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Luck of the Irish?


How being an Irish company has set us up for success.

The CEO of billion-dollar startup Slack, Stewart Butterfield, starts every job interview by asking candidates how much of their success comes down to luck. Not that he’s trying to out those that took the easy road: he himself attributes 98% of his own success to luck and prefers candidates with a similar statistic.

CEO of Slack, Stewart Butterfield

 

Acknowledging the role of good fortune in one’s own success story shows humility, empathy and, well, luck. Butterfield says he has known people who weren’t professionally successful despite their abilities, performance and character. There’s a lot out there that we can’t control.

This holds especially true in the startup world. The sheer unlikelihood of success as you venture out on your own to do something completely unproven is terrifying. We all need luck on our side.

St. Patrick’s Day seems like an apropos time to acknowledge Talivest’s luck: that of the Irish.

That doesn’t mean that it hasn’t taken blood, sweat and tears to get where we are today. Nor does it mean that our trajectory has always been upward. But having the luck of the Irish on our side has bolstered us and given us a strength that we don’t know where we’d be without. And, like Stewart Butterfield, we’ll be the first to admit it.

Take Enterprise Ireland (EI), for example. Essentially a government-sponsored VC firm, EI invests in startup companies by matching dollars raised and providing access to global business leaders. EI has been an invaluable financial resource and advocate for us.

As a female-founded company, Talivest is even more of an anomaly in Ireland than we are here in the U.S., listed as one of the “Top 20 Female Startup Companies in Ireland.” CEO & co-founder Jayne Ronayne has garnered much attention from Irish media, having been listed as one of the Irish Independent’s “30 Under 30 Shaping Ireland’s Future,” and meeting the President and Taoiseach of Ireland.

Talivest Co-Founder & CEO, Jayne Ronayne

07d2e84.jpgIrish business leaders feel strongly about fostering entrepreneurship and retaining top tech talent, and are willing to go to bat for local startups and founders. Myriad industry influencers have been willing to meet with Jayne based on shared roots alone.

Dublin resembles a mini-Silicon Valley, with Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Amazon setting up overseas headquarters along its tax-friendly riverfront. Several household names are currently trialing our alumni engagement program in their Irish divisions, with the goal of rolling it out globally if we deliver on our promises. This is an ideal strategy for us to scale at the right pace, stay accountable, and refine our technology based on customer feedback.

With so much noise out there, all you can ask for is to be seen, noticed, acknowledged and appreciated. This takes luck, and for Talivest, it’s the luck of the Irish. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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