But the US still maintains a very significant cost advantage over these economies, and therefore manufacturers are unlikely to shift production to other nations. These are among the findings of new research released by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the American consultancy firm.
Aug 6, 2015 - 7:26 AM
Business startup rates in OECD countries have generally risen since the crisis — particularly in Australia and the United Kingdom — but they remain below pre-2008 levels in many Euro Area economies.
Jul 24, 2015 - 7:37 AM
NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed the first near-Earth-size planet in the “habitable zone” around a sun-like star. This discovery and the introduction of 11 other new small habitable zone candidate planets mark another milestone in the journey to finding another “Earth,” according to the space agency.
Jul 23, 2015 - 3:46 AM
Energy subsidies are projected at US$5.3tn in 2015, or 6.5% of global GDP, according to a recent IMF study with most of this arising from countries setting energy taxes below levels that fully reflect the environmental damage associated with energy consumption. Meanwhile the World Bank said this week that commodity prices will remain weak despite a rebound in the price of crude oil.
Jun 25, 2015 - 11:46 AM
US startups rely on personal savings and debt mainly financed by a bank while venture capital funds less than 1% according to a new report.
Jun 15, 2015 - 11:06 AM
Research findings reported today 1) show that Europe produced 13 “unicorns” — technology startups that have reached a value of at least $1bn — in the year since April 2014. The US had 22 new unicorns in the same period. 2) coinciding with the start of London Technology Week, the British capital has been confirmed as the top digital hub in Europe.
Jun 11, 2015 - 8:30 AM
Irish-based technology firms raised €120m in the first quarter of 2015, according to the Irish Venture Capital Association VenturePulse survey which is published in association with William Fry. However some of the biggest recipients of funding did not originate in Ireland but are headquartered in Ireland for tax purposes.
Jun 9, 2015 - 8:22 AM
Ireland: In 2013 Ireland at 51% had the fourth highest 25-34 year old ratio of third-level graduates to population in the developed world after South Korea at 67% and both Japan and Canada at 58% while at the other end of the spectrum, Italy was at 23% and Austria at 25%, according to the latest 'Education at a Glance' annual report compiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Jun 5, 2015 - 7:38 AM
Last week the key 2015 Kauffman Index of US startup activity showed a rise in 2015 but nevertheless, business dynamism as reflected in employer firm startups has been in a secular decline in the United States since the 1970s.
Jun 1, 2015 - 3:12 PM
In the overall ranking for the European Commission's Innovation Union Scoreboard 2015 (IUS), Sweden is once more the innovation leader, followed by Denmark, Finland and Germany. The fastest growing innovators are Malta, Latvia and Bulgaria, Ireland (see below), the UK and Poland. In Europe, Switzerland, which is not a member of the European Union is the continent's top innovator. In global a comparison, the EU continue to be outperformed by the US, Japan and South Korea.
Jun 1, 2015 - 11:42 AM
Education systems are failing to provide students with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century, a new study from The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by Google has found.
May 27, 2015 - 5:55 AM
The US, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland have the best higher education systems according to an annual ranking of 50 countries. Ireland is at 18 down from 17 in 2014. Malaysia and Saudi Arabia have rankings of 27 and 28, ahead of Italy.
May 26, 2015 - 9:12 AM
Earlier this year Springer, the German publishing group, published The Handbook of Service Innovation, an 858-page compendium of "research contributions, practical examples and implementations, and select cases across several growth service industries including some failed service innovation attempts." It includes an examination of developments in Ireland where economists in the last decade lauded the switch from manufacturing to services as evidence of "moving up the value chain."
May 7, 2015 - 3:06 PM
The worms and the people behind Swiss Silk have something in common – both are motivated. For the silkworms it’s a matter of eating enough mulberry leaves to complete their lifecycle. For the producers, it’s a make or break moment to keep their tiny sector alive.
May 4, 2015 - 10:40 AM
More than 300 shareholders and executives at Irish tech firms have become millionaires over the past 15 years through selling their businesses, according to a new report on mergers and acquisitions in the IT sector. However, there have been no significant scaleups (“Competitive advantage doesn’t go to the nations that focus on creating companies, it goes to nations that focus on scaling companies”) despite the commercialisation of research being the flagship enterprise policy.
Apr 30, 2015 - 7:28 AM
Apple warned on Tuesday that it may be forced to pay tax to Ireland on up to 10 years of profits if the European Commission issues an adverse finding following its current investigation of Irish tax rulings that were issued to the American tech giant.
Apr 28, 2015 - 2:09 AM
Apple Inc. is pulling off a feat rarely seen in any industry, much less the cutthroat world of consumer electronics: gaining market share while also commanding higher prices, according to The Wall Street Journal today. Led by the larger-display iPhones it introduced last fall, Apple on Monday said it sold 61.2m iPhones in the three months ended March 28, up 40% from the year-earlier period. Many of those sales came in emerging markets, including a 72% gain in the number of phones sold in China.
Apr 21, 2015 - 7:45 AM
Mainly American firms account for about 60% of Irish pharmaceutical and medical device exports but they do not engage in significant research that merits patenting. China has had a similar experience as regards R&D (research and development) but there is pressure on Big Pharma to increase international research while falling productivity of R&D in the US is also a push factor to increase activity in emerging markets.
Apr 20, 2015 - 7:53 AM
In the US new businesses account for nearly all net new job creation and almost 20% of gross job creation, whereas small businesses do not have a significant impact on job growth when age is accounted for. Last September, Schumpeter, The Economist columnist, wrote: "It is fashionable to romanticise entrepreneurs. Business professors celebrate the geniuses who break the rules and change the world. Politicians praise them as wealth creators. Glossy magazines drool over Richard Branson’s villa on Lake Como. But the reality can be as romantic as chewing glass: first-time founders have the job security of zero-hour contract workers, the money worries of chronic gamblers and the social life of hermits."
Apr 17, 2015 - 8:02 AM
Both the UK and Ireland have low levels of business research and development (R&D) spending compared with other advanced economies and they are also heavily reliant on foreign firms.
Apr 14, 2015 - 7:57 AM
We noted in Part 1 of this series that the microchip is no longer manufactured in Silicon Valley but its development in the 1950s was a seminal event not only in ushering in the Digital Revolution but also in respect of the organisational culture which would develop in the area around the south and east of San Francisco Bay that would later be named Silicon Valley.
Mar 27, 2015 - 7:59 AM
Ireland: Innovation is crucial for a modern economy and it may be dependent on spending on R&D (research and development) and scientific breakthroughs or it may not.
Mar 25, 2015 - 3:54 PM
The UK government is the most open and transparent in the world, according to a global rankings on the basis of public access to official data. Ireland and Greece at a 31 ranking are among the lowest in Europe with Hungary at a ranking of 33 - the lowest of all European countries including Russia.
Mar 18, 2015 - 3:56 AM
By now you may have heard about the Solar Impulse – the Swiss solar aircraft attempting to circle the globe without a smidgen of jet fuel. How is that possible? What’s the point? And how do the pilots go to the bathroom? Here’s the low-down on this high-flying project.
Mar 11, 2015 - 8:14 AM
Silicon Valley, the area in Northern California flanking San Francisco Bay, which was once a major fruit-growing area, got its nickname from a journalist in 1971, evoking the key role of the region in the development of the silicon microchip from 1950s and the creation of America's innovation engine. However big-scale manufacturing has disappeared and the latest annual report on the region says income has stagnated in the last decade and there is a large gap between the highest and lowest earning racial/ethnic groups, which is larger in Silicon Valley ($44,037) and San Francisco ($50,069) than in California ($28,332) or the United States ($17,716).
Mar 10, 2015 - 8:09 AM
21st century skills are 18 century skills plus a computer — which may be your smartphone or smartwatch — according to a researcher at America's leading entrepreneurship think-tank.
Mar 5, 2015 - 7:24 AM
The growing ICT sector in Europe only accounts for 5% of employment but it's adding more new firms than other sectors and young firms (defined as up to 5 years old) are key to job creation.
Mar 2, 2015 - 6:44 AM
The city state of Singapore is among the top countries in several global rankings: for ease of doing business, global competitiveness, global information technology, global financial centres and Asia's most innovative economy, and an Irish Times report today suggests that Ireland should copy its scientific research investment plan.
Feb 27, 2015 - 7:56 AM
Startups vs Scaleups: Less than 4% of UK startups have 10 or more employees 10 years after their creation according to a report on scaling-up companies that was commissioned by the British government. However, the fastest growing 6% of businesses between 2002 and 2008 created half the new UK jobs in that period, according to data from Nesta, an innovation think-tank.
Feb 26, 2015 - 1:04 PM
Patent filings at the European Patent Office (EPO) grew by 3.1% in 2014, hitting a new record high of over 274,000 (2013: 266,000). Among the 38 EPO member states, the Netherlands, France and the UK showed significant growth, some countries like Germany and Sweden remained stable, while filings from countries such as Finland, Switzerland, Spain and Ireland declined. The number of filings from China and the US grew strongly, while the number of filings from Japan fell. A total of 64,600 patents were granted by the EPO in 2014.
Feb 24, 2015 - 6:31 AM
Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and chief executive of Facebook, on a phone call to the White House last March, complained directly to President Obama about spying by the United States government on the activities of some of the social network's more than 1bn users. However, any half-clued in user of the service would be aware that the maze of privacy settings are designed to make it inconvenient to change them and a study published on Monday says Facebook’s new data use policy and terms of service are “in violation of European law.”
Feb 23, 2015 - 9:18 AM
Apple today announced a €1.7bn plan to build and operate two data centres in Europe, each powered by 100% renewable energy. The facilities, located in Athenry, County Galway, and Denmark’s central Jutland, will power Apple’s online services including the iTunes Store, App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri for customers across Europe.
Feb 22, 2015 - 3:37 PM
A Silicon Valley insider has warned of dodgy $1bn valuations of private companies in a week when Uber, Snapchat and Pinterest were all reported to be involved in discussions on big fundraising rounds or had completed them.
Feb 12, 2015 - 9:03 AM
Despite the hype generated by big tech brands such as Apple (the smartphone maker topped $700bn in value this week but Microsoft has the record of the highest valued public company at an inflation-adjusted $850bn on 31 December 1999) Microsoft, Google and Facebook, high tech is rarely a key sector in an economy while innovation is important in every sector. Nevertheless, Israel has been lauded as the Startup Nation for its unique success in replicating the Silicon Valley model overseas but it has limited impact as a jobs engine similar to Irish indigenous high tech.
Feb 11, 2015 - 2:55 AM
Established industries often beat new technology investment returns according to research published on Tuesday. While companies rise and fail in all sectors the researchers found that a strategy of investing in only companies which that had been listed on a public stock exchange for at least 20 years would have converted £1 into £60 since 1980. While buying the shares of young companies listed for less than three years would have made only £20 as many IPOs (initial public offering) falter after an initial surge.
Feb 10, 2015 - 1:26 PM
Ireland: Last November Michael Noonan, finance minister, predicted that the European Commission would drop its state aid case in respect of an agreement on a special Irish tax arrangements for Apple Inc. but the Department of Finance is now preparing for a case before the European Court of Justice.
Feb 1, 2015 - 4:30 PM
Irish R&D Tax Credit: The Irish Times reported last Friday that Department of Finance officials expressed concern that changes to tax breaks to promote innovation in budget 2015 would cost at least €50m in foregone taxes annually and reward a relatively small number of companies. It's not new that politicians would ignore evidence to keep an open door or telephone line for the "anxieties" of US business folk as Enda Kenny, taoiseach, promised at a March 2014 meeting in the US Chamber of Commerce headquarters in Washington DC.
Jan 28, 2015 - 8:01 AM
Apple on Tuesday reported the largest net income of any public company in history in the three months to December, as record iPhone sales of 74.5m units exceeded Wall Street forecasts.