By Donal Scannell, great interview with Dylan Collins, who will be speaking at FutureScope on the Brexit panel. Dylan is one of Ireland’s top tech exports, and runs his network of involvements from London. He’s CEO of Superawesome TV and he’s integral to Hoxton Square Ventures and Potato VC. He’s coming back to Dublin for #FutureScope to share his views on Brexit, which of course he hates, but still manages to find the silver lining!
— Dublin BIC (@BICDublin) May 8, 2017
I tend to describe myself as being an administrator, a recruiter or a therapist which tends to fairly well describe my activities with the companies. I think that everything fundamentally tends to come down to humans and psychology no matter which side of the table that you’re sitting on. I’ve been very fortunate that it gives me a lot of insight into the workings of the mind!
Brexit represents probably the greatest business own goal in living memory and considering that we had the subprime crisis, the Irish property meltdown and a number of other things over the last decade. If you talk to any business person in the UK, it is very, very, very rare that you will hear any opinion to the contrary. It is just adding an enormous level of distraction to doing business across Europe for anyone based in the UK. The whole thing is being phenomenally mismanaged and I suspect that will end up with an overall position which is really not very dissimilar to what existed pre-Brexit.
If you think in terms of 10 years then you start to realise that the reality probably isn’t going to be too bad. From an investor perspective people are being fairly rational about the lack of real long term impact in all of this so I don’t think it’s slowing down investment levels. The distraction that it’s causing just in terms of media noise is certainly the biggest factor.
When you’re investing in building companies and thinking about decision-making it’s amazing how different an answer to your own question can be if you’re thinking about that question in terms of five years versus two years.It’s definitely not always easy to do. When you’re in start-ups you’re always thinking short term. You probably have a six month plan but for anyone who is building a company at any level, if you actually think about the same challenge over at ten year horizon, you will often work back to a different answer.
A book I re-read every year. Timeless wisdom. pic.twitter.com/h8w7hS4CF2
— Dylan Collins (@MrDylanCollins) April 22, 2017
Notwithstanding this catastrophic Brexit decision, the UK has done some incredibly good work in terms of creating a very good start-up environment. You look at the tax relief available to investors through the EIS program and it’s simply superb. I haven’t seen a start-up tax incentive structure done and executed as well as the UK has. It’s an obvious thing that Ireland and the Irish government should have done, hasn’t done and it’s still as baffling to me why they haven’t just copied it word for word!