A Discourse on Dice

Dice according to Ciaran


(tumblr 2013)

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin.

(brainy quote 2013)

So the DICE journey has come to its conclusion.  I would say that looking back it has been more than valuable.  I thought it very positive how it allowed for creativity and personal input into our course. These are things which, although often encouraged at university, are sometimes not embraced. Perhaps its most beneficial contribution to my learning experience at DCU however, was that it helped me to rekindle a desire to pursue creativity further in a business sense.  I also believe that this desire will not extinguish easily this time around.


http://www.tumblr.com 2013, Dinosawr, [Online].  Available from: http://tumblr.com/tagged /vicroads [Accessed 28 April 2013].

http://www.brainyquote.com, 2013, Benjamin Franklin Quotes, [Online].  Available from:   http:www.brainyquote.com/ quotes /b/benjamin franklin.html [Accessed 29 April 2013].

Seminar 5 – “Get Digital”

(krank.ie, 2013)

“There will come a time when it isn’t ‘They’re spying on me through my phone’ anymore. Eventually, it will be ‘My phone is spying on me’.” – Phillip K. Dick.

(goodreads.com 2013)

Atoms to bits?  Interactive, automated cars?  Cyber wars?  Could the seemingly endless progression of computing possibly overtake us?   Wages haven’t fallen sufficiently?  Our politicians’ understanding of the modern digital world is redundant and counter-productive.  “Get Digital”, the last of our DICE seminars, raised plenty of food for thought and viewpoints for debate.  It is perhaps true that I didn’t grasp every concept and maybe some things were of a slightly more elevated capacity than I am accustomed to.  One fact was unmistakeable however.  The latest advancements in the digital world aren’t waiting for anyone’s endorsement to take off, they are moving as though they have a life of their own.  I have many thoughts on the seminar, in this post I will refine them into two main areas, what interested me the most and what left me wondering.

(philcallaway.ab.ca, 2013)

Information is almost a part of our diet at this stage.  As a matter of fact, an extension of our respiratory system could be a closer comparison such is our daily rate of consumption.  Apparently we intake 174 newspapers worth of information a day (Alleyne, R. 2011).  In order to retain some of it, our interests often serve as a filtering system.  A lot of what Martin Curley (Vice President – Intel) said really stuck with me.  I thought his dissection of Moore’s Law and the comparison he made between it and the airline industry was thought-provoking.  As well as this it was interesting how he pointed out that “older bastions” such as the education system were not moving on with the times to a similar measure as other aspects of life.  Upon considering this afterwards I thought what a prospect it would be to witness the acceleration of technological advancement should it be implicated at a higher level into the learning process in our schools.  It is already happening organically as Clare Dillon (Developer and Platform Group – Microsoft) illustrated through her anecdote on her baby’s tablet skills.  One other idea, though slightly undeveloped was interesting too.  Martin Curley’s description of Intel’s goal to “enrich the lives of everyone on the planet” and his reference to Red Bull’s “space program” show that the influence and power of multi-nationals is growing rather than receding.  I thought the fact that businesses are now established in an unprecedented level of authority was a noteworthy piece of information.

Constantine Gurdgiev is clearly an accomplished economist.  I am evidently not one with sufficient grasp of such matters to challenge his economic concepts.  However, I must say that in (and indeed perhaps because of) the limited level of understanding that I have, I was left wondering by some of his ideas.  For example, if we gear transport systems towards higher earning professionals, will there be benefits for the less financially well off of the country?  Also, although I feel that we should welcome and celebrate success, what level of endorsement do we need to establish in order to accommodate for the more prosperous people in society?  I’m sure Constantine has answers to these questions and his points must be understood in context but I thought it valid to include them.  I certainly see where he is coming from with regard to his criticisms of Ireland’s bankruptcy laws though.  Back in 2009, before proposed reform (McGee. H, 2012) the Irish Independent ran a story detailing how prominent business men were seeking domicile  elsewhere in order to avoid Ireland’s bankruptcy laws which “are loathed by creditors and debtors alike”  and according to  Gavin Simons, partner and head of Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency at law firm BCM Hanby Wallace “serve no one” (McDonald. D, 2009).  It seems that with the probability of a greater level of businesses failing like Constantine predicted, we will need to be careful not to discourage entrepreneurship through out of date financial penalties.

(cio.com, 2012)

Computers in the future might weigh no more than 1.5 tons – Popular Mechanics (1949).

(techno-pulse.com 2013)

Back in 2009, Boomsberg Business Week Magazine ran an article saying that ‘Cloud Computing’ was “shaping up to be one of the most significant advances in the computing universe in decades” (Hamm. H, 2009).  Before the first day of DICE, I had never heard of the term ‘Cloud Computing’.  The computing world wasn’t been waiting around for more technologically lethargic individuals like me to catch up.  With the prospects shown by Clare Dillon in her “a vision of the future” video, it seems it remains hesitant to extend the courtesy.   “Get Digital” sparked interest and left me wondering on some things.  Perhaps it can be said though that its most important contribution to my train of thought was the reaffirmation that in order to compete in the business world, you have to stay up to date with how fast technology is changing things.  Which by the looks of things, takes a significant level of stamina.  A more appropriate conclusion on the seminar cannot be found  than that of Fergus Gloster, (Marketing Director Europe -Marketo) “Matches end, this doesn’t”.


krank.ie, 2013, Writers Set fro New Terminator Movie, [Online].  Available from: http://www.krank.ie/category/entertainment/writers – set – for -new – terminator -movie/ [Accessed 19 April 2013].

goodreads.com 2013, Quotes About Technology, [Online].  Available from:  http://www.goodreads.com/ quotes/ tag / technology [Accessed 19 April 2013].

philcallaway.ab.ca, 2013, Our Privacy Notice, [Online].  Available from: http://www.philcallaway.ab.ca / articles/Special%20pages/our privacy notice.htm [Accessed 18 April 2013].

Alleyne, R. 2011, Welcome to the Information Age, 174 Newspapers a Day, [Online].  Available from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science – news/8316534/ Welcome – to – the -information – age – newspapers – a day.html [Accessed 18 April 2013].

McGee. H, 2012, Reform Assists the Indebted and Blows the Dust of Antiquated Bankruptcy Laws, [Online].  Available from:  http://www.irishtimes.com / news / reform – assists – the – indebted – and – blows the – dust – off – antiquated – bankruptcy – law – 14027 [Accessed 18 April 2013].

McDonald. D, 2009, Debtors Flee Irish Bankruptcy Law, [Online].  Available from:  http://www.independent.ie / business / irish / debtors – flee – irish – bankruptcy – laws – 26573698.html [Accessed 18 2013].

cio.com, 2012, Cloud Service Providers challenge Traditional IT Outsourcing, [Online].  Available from:  http://www.cio.com/article/714042 / Cloud_Service _ Providers _ Challenge _ Traditional _ IT _ Outsourcing [Accessed 18 April 2013].

techno-pulse.com, 2013, 15 Memorable Cloud Computing Quotes, [Online].  Available from:  http://www.techno-pulse.com / 2011 / 02 / memeorable – cloud – computing – quotes – html [Accessed 19 April 2013].

Hamm. H, 2009, How Cloud Computing Will Change Business, [Online].  Available from:  http://www.businessweek.com /magazine / content / 09 24 /b4135042942270. htm [Accessed 18 April 2013].

Seminar 4 – “Get Started”

getting-started-arc-id-295569 (2)

(archives.wikispaces.net 2013)

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing – Walt Disney.

(brainyquote.com 2013)

One of the fundamental benefits of being a student at university is it gives you the opportunity to acquire valuable information.  If the recipient of this information does not follow its acquisition with practical outworking and application however, he or she renders its value toward them useless.  Many ideas lie immobile for the fact that although they have a tank fuelled for the journey, there is no engine spark.  Perhaps with this sentiment in mind came the “Get Started” seminar.  Although no one can take to the road for you, they may be able to help you find the keys.  I found the direction given in the fourth stage of the DICE module’s seminars helpful and informative.  Three themes stood out, there was sensible guidance for those wanting to kick start their entrepreneurial careers, the relevance of social responsibility was discussed and unlocking individual potential was encouraged.


(digitaltrends.com 2013)

Reality is wrong, dreams are for real – Tupac Shakur.

(brainyquote.com 2013)

It helps before you start a journey to know that the desired destination is a feasible outcome.  I thought that Michael Kelly (Grow It Yourself Ireland) was correct when he described how it is important to know there is demand for your product or service before you commit to supplying it.  There was a well-rounded variety of advice given at “Get Started” to enable a potential entrepreneur to see where he or she’s idea might fly or fail.  Caution was encouraged but not to the point of suppression.  George Boyle (Founder, Fumbally Exchange) told us to give ourselves permission to dream and urged us to persevere, stating that the biggest pitfall for businesses is in choosing a name.  One prevalent insight shared throughout the seminar was that it is essential to have the right team of people to gather around.  Marc Andreessen (American entrepreneur, investor, software engineer, and multi-millionaire) once said that “the difference between a vision and a hallucination is that other people can see the vision” (Andreessen 2010).  Accepting other people’s input and criticism is a humbling predicament but if we refuse to heed direction we usually end up lost.

The price of greatness is responsibility – Winston Churchill.

(brainyquote.com 2013)

Social responsibility in business is an area of interest and importance to me.  There are few people for whom it has no relevance.  USA Today found that 83% of people will trust a company more if it is socially responsible (Jayson 2006).  Trust is a resource of truly significant commercial value, however as we heard from Mark Cahalane, (Managing Director, Edelamn Europe), in the “Get Social” seminar it can also enable a firm to take a further step into a greater sphere of influence and impact socially.  The statistic shared by John Fitzsimons (Chief Executive at Camara Education Ltd) that 250,000 people will be able to develop skills which they would otherwise not have had due to the efforts of the Camara organisation was evidence indeed that entrepreneurship is in fact taking a leading role in the progression of society.  The benefits for businesses can reach unexpected levels also.  In February 2008, Hagaan Dazs launched a honey bee brand of ice cream in order to raise money for research on the growing problem of diminishing honey bee numbers (beebiology.ucdavis.edu 2013).  With Ben & Jerry’s authentic ethical image a serious challenge to the company’s sales, the 640 000 tweets of positive publicity generated by the idea was undoubtedly more than welcome (Lasica 2010).


(freepostermaker.com 2013)

I believe that there is an in-built desire in each individual to fulfil their potential, to live to the best of their ability.  It is also my belief that the realisation of this goal is not guaranteed but rather is found through the diligent, committed exercise of the will.   Commitment to the accomplishment of goals does not appear to be a deficient characteristic in Gerry Duffy who completed 10 triathlons in ten days and overcame a severe fear of public speaking to pursue a career performing motivational talks in front of significant numbers of people.  I believe it registered with many in the auditorium when he made the point that without a sense of contribution and growth we as humans often find happiness hard to hold onto.  Like most of life’s less transient rewards however, the two aforementioned ideals are not bestowed without first having encountered difficulty and finding courage to continue.  The “battle scars” referred to by John Dennehy (CEO Zartis) in his presentation are often prerequisite trademarks of successful entrepreneurial endeavour.  Resistance rather than rest must be embraced before any marathon.  It seems to co-relate that when starting a business perhaps the most perilous place to remain in is the comfort zone.

Eloquence, effort and endeavour, these are fine words but for me they mean nothing if they are not accompanied by the essential constituent of any exercise…. purpose.  The DICE seminars have been well organised and expertly delivered.  “Get Started” furthered the cause by giving us direction on some of the essential conditions necessary for setting off on our own business journey.  It also helped us see the usefulness of having a motivator other than money vis-á-vis social responsibility.  Finally we were given permission and encouragement to realise our full potential.  Whether or not the investment of this information will result in a purposeful response in its recipients is I suppose the responsibility of the individuals in question.  Individuals like me.


ourarchives.wikispaces.net, 2013,  Automobile Race with Grand Stands in Background at the U. S. Naval Training Stations, San Diego, California, [Online]. Available from: http://www.ourarchives.wikispaces.net/Getting+Started [Accessed 25 February 2013].

brainyquote.com 2013, Started Quotes, [Online].  Available from: ://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/started.htm [Accessed 25 February 2013].

digitaltrends.com MLK’s I Have A Dream Censored From Web on Internet Freedom Day, [Online]. http://www.digitaltrends.com/web/martin-luther-king-i-have-a-dream-censorship-internet-freedom-day/ [Accessed 25 February 2013].

brainyquotes.com, 2013, Dream Quotes, [Online].  Available from:  http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_dreams.html [Accessed 25 February 2013].

Marc Andreessen 2010, Vision, [Online].  Available from: http://ma.tt/2010/05/vision/ [Accessed 24 February 2013].

http://www.brainyquote.com, 2013, Responsibilty Quotes, [Online]. Available from: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/responsibility.html [Accessed 25 February 2013].

Sharon Jayson 2006, Generation Y gets Involved, [Online].  Available from: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-10-23-gen-next-cover_x.htm [Accessed 24 February 2013].

beebiology.ucdavis.edu 2013, Haagen Dazs Honey Bee Haven, [Online].  Available from: http://beebiology.ucdavis.edu/HAVEN/honeybeehaven.html [Accessed 24 February 2013].

JD Lasica 2010, 4 Examples of Corporate Responsibility Done Right, [Online].  Available from: http://www.socialbrite.org/2010/04/22/4-examples-of-social-responsibility-done-right/ [Accessed 24 February 2013].

freepostermaker.com 2013, Potential, [Online]. Available from: http://freepostermaker.com/my8nwymxom/POTENTIAL [Accessed 25 February  2012].

Seminar 3 – “Get Mobile”

get mobile image 1

(fastcompany.com 2009)

“There are 6.8 billion people on the planet.  4 billion of them use a mobile phone.  Only 3.5 billion of them use a toothbrush”.

(Jamie Turner 2011)

The “Get Creative” seminar rekindled an old affinity within me for invention and craft, this time in a business context. “Get Social” established a platform on which to test the water, get feedback and develop ideas.   It unveiled a unique realm of opportunity where contact with a wide audience is possible without the former prerequisite of substantial funding.  Both were applicable on a personal level.  However, having just bought a smartphone a week or two before the “Get Mobile” conference, the third seminar of the DICE program pipped the previous two to the post in terms of timely relevance.  As well as this, it informed me as to what the global mobile situation is like, gave me a sense of the innovations within the field and finally it inspired me through Johnny Walker’s story of his medical mobile experience.


(betanews.com 2012)

The mobile phone has long been a necessity for modern day communication globally.  However, with the advent of the iPhone in 2007 it has taken on a ‘Transformers’ like metamorphosis.  Smart phones are the Swiss army knives of the 21st Century, the essential device for survival in the post-Internet jungle.  On average it takes 26 hours before a wallet is reported lost, 68 minutes for a phone (Jamie Turner 2011).  Few decisions are made without mobiles these days, not least commercial choices.  As Louise Phelan, (Vice President, PayPal) told us, PayPal had €10 billion in sales through mobile in 2012.  Dominic Muldoon (Business Development/Sales Strategy and Execution, Púka) told us that mobile “touches everything”.  I don’t disagree.  As my opening quote suggests, the sphere of influence of the mobile phone is now planet earth in its entirety.  A statistic such as this provokes questions.  Is this a positive or negative influence?  Dominic in his talk told us that mobile helps us with “health, wealth and to take control of our lives”.  While I share the sentiment of this statement I can’t say that I feel the situation is quite so black and white.  Work-Home Interference can be a detrimental effect of smartphones (Derks and Baaker 2012).  44 per cent of students at Stanford University California claim to be “either very or totally addicted to their smartphones” (Thompson 2012).  I personally believe that although technological advancements should be embraced, people also have the responsibility, individually, corporately and socially to acknowledge and respond to the dangers of their implications.

“Innovation was key”.  In summing up the overall mantra of Nokia as a company, Eoin Cruise, (Head of Sales and Marketing, Nokia), could have been articulating what has been the fundamental lesson of the DICE program for me.  As I have stated in my previous posts, I have really appreciated the examples of real life innovation that the DICE conferences have offered.  I thoroughly enjoyed the sneak peek into some of the innovative features of the new Nokia 808.  Tagged “The Game Changer”, with a 41 mega pixel camera and a topping up charging feature, it appeared a truly appetising prospect.  Patrick Ward’s (Windows Business Group lead, Microsoft Ireland) reference to Skydrive, a new Microsoft equivalent of Dropbox offering 7GB of free storage space in the cloud and Sylvie McDermott’s (Mobile Manager, Paddy Power) description of how the Paddy Power app can read what you are watching and give you the appropriate odds showed how fast things are moving technologically.


(cheezburger.com 2012)

After speaking with my fellow students about “Get Mobile” one overwhelming consensus was apparent: Johnny Walker (Founder & Chairman, Global Diagnostics Ltd) was the highlight.  His talk on the history of Global Diagnostics was delivered with enthusiasm, sprinkled with humour and inspiring throughout.  I found it fascinating how an observation he had as a child, noticing that there must be a better way of delivering healthcare than that which his father was dealt, re-established with an eye opening experience he had as young doctor working with pregnant women in the Aborigine community, ignited in him the desire and capability to not only create a more than prosperous business but also to transform the healthcare system of a under-resourced area of Australia.  Global Diagnostics recorded €22 million in revenue in 2009 (eoy.tv 2010).  In a world where profits often come about by exploitation, it exemplifies how businesses can serve and at the same time succeed.

“I miss the days when you could just push someone into a pool without having to worry about their cell phone” – Anonymous.

(searchquotes.com 2012)

“Get Mobile” was for me perhaps the most well rounded of the DICE seminars so far.  I found the details of the global mobile situation informative and really enjoyed the various glimpses at innovations within the field.  Johnny Walker’s expo on Global Diagnostics reaffirmed in me the idea that big business doesn’t have to be indifferent to everything other than revenue.  Overall “Get Mobile” helped me to see the world of mobile as not merely another tedious addition to business that I now have to concern myself with, but rather a field of possibility where ideas can flourish and opportunities can be grasped.


fastcompany.com 2009.  Design Roundtable: How Can Cell Phones Improve the World, [Online].  Available from: http:/ /www.fastcompany.com/1291105/design-roundtable-how-can-cell-phones-improve-world [Accessed 30 December 2012].

Jamie Turner 2011. Are There Really More Mobile Phones Than Toothbrushes, [Online]. Available from: http:/ /60secondmarketer.com/blog/2011/10/18/more-mobile-phones-than-toothbrushes/[Accessed 29 December 2012].

betanews.com 2012.  Just 45 Per Cent of World’s Population Subscribes to Mobile Services and that’s not Much, [Online].  Available from: http:/ /betanews.com/2012/10/19/just-45-percent-of-the-worlds-population-subscribes-to-mobile-services-and-thats-not-much/ [Accessed 30 December 2012].

Jamie Turner 2011.  9 Amazing Mobile Marketing Statistics Every Marketer Should Know, [Online].  Available from: http:/ /blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/24082/9-Amazing-Mobile-Marketing-Statistics-Every-Marketer-Should-Know.aspx [Accessed 29 December 2012].

Derks, D and Baaker, A B 2012.  Applied Psychology. Smartphone Use, Work–Home Interference, and Burnout: A Diary Study on the Role of Recovery, [Online], Abstract.  Available from: http:/ /onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1464-0597.2012.00530.x/abstract [Accessed 30 December 2012].

Thompson, D 2012.   The New Global Addiction – Smart Phones.  The Telegraph, 15 June.  Available from:  http:/ /www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/9334058/The-new-global-addiction-smartphones.html# [Accessed 30 December 2012].

cheezburger.com 2012. First World Problems, [Online].  Available from: http:/ /cheezburger.com/5335810304 [Accessed 30 December 2012].

eoy.tv 2010.  Johnny Walker – Global Diagnostics, [Online].  Available from: http:/ /www.eoy.tv/entrepreneur_detail.php?eID=21 [ Accessed 30 December 2012].

searchquotes.com 2012.  Cell Phone Quotes, [Online].  Available from: http:/ /www.searchquotes.com/search/Cell_Phone/2/ [Accessed 30 December 2012].

Seminar 2 – “Get Social”

(e3detroit.com 2012)

We’re all social creatures.” – Social Media Monthly Magazine. 

(adventured.com 2012)

The social media phenomenon is growing in such a sporadic way it almost seems to have a life of its own. As a whole there is no doubt that this multi-faceted creature cannot be tamed. However, is it possible that firms can manipulate some of its quite unpredictable traits for their own purposes?  I deduced from the “Get Social” seminar that to varied extents it is possible, but also perhaps perilous. It was valuable to receive direction and caution from those who are well familiar with the different aspects of social media behaviour.

At the beginning of the conference, confronted with “Gangnam Style”, I was intrigued as to what its academic significance was.  Theo Lynn’s clarification as to how we can learn from “Psy” was helpful.  The aspect I found most insightful was how the dance moves used in the video were copied directly from one of “American Idol’s” tragic heroes who fell at the first hurdle.   I can appreciate Psy’s innovation here, turning something which people wouldn’t be seen dead doing into a world-wide craze.  The fickle sway in the tide of public opinion is something which can be exploited by users of social media.  It can also be colossally detrimental to businesses and individuals if not recognised and adhered to, as other speakers later acknowledged.

It was significant how Mark Cahalane, (Managing Director, Edelamn Europe), described that trust has “tangible benefits”.  I agree that businesses “transcending from a licence to operate to a licence to lead” is an exciting proposition.  Social media gives businesses a great understanding of what people value and focus on as it is basically conversations in open forum.  This information enables firms to respond to the desires of the public in a leadership fashion.

Some of the hazards described by Claire Wardle, (Director of News services, Storyful) which can be encountered on the social media sphere were quite alarming such as people losing jobs, organisations suffering bad publicity etc.  Her presentation was constructive for me personally in that although she warned us of potential hiccups, she also told us to “get stuck in”.

Being untutored in the Twitter world I was surprised to hear how dynamically suitable for business it is.  After listening to Jane White’s (former DCU student and current Account Executive for Twitter) explanation of promoted accounts, promoted tweets and promoted trends, I can see how, if harnessed the right way, tweets can be turned into sales.

Social media accounts for only 16% of customer engagement today, but is expected to increase to 57%—the second-most used channel, behind only face to face interaction—within five years. 

(Tom Pick 2012)

Phillip Kelly (digital marketing executive, Electric Ireland), is clearly someone who has experience in effectively handling tweets, likes, dislikes and comments.  His reference to how his firm has seen slander on Facebook turn round to commendation showed how even negative exposure can be turned into positive publicity.  No medium of advertising and business communication except the social media platform offers this same opportunity.

(Jack Dorsey 2006)

“Why bother adding to all that noise?”.

Darragh Doyle’s (Community Manager, World Irish) opening question was certainly relevant.  I loved his quote from Steinbeck, “If a story is not about the hearer, then no one’s listening”.  If in the multitude of blogs, tweets and Facebook accounts the contribution is to be significant, it should be relevant to the audience.

The panel of Conor, Ciaran, Daragh and Krishna all had useful advice to contribute.  I personally got a lot from Krishna’s idea that you don’t have to do everything.  I am someone who likes to try to hit the target with every available projectile, often doing considerable damage everywhere else.  So reiteration of my need to hone accuracy in specific areas was beneficial.

One of the most valuable resources that platforms such as Facebook offer businesses is that they give them the possibility of direct contact with the information circulating around their company.  Catherine Flynn (Global Marketing Solutions (UK) at Facebook) pointed out that the recommendation of a product or service from friends is much more likely to result in sales than a firm’s own advertisements.

Excellence is a quality that rarely goes unnoticed.  Upon researching it further I was very impressed with the story of innovation and creativity that landed Matthew Young his dream job of designing covers at Penguin.  Penguin have now even used his example as a means of finding new employees, (pearson.com 2012).  Inspirational anecdotes like this one which was cited by Brian Herron, (Community Manager, Google+ Local at Google Inc.), have made the first two DICE seminars stimulating.

(handshake20.com 2012)

Social media has put its stamp on virtually every aspect of our lives, not least on the business world.  I thought “Get Social” was very relevant for us as BS1 students.  Three of the insights which Eric Weaver, (IPG Brand), gave us were a good overview of the entire seminar, be passionate, watch out for and respond well to blunders, and utilize the opportunity which social media offers you.  When applied, they enable firms to harness the fluctuating nature of the social media sphere for business purposes.


e3detroit.com 2012.  8 Tips to Help Muzzle the Social Media Monster, [Online].  Available from: http://e3detroit.com/2012/01/social-media-monster/ [Accessed 29 October 2012].

adventured.com 2012.  Top 50 Social Media Quotes and Social Networking Quotes, [Online].  Available from: http://adventured.com/about-life-quotes-socialnetwork-quotes/ [Accessed 29 October 2012].

Tom Pick 2012.  87 More Vital Social Media Marketing Facts and Stats for 2012, [Online].  Available from: http://www.business2community.com/social-media-marketing-facts-and stats-for-2012-0307891 [Accessed 29 October 2012].

Jack Dorsey 2006.  Necessary Noise Only, Please [Online].  Available from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jackdorsey/272873611/ [Accessed 29 October 2012].

pearson.com 2012.  Penguin Ad Campaign for New Community Manager: A Creative Search for Creativity, [Online].  Available from: http://www.pearson.com/about-us/feature-stories.html [Accessed 28 October 2012].

handshake20.com 2012.  Size Matters: Your Social Media Footprint, [Online].  Available from: http://www.handshake20.com/2010/01/size-matters-your-social-media-footprint.html [Accessed 29 October 2012].

Seminar 1 – “Get Creative”

(photobucket.com 2012)

“The chief enemy of creativity is good sense.” – Pablo Picasso.

(goodreads.com 2012)

Creativity and the appreciation of  it is something which I believe is molded into us as human beings.  The imaginative innovation of humanity is a fundamental aspect of our existence.  Creative inventions and improvisations make the business world go around.  Every product or service we value today has been brought to us because people “got creative”.  I found it encouraging that the first seminar on our DICE module dealt with creativity, how it thrives, the obstacles to  it and the benefits it brings us.

I had heard something of Edward de Bono and his theories on thinking before attending “Get Creative”, having been introduced to “the thinking hats” on a mature student course.  The scale of companies he has worked with is significant, IBM, British Airways, Ericsson and British Coal to name a few (edwdebono.com 2012). I was glad to get another opportunity to further my knowledge of his ideas.  Especially from someone as familiar with de Bono’s understanding as Nigel Newman is, a Global Master Practitioner of  de Bono’s methods of thinking.  Hearing of the scale of the De Bono Foundation surprised me.  It now extends over 40 countries and has 7.5 million users worldwide. It was also interesting to learn that Edward de Bono was appointed a DCU professor in 2005.

(www.buyingbrain.com 2012)

“Is the human brain, with all its problem-solving prowess and creative ability, powerful enough to understand itself? Nothing in the known universe (with the exception of the universe itself) is more complex.” 

(Laura Helmuth 2011)

Understanding your equipment is important when conducting any task so it follows that if we want to think appropriately we really should try to understand the brain.  I found it insightful at the beginning of the seminar when Nigel said that “the excellence of the brain arises directly from its ability to use patterns”.  He then described how these patterns are useful because they help us to learn and remember how to do essential things.  An example he cited was putting the correct shoe on each foot.  Without a pattern being formed in our brains by continuous repetition no one could learn musical instruments or read or write.   However as Nigel made clear, such patterns can lock our minds into a continual way of thinking thus hindering us from thinking creatively.  (Nigel told us that The Mechanism of the Mind, de Bono, 1969 explores these ideas further.)

I thought there were many interesting concepts in the “Importance of Perception” part of the presentation.  The perception conundrum with jockeys and horses  showed how difficult and simple problem-solving can be at the same time.  I was surprised at my own lack of invention during the exercise involving the statement that “all cars must be painted yellow”.  However, I can see how dividing our focus into positive, negative and interesting when dealing with situations could be useful.

In the exercise involving the six hats, my group chose to analyse the option “There should be a free e day each week”.  I found that I was able to think easiest with the white hat on (the positive one).  Though thinking positively has many advantages I was interested to read that it can be problematic also.  It can lead to an unrealistic, miscalculated enthusiasm.  We rarely hear of it but overtly optimistic thinking is credited in some psychological circles as being responsible for such catastrophic outcomes as the burst of the economic bubble (Robert L. Leahy 2011).

The thing I found most fascinating about Nigel’s talk were the real life examples he brought into view.  My favourite anecdote was that concerning folk singer Dave Carroll who cost United Airlines 180 million in shares after recording a song deprecating the airline after they broke his guitar.  It shows how one person responding to one incident in a creative manner can have such a massive effect.

There were lots of beneficial pointers and well thought out advice throughout the presentation.  I particularly liked the approach we employed of useful wishful thinking in the exercise on supermarkets.  Many great inventions were born because people dreamed of a better alternative or recognized a need that wasn’t being met.  Below is an example of how desire can give rise to innovation.

(strghtandnrrw.com 2012)

“If at first the idea isn’t absurd, there is no hope for it”. – Albert Einstein.

(Erik Johnson 2009)

(Look Closely, you might miss them.)

I gained many valuable insights from the “Get Creative” seminar.  Among them was the idea that it is important to “find time to be creative”, as this is how inspiration comes.  I plan on setting time aside for this very purpose.  As well as this, as my opening quote suggests and the problem solving exercises show, sometimes creativity can be hindered by our own narrow logic.  I was also inspired by the many stories of innovative thinking and the benefits it has brought.  I thought the “Decaux model” for bus stops that Nigel mentioned at the end was very interesting.

Learning how to be creative is not something we typically associate with most university business courses.  The more methodical aspects of business are usually those that are focused on, at least in common perceptions.  It was refreshing that creativity was given its due attention at “Get Creative”.


photobucket.com 2012. Get Creative [Online]. Available from: http://s387.beta.photobucket.com/user/javanmarsh/media/18-GetCreative.jpg.html [Accessed 20 October 2012].

goodreads.com 2012. Pablo Picasso Quotes [Online].  Available From: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/creativity [Accessed 20 October 2012].

edwdebono.com 2012. Edward De Bono Biography [Online]. Available from http://www.edwdebono.com/debono/biograph.html [Accessed 20 October 2012].

Robert L. Leahy 2011. The Dangers of Optimism [Online]. Available from http:www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anxiety-files/201110/the-dangers-optimism. [Accessed 20 October 2012].

Laura Helmuth 2011. Beauty of the Brain, Smithsonian Magazine [Online]. Available from http://www.smithsonianmag/science-nature.html#ixzz2A3T4qMLA [Accessed 22 October 2011

buyingbrain.com 2012. Cool Brain Facts [Online]. Available from http://www.buyingbrain.com/cool-brain-facts [Accessed 20 October 2012].

strghtandnrrw.com 2012. Page 23 [Online]. Available from http://strghtandnrrw.tumblr.com/page/23 [Accessed 20 October 2012].

Erike Johnson 2009. God Does Not Play Dice With the Universe. [Online] Available from http://disruption.ca/archives/category/programing [Accessed 22 October 2012].



(© Brewley Schultheiss  2012 Absphoto.co)

“Straight as a die”:

Meaning – Completely Straight”

Origin – This is an odd simile when one considers that the die here is the singular of dice – hardly objects that appear straight. It makes more sense when we realize that straight means correct and true, rather than ‘as the crow flies.”

(www.phrases.org.uk 2012)

“DICE” – Digital Innovation Creativity and Enterprise

“Discourse” – ¹written or formal communication or debate, ²a formal discussion of a topic.” (Oxford Soanes 2006)

Dear readers,

As I’m sure you’re all aware, being a DCU business studies 1st year brings with it many benefits.  At times however, academic opportunities can turn into academic responsibilities.  In a moment of minor uncertainty I feel both privileged and obligated to begin writing a blog concerning the 5 different DICE seminars which I am due to attend over the coming months.

Perhaps my stance of slight indecision can be better understood alongside my confession that I am not a member of “Facebook” or “Twitter” or any other networking site.  My introduction into the infrastructure of digitalised human interaction has  been hindered somewhat.  The main obstacles which I have encountered have been, I must admit, self-made.  At the beginning in the years of “Bebo”, an insurmountable mass of apathy stood in my way.  As avenues became more interesting with the emergence of “Facebook”, “MySpace” and “WordPress”, I was confronted with a hazardous stumbling block of procrastination.

As it begins to gain more and more importance in everyday communication I am hesitantly grateful for the much needed push into the sphere of social media.


© Anya Brewley Schultheiss 2012 Hand throwing dice black and white [Photograph] http://www.absphoto.co

http://www.phrases.org.uk 2012. As straight as a die [Online]. Available from: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/as-straight-as-a-die.html [Accessed October 20th 2012]

Soanes, C. 2012. Paperback Oxford English Dictionary. 6th Ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.